With the race to sign undrafted free agents getting more and more competitive -- even Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti directly contacts individuals to express the team's interest -- the NFLPA is trying to assist its agents in getting the best deals possible.
The sharing of information such as what kind of signing bonuses and deals are being offered is imperative as the market takes shape as soon as the draft ends. It can be chaotic, so the union sent the following memo to contract advisers to try to aid with the process:
TO: All Contract Advisors
FROM: Salary Cap & Agent Admin Dept.
RE: 2013 NFL Draft Weekend
The Salary Cap & Agent Administration Department will be open at 5 pm on Saturday, April 27th, the third day of the NFL Draft. We're here to assist with undrafted rookie signings. Please share both offers and signings so that we all can assist each other in getting the best deals possible for your clients.
In order to assist in your negotiations, we have attached the 2012 Undrafted Rookie Analysis and 2012 Undrafted Rookie Split and Credited Seasons Analysis. Also attached are the 2011 Undrafted Rookie Analysis and 2011 Undrafted Rookie Split and Credited Seasons Analysis. These can also be found on our website, www.nflplayers.com. They are located in the member content section. To access these reports you must login, click Member Services, then Resources, then click Salary Cap & Agent. You will find these reports in the Draftee and Undrafted Rookie Analysis under 2012 Folder.
Also, we'll be constantly updating the 2013 Undrafted Rookie Signings Report throughout Saturday evening and into the early part of the following week. This report can be found following the steps listed above under 2013 Folder named 2013 Undrafted Rookie Signings.
You can contact Mark Levin, Doug Finniff, or Jack Lyons at the phone numbers or email addresses below, or you can use the rookie signing form submission located in the Member Services content portion of the website. Please note that our offices are closed on weekends, therefore our main 1-800 number will not be working. Thus, you must contact us at the numbers listed below.
As you'll see in the attached reports, the Average Signing Bonus Per Player increased just slightly in 2012 compared to 2011 ($4,268 vs. $4,256). However, the Average Guarantee Per Player increased significantly in 2012 compared to 2011 ($5,733 vs. $4,859). This was due to several agents being successful in receiving Guaranteed Base Salaries for their clients in addition to receiving a Signing Bonus. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Undrafted Rookie Reservation (Article 7, Section 1 (i)), the amount that a Club can use as Signing Bonus or Other Amounts Treated as Signing Bonus (OATSB) is capped. In 2011, the amount was $75,000 per Club and in 2012 the amount was $76,585. Therefore, we are stressing the importance of trying to negotiate a Guaranteed Base Salary, which doesn't count against the Undrafted Rookie Reservation, as well as a Signing Bonus to maximize your client's overall Guaranteed Dollars. We will be sending an email next week informing all agents of the 2013 Undrafted Rookie Reservation maximum amount.