Player salaries in sports are constantly rising and have reached epic levels as TV contracts have exploded and franchises have become more valuable than ever. But the leagues are not equal as far as money going to players is concerned. Of the three major American sports leagues, the NFL boasts the lowest average salary among players.
It’s fair to say, football players are more replaceable than another other type of athlete and careers are typically shorter. With the violent nature of the game, there’s a reason people say the NFL stands for “Not For Long.” The average NFL career lasts around three years. That means new players are constantly being cycled in at lower salaries.
The minimum salary for an NFL player on the active roster is $750,000 in 2023, up from $705,000 in 2022. That only applies to rookies in their first season. That rises to $870,000 in Year 2 and $940,000 by their third year in the league. That’s helps bring the lower end number up.
The average NFL salary changes every season based on the composition of the league’s players and the numbers for the contracts on the higher end. The average NFL salary for 2023 is around $2.8 million.