Louisiana State University quarterback Joe Burrow is less than 24 hours removed from a record-setting performance in the Tigers’ national championship win over Clemson, but his first professional payday is already assured.
NFL rookie contracts are pre-determined by a scale tied to the league’s salary cap for the upcoming season. While the 2020 salary cap has yet to be finalized, the contract signed by Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, the first overall pick in last year’s draft, provides a glimpse at what Burrow can expect to earn.
The top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft received a four-year contract worth an estimated $35 million, including a $23.4 million signing bonus. Compensation for the first overall pick rises by about $2 million to $3 million each season, which would put Burrow’s deal into the $37 million range.
Burrow, who completed his master’s degree at LSU in December, is considered a virtual lock to be the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Cincinnati Bengals hold the first pick and are in the market for a franchise quarterback after a dismal 2-14 season.
The possibility of endorsement deals, which were forbidden for college players during Burrow’s time at LSU, will vastly increase his earning potential at the professional level.
Burrow, 23, broke the single-season record for the NCAA’s top-tier Football Bowl Subdivision by throwing 60 touchdown passes. He passed for 5,671 yards and won the 2019 Heisman Trophy.
Burrow threw for five touchdowns in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game as LSU topped Clemson, 42-25.
The 2020 NFL Draft begins on April 23 in Las Vegas, Nevada.