Show 'em the money

Starting Thursday, 240 draft picks will have an immediate change in their tax brackets by the end of the weekend.

From the agents’ and players’ perspective, there are two main components to a player’s contract: the guaranteed portion, which includes signing bonuses, and the nonguaranteed portion, which in large part are the base salaries and monies earned after the first two years.

Here are my estimates on the 2010 averages per round:

Average “guaranteed” dollars per round -- This amount includes signing bonuses, salaries and other bonuses that are “guaranteed.”

Round 1: $12 million to $14 million
Round 2: $2 million to $2.3 million
Round 3: $720,000 to $750,000
Round 4: $460,000 to $485,000
Round 5: $170,000 to $185,000
Round 6: $96,000 to $106,000
Round 7: $47,000 to 53,000

Again, this is the average per round, not the high and low range.

Top 10 picks average per year – These are amounts that are the total sum of the contract divided by the number of years:

1: 5.2 to 5.8 million (per year)
2: 5.0 to 5.4 million
3: 4.8 to 5.0 million
4: 4.5 to 4.8 million
5: 3.9 to 4.2 million
6: 3.6 to 3.9 million
7: 3.6 to 4.2 million*
8: 3.3 to 3.6 million
9: 3.2 to 3.5 million
10: 2.9 to 3.1 million

* Note: The CAA boys got the Darrius Heyward-Bey deal done early (July 31) with the Raiders last year, and because of it, secured a higher average per year than some slots above them. This could translate into a tougher negotiation for the Browns this year because agents will want more than the slot received the previous year.

If you ever wondered why players work so hard to get into the first round, just take a look at the numbers. The interesting thing to me is that there isn’t usually that much difference in talent separating a first- and second-round draft pick. However, the money earned by the player selected at slot 20 in the first round is double of that of the player selected at slot 10 in the second round.

Good luck to all the draftees, and remember to save your money.

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