For two years Each rookie scale deal for a first-round choice is for two years with a team option for the player's third and fourth seasons, followed by a restricted free agent number if the options are exercised and the player has not signed a long-term agreement. If the player rejects the offer and signs with another club, his original club has the right of refusal on its former pick.
In other words, a baseball player who was selected in the first round of the MLB draft will usually receive a contract worth about $3 million if he agrees to it. If he refuses the contract and signs with another team, his old team can keep him out of reach by matching the contract he was offered by the new team.
In addition, each year after their contracts expire, most first-year players become eligible for selection in the draft. If they do not sign with another team, they will again be able to negotiate with the previous club. This is called "drafting rights".
A few select players who have been named the MVP of the league get the privilege of negotiating with their teams before they are required to make a decision. If they choose not to accept the contract offered them and instead go back into the draft, they will lose their eligibility to return to the game for one season.
Four-year Each first-round draft pick receives a four-year contract. They are not eligible to renegotiate their contracts until the third contractual year has passed.
Two-year Rookie contracts are offered to second- and third-round picks, as well as undrafted free agents. These contracts contain no guaranteed money but have a maximum value of $480,000 if all of its seasons were added together.
The average salary of a rookie in the NFL is about $450,000. The highest paid was Drew Brees at $18 million over five years with New Orleans. The lowest paid was Trent Richardson at $760,000 over four years with Indianapolis.
A rookie can become a free agent after his first season; however, most remain with the team that drafted them. Only two players - John Elway and Steve Young - have managed to win the Super Bowl while still being drafted by their current team.
Elway played for the Denver Broncos from 1995 to 2001 and Young for the San Francisco 49ers from 1993 to 1999. Both players won the Super Bowl during their first season with their respective teams.
There are several factors that go into determining a rookie's salary.
For three seasons, a player is committed to the team that picks him. Contracts are renewed on an annual basis. After three years, a player must either be on a team's 40-man roster, implying he has a major league contract, or be eligible for the Rule 5 draft (see below). If a club loses interest in a player after picking him in the draft, they can release him without penalty.
In addition to being placed on a team's 40-man roster, a player can be assigned to a minor league camp affiliation where he will spend some time with each team's minor league affiliate. For example, a player could be assigned to a Class A short season team and play there for several months before being promoted to a full-season league team. This allows teams to monitor how a player performs in both low-pressure situations and higher-pressure games.
A player who is not on a major league roster by April 1 needs to be offered a minor league contract or allowed to enter the 2005 draft. If a player refuses a minor league contract, his rights can be drafted off of him. This happened to José Guillén when he refused a minor league deal from the Chicago White Sox and was picked up by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
The draft consists of five days of intensive amateur scouting leading up to the first day of the draft. Teams can trade picks, but cannot give them away freely.