NFL Futures Contracts: What You Need to Know
Fans of the National Football League (NFL) know that the league never sleeps. Even in the offseason, there is always something happening, whether it`s free agency, the NFL Draft, or training camp. For players, the offseason is a time to recover from injuries, work on their skills, and negotiate contracts. One type of contract that often comes up during the NFL offseason is the « Futures » contract. But what are NFL Futures Contracts, and how do they work?
What are NFL Futures Contracts?
In the NFL, a Futures contract is a type of contract that a team can offer to a player who is not on the team`s active roster at the end of the regular season. This includes players who were on the team`s practice squad, players who were on injured reserve, or players who were free agents at the end of the regular season. Futures contracts are typically offered in January, after the regular season ends, and they go into effect at the beginning of the league year in March.
How do NFL Futures Contracts work?
A Futures contract is essentially a « reserve » contract that allows a team to sign a player to its offseason roster. The contract doesn`t become effective until the start of the new league year, but it gives the team exclusive rights to the player during the offseason. This means that other NFL teams cannot sign that player or negotiate with them while they are under contract with the original team.
Futures contracts are usually for one year and are not guaranteed. Unlike regular contracts, a player will not receive any salary until they are added to the team`s active roster. However, the player can receive an offseason workout bonus of up to $235 per workout, and they are allowed to participate in the team`s offseason program, which includes organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp.
If a player on a Futures contract impresses the coaching staff during the offseason program, they may be offered a spot on the team`s active roster. This usually happens during the preseason, and the player will need to perform well in training camp and exhibition games to earn a spot on the final roster.
Should You Care About Futures Contracts?
If you`re a die-hard NFL fan, you might be wondering why you should care about Futures contracts. The truth is, Futures contracts are an important tool for teams to build their offseason rosters. Many NFL players got their start on Futures contracts before eventually making it onto the active roster. For example, former NFL MVP Kurt Warner was signed to a Futures contract by the St. Louis Rams in 1998.
Additionally, Futures contracts are an indication of which players a team thinks could potentially contribute in the future. If your team signs a player to a Futures contract, it`s a sign that the coaching staff sees potential in that player. Keep an eye on players signed to Futures contracts during the offseason, as they could end up playing a significant role for your team in the future.
Futures contracts are an important part of the NFL offseason, giving teams the ability to sign players to their offseason roster and exclusive rights to those players during the offseason. While they are not guaranteed contracts, they can be a stepping stone for players looking to make it onto an NFL roster. As a fan, it`s worth paying attention to which players your team signs to Futures contracts, as they could end up playing a significant role in the future of your team.