The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are finalizing their list of undrafted free agent signings and mini-camp tryouts/invites as we speak, and we should get the full list later this evening. One thing we can say: the Bucs liked Mississippi State linebacker to give him $15,000 to sign, per Tom Pelissero.
Giving Brown some extra money doesn’t mean much beyond that they found him interesting. The Bucs need some added depth at linebacker, so getting a good undrafted free agent there makes sense. Beyond that, though, it’s all him. Some undrafted free agents who get signing bonus don’t even make it out of rookie minicamp, many never play a down for the Bucs.
Teams have a limited amount of money to work with in giving signing bonuses to undrafted free agents. That amount is slightly over $60,000, in total, across all of a team’s college free agent signings.
But there’s an easy way around that: teams can just guarantee a portion of a player’s salary. Undrafted free agents are stuck with CBA-mandated three-year minimum salary deals amounting to $1.665 million in total, and teams can guarantee as much of that as they like. Smehow, NFL teams only figured out that trick last year.
Update: More signing bonuses.
Bucs gave Colorado QB Sefo Liufau a $10,000 signing bonus to sign after draft. Michigan State LB Riley Bullough got a $5,000 bonus.— Greg Auman (@gregauman) May 1, 2017