How Much Are the Top Four NFL Draft Picks Paid?

Last Updated on June 20, 2024

The NFL Draft is the gateway for college football’s biggest stars to transition into professional athletes. As the creme de la creme of the NCAA, they receive life-changing contracts right from the off. The top few picks every year get huge contracts, with the number one pick receiving twice as much as number 11.

But how much exactly are the top four picks paid, and how much of their contract is guaranteed? Let’s find out.

Caleb Williams – $39.5 Million

Former USC standout Caleb Williams was selected with the first overall pick of the 2024 draft by the Chicago Bears, bagging himself a cool $39.5 million in the process, $25.5 million of that being guaranteed as part of his signing bonus. The Soldier Field side made headlines in the close season when they shipped Justin Fields out to the Pittsburgh Steelers, clearing the way for Williams to become the new face of the franchise.

The Bears also brought in wide receiver Rome Odunze with the ninth overall pick, worth $22.7 million. That prompted Oddschecker, which compares the best betting website offers such as FanDuel’s bet $5 get $150, to slash the odds of them winning the NFC North down to +375.

The 22-year-old’s deal features a four-year term with a fifth-year term option, which is the standard for top draft picks under the current collective bargaining agreement. The structure of his contract ensures that he will receive a significant portion of the money upfront through a signing bonus as mentioned previously, followed by annual salaries that increase incrementally each year.

Jayden Daniels – $37.7 Million

Jayden Daniels was the latest in a long line of LSU quarterbacks to have made waves in the NCAA. Joe Burrow won the Heisman trophy and was selected first overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2020 but, this time around, their man under center had to settle for the second overall pick and the $37.7 million that comes with it. The Washington Commanders – like the aforementioned Bears – were another team on the hunt for a franchise quarterback, and they got their man in Daniels.

The Capitol City side is banking on their new main man to bring an increased level of excitement and success to their offense. His ability to make plays with both his arm and legs made him an attractive prospect and the financial commitment from the team reflects their confidence in his future.

Drake Maye – $36.6 Million

The New England Patriots are in the team very much in transition. They have been without a marquee QB since the departure of Tom Brady in 2019, initially thinking that Mac Jones was the answer. Unfortunately, he led the franchise to its worst-ever campaign last season, prompting the organization to part ways with Bill Belichick. Now, they have opted to bring in a new man under center once more, making talented North Carolina QB Drake Maye the third overall pick of the most recent draft.

His contract is valued at $36.6 million, positioning him among the highest-paid rookies in the league. His deal includes the usual elements of a top-tier draft pick contract, such as a sizable signing bonus and guaranteed money. The Pats are in dire need of stability at the quarterback position and they believe that Maye can provide that. His impressive college career and skill set make him a promising addition to the team and his contract reflects the high expectations placed upon him.

Marvin Harrison Jr. – $35.4 Million

The highest selected non-quarterback comes in the form of exceptional Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. With plenty more QBs available, the Arizona Cardinals wanted to continue keeping the faith with former Heisman winner Kyler Murray, instead opting to bring in a new primary target for the former Oklahoma Sooner player and handing him a contract worth $35.4 million. This highlights the value placed on elite playmakers in today’s NFL.

As the son of a Hall of Fame wide receiver, the 21-year-old comes with a legacy to uphold. The Cardinals are hopeful that he can bring a dynamic presence to their receiving corps and his contract reflects their commitment to providing their potentially sensational quarterback with top-tier talent.

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