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The NFL Draft

Many of the USA's college football players want to play in the NFL. There is a highly organized and formal process called the draft (currently consisting of seven rounds) that takes place over two days in April, in which all NFL teams participate. The NFL team with the worst record in the previous year gets first pick of the draft. That is, the team is the first to select a player from a pool of all eligible college players in the country. The idea is that weak teams can thereby become strengthened over time, in the specialties where they need strengthening. Draft picks continue, in the order from the weakest team to the strongest team, and once all teams have picked one player, they all pick again starting with the weakest team.

Salaries and the salary cap

The minimum salary for an NFL player is $235,000 in his first year, and rises after that based on the number of years in service. Exhibition game minimum is $10,000. These numbers are set by contract between the NFL and the players' union, the National Football League Players' Association. These numbers are of course exceeded dramatically by the best players in each position.


Escalating player salaries throughout the 1980s and the advent of free agency in 1992 led to the NFL's adoption of a salary cap in 1994, a maximum amount of money each team can pay its players in aggregate. The cap is determined via a complicated formula based on the revenue that all NFL teams receive during the previous year. For the 2004 season, the NFL's salary cap was $80.582 million, an increase of $5.5 million from 2003. The cap for the 2005 season was set at $85.5 million, and at $102 million for 2006 instead of the previously estimated $94.5 million.


Years Experience

Minimum Salary

0

$260,000

1

$305,000

2

$380,000

3

$455,000

4-6

$540,000

7-9

$665,000

10+

$765,000

Pick
Team
Player
Position
College
Fan Pick
1
Rams
Bradford, Sam
QB
Oklahoma
1
2
Lions
Suh, Ndamukong
DT
Nebraska
2
3
Buccaneers
McCoy, Gerald
DT
Oklahoma
3
4
Redskins
Williams, Trent
OT
Oklahoma
8
5
Chiefs
Berry, Eric 
SS
Tennessee
5
6
Seahawks
Okung, Russell
OT
Oklahoma St
4
7
Browns
Haden, Joe
CB
Florida
11
8
Raiders
McClain, Rolando
LB
Alabama
12
9
Bills
Spiller, C.J.
RB
Clemson
9
10
Jaguars
Alualu, Tyson
DE
California
--
11
49ers 
Davis, Anthony
OT
Rutgers
16
12
Chargers
Mathews, Ryan
RB
Fresno State
27
13
Eagles 
Graham, Brandon
DE
Michigan
20
14
Seahawks 
Thomas, Earl
SS
Texas
13
15
Giants
Pierre-Paul, Jason
DE
South Florida
14
16
Titans
Morgan, Derrick
DE
Georgia Tech
15
17
49ers 
Iupati, Mike 
OG
Idaho
18
18
Steelers
Pouncey, Maurkice
C
Florida
26
19
Falcons
Weatherspoon, Sean
LB
Missouri
24
20
Texans
Jackson, Kareem
CB
Alabama
--
21
Bengals
Gresham, Jermaine
TE
Oklahoma
25
22
Broncos 
Thomas, Demaryius
WR
Georgia Tech
--
23
Packers
Bulaga, Bryan
OT
Iowa
6
24
Cowboys 
Bryant, Dez
WR
Oklahoma St
10
25
Broncos 
Tebow, Tim 
QB
Florida
--
26
Cardinals
Williams, Dan
DT
Tennessee
17
27
Patriots 
McCourty, Devin
CB
Rutgers
--
28
Dolphins 
Odrick, Jared
DT
Penn State
28
29
Jets
Wilson, Kyle
CB
Boise State
21
30
Lions
Best, Jahvid
RB
California
--
31
Colts
Hughes, Jerry
DE
TCU
--
32
Saints
Robinson, Patrick
CB
Florida State
--

 


 


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