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Undrafted free agents making big impact in NFL

By Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

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Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is one of many stars who went undrafted. (USATSI)

Teams have signed hundreds of undrafted free agents since the draft ended, most garnering little attention.

You might be surprised how many actually make it: 20 percent of NFL starters entered the league as undrafted free agents, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Last year, teams signed 622 undrafted players and 98 of them (16 percent) made Week 1 rosters, ProFootballTalk reported.

Another 33 made practice squads, meaning 37 percent earned NFL jobs.

Undrafted rookies come way cheaper than the 254 players drafted. They had an average signing bonus of $4,268 last year, according to ProFootballTalk. In contrast, seventh-round picks last year received signing bonuses in the $40,000-to-$50,000 range.

Kurt Warner, John Randle, Tony Romo and James Harrison are among the most famous undrafted free-agent success stories. Others who made it big include Jason Peters, Wes Welker, Antonio Gates, Vonta Leach, Pat Williams, London Fletcher and Adam Vinatieri.

 
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