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Examining the Contracts of the Chiefs Undrafted Free Agents

The Kansas City Chiefs announced the signing of 12 undrafted free agents on May 8th.  Of course, if you follow Arrowhead Pride you already knew about 11 of those players that we accurately projected while tracking the Chiefs undrafted free agents.

Do you ever wonder what life is like for these players who switch teams and cities at the drop of a hat?

Just over a year ago, FB Chris Manderino, who spent a brief time with the Chiefs, was kind of enough to answer some questions about what life is like for these undrafted free agent/practice squad players. Check it out. Chris had a great perspective on the whole thing:

Also, as a practice squad player, you know that you are available to become activated by any of the other teams in the league. It is mentally tough to be thinking about whether you will be activated the next week with either your own team or another one throughout the league. You have to try to keep from getting distracted because it is your job to perform your role in helping the team prepare to win. It is mentally tough to be watching on the sidelines on game day when you prepare all week long and do not get to play. All in all however, you have to remind yourself of the many talented players out there who are not with a team at all and be thankful for your opportunity take full advantage of it.

Even though Chris didn't make the Chiefs final roster, he's still living out his football dream in Italy, playing for the Doves in the Italian Football League.

Below are the salary value of the contracts each UDFA signed. As you can see, relative to the rest of the NFL, they aren't making much.

Name Pos Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Jackie Bates CB $310k $395k
Tom Crabtree TE $310k $395k
London Fryar CB $310k $395k
Dion Gales DT $310k $395k
Cameron Goldberg OL $310k $395k
Bobby Greenwood DT $310k $395k
Darryl Harris OL $310k $395k
Ricky Price S $310k $395k
Corey Smith LB $310k $395k
Pierre Walters LB $310k $395k $480k
Taurus Johnson WR $310k $395k $480k
Jovan Belcher LB $310k $395k $480k

What the NFLPA chart above doesn't list are the signing bonuses for these guys. The only reliable source I've found for signing bonus information is the USA Today NFL Salary database.

Even though it's not complete, here are the salaries and signing bonuses for most of th UDFAs the Chiefs signed last year. Remember - signing bonuses are the only guaranteed portion of a player's contract.

  Player     Base Salary     Sign Bonus  
   Cox, Mike  $295,000 $10,000
   Dacus, Weston  $295,000 $0
   Leggett, Maurice  $295,000 $4,000
   Puente, Brian  $295,000 $3,000
   Savage, Dantrell  $295,000 $0

For a little perspective, 2008 7th round picks Brian Johnston and Mike Merrit garnered signing bonuses of $47,277 and $32,000 respectively.

Even though guys like Jovan Belcher and Pierre Walters are only pulling down a few thousand guaranteed bucks to try out for the Chiefs, it's the opportunity of a life time for them and most of them know it.

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