One question was undoubtedly asked during the USFL’s opening weekend: how much do these guys earn and how does that compare to the NFL?
Unlike the NFL, every player in the USFL receives the same amount. According to USFL News, each player on an active roster is paid $4,500 per game, which amounts to $45,000 for the season if a player remains on the active roster for the entire 10-game regular season. Practice squad players earn $1,500 per week, a payout of $15,000 if a player stays on the practice squad for the entire regular season. Players also received $600 per week during their team’s four-week training camp.
Now this is where it gets interesting. For each win, players receive an additional $850. A member of the USFL Championship Team will receive $10,000. So while the base salary is $45,000, a player could make close to $70,000 if his team is able to stay undefeated while being a roster mainstay.
Each team has 45 roster spots, including 38 active spots and seven training spots. Over the course of the season, teams will spend just over $1.7 million on the active roster and $105,000 on practice squad players.
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The USFL’s current approach contrasts with the original USFL’s approach of the 1980s. While every USFL team was meant to operate under a salary cap, several owners broke ranks while signing college stars for record deals. Steve Young signed a 43-year, $40 million contract when he joined the Los Angeles Express in 1984 (Young later said he only received a fraction of that contract). Running back Herschel Walker signed a three-year, $4.2 million contract with the New Jersey Generals that included a $1 million signing bonus.
After a 37-year hiatus, the USFL hopes to have more resistance the second time around. The league will begin its 2022 season with a four-team playoff at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. The championship game will take place on July 3.