Structure Of The NFL And NFL Players Salaries


Many high school and college players dream to play in the NFL one day. You may however wonder how the NFL operates. How many teams are there? How many players are in a team? How many matches are played in a regular season? How are the salaries for the players like? Many other similar questions may pop-up in your mind. To answer all these questions, we discuss the structure of NFL and NFL players salaries.

Structure Of The NFL

A tall building in a city

32 professional teams exist in the NFL. Each team has a maximum of 53 players, totaling 1696 players in all NFL teams. In a regular season, each team plays 16 football games spanning over 17 weeks, from early September to late December. There’s the period for preseason games which starts by mid-July. After the regular season concludes, seven teams from each of the two federations in the NFL, NFC and AFC, advance to the playoffs. Single elimination occurs until the winners from each federation participate in the Super Bowl, which holds on the first Sunday of February.

Educational Requirements of the NFL

A group of football players

Officially, the NFL does not have any formal educational requirements. However, players drafted recently are those that have passed through college. However, it’s not easy being drafted into the NFL. Out of the estimated 70000 plus students that play college football, around 250 players are drafted into the NFL. This means that less than 2 percent of aspiring college students get drafted into the NFL. This percentage goes even lower for high school students. So, even though not much, your chances of getting drafted increases with your educational level.

NFL Players Salaries

The average NFL player is quoted to earn around $2 million per year. However, this figure is hugely bloated. Big name quarterbacks, being the most important in the team, receive the most wages. So, the average salaries tend to increase due to the huge salaries of the quarterbacks in each team. Realistically, an average NFL player earns around $860,000. Though pretty adequate, it is way less than the publicised $2 million. 

Generally, a starting rookie earns around $435,000. However, the media only focus on the high salaries of big name quarterbacks and star players. Average salary for all NFL quarterbacks is around $6 million, with the middle earner getting around $1 million. 

In most teams, quarterbacks are the highest earners. After them comes the defensive ends with an average salary of around $2,500,000. At the extreme end, getting the lowest salaries are the Running Backs. Kickers get paid more than running backs.

Playing Experience

When players start turning 26, salaries being paid out see a dramatic increase in value. This is because some players will already be established as big name players and start getting paid more salaries.


It may not be easy getting drafted into the NFL, but when you do get to play in the league, it is awesome. You get adequate financial compensation among others. Hence, we discuss the structure of the NFL and NFL players salaries.

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