The NFL clearly puts an emphasis on being drafted in the top five, and falling one spot beyond can be dramatic. The difference between the fifth and sixth pick will be $3.1 million. The fall-off continues for picks seven and eight with a loss of $2.5 million for each drop.
While dropping from No. 1 to No. 4 would cost a player $3.25 million, the drop from No. 5 to No. 8 would cost the player a whopping $8.1 million. The drop from No. 8 to No. 9 is slightly more than $100,000, so there is virtually no difference between those picks.
The bottom line: If a player is in contention to be a top five pick, he better do everything he can to make sure he lands within the top five.
The other big first-round drop-off comes right outside the top 10, where a player will lose $1 million for the drop to No. 11 and another $1.5 million if he drops to No. 12.
After that, the salaries stabilize for the remainder of the round with minimal drops generally less than $200,000 per pick.
“But you know how when you leave your house, you have like a checklist? You check your pockets like, ‘Phone, wallet, keys … O.K., I’m good.’ And if you leave your wallet or your phone at home, you feel kind of naked because you’re so used to having it on you. It’s a part of you.
“That’s what it felt like that night when I didn’t have my gun. I usually had it on me. So that night, before we picked up my teammate and went into the city, I decided to go home and get my gun.
“Looking back, I realize that carrying a gun gave me a false sense of security. I thought I was protecting myself when, as it turned out, I was doing the opposite.
“When we got to the club, I got patted down at the door, and the security guard lifted my shirt up and saw my gun tucked into my belt. He was like, ‘O.K., if you’re gonna carry a gun, we gotta be with you the whole night.’