Anyone can look up an NFL player’s salary from their signing contract, but San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Arik Armstead provided an exclusive breakdown on TikTok and Instagram of how NFL earnings are actually disbursed.
While his net worth is not precisely defined, the San Francisco 49ers signed Armstead to an $85 million, five-year contract in 2020. The contract guarantees $40 million and carries an average annual salary of $17 million.
Check By Check
The videos, uploaded on Sept. 26, are in four parts. The initial video has garnered more than 5 million views and shows Armstead’s game check, with the player explaining to viewers how much he made working for the team with a signing bonus.
In the first video, as Armstead narrates, he highlights the contrast between his gross income, which amounted to $393,055.55 for 40 hours a week from Feb. 27 to March 10, and his net income. He candidly expresses that the sight of his $198,210.92 net earnings disappoints him.
It’s worth noting that his pay stub indicates a weekly gross income of $31,111.11, while the signing bonus contributes $361,944.44, resulting in a total gross income of $393,055.55.
“I have a P5BW, the code for that means paragraph 5, which means your base salary on what you are supposed to make,” Armstead said. “Last year, the team converted my salary into a signing bonus for cap relief, so the majority of the money I have made is in the form of a signing bonus, as you see right here.”
The period between late February and early March is included in the offseason. During the offseason, NFL players receive payment based on their contract terms, which may include signing bonuses, roster bonuses, workout bonuses and other incentives paid at different times, as reported by Sporting News.
The follow-up video on TikTok explained why there is a drastic difference between gross and net incomes. Armstead said it is because of taxes that are predetermined to be deducted from his pay.
The substantial difference, from $393,055.55 to $198,210.92, shows that he paid $194,844.63 in medical, California state and federal taxes.
Some users were shocked to see just how much of a decrease taxes have inflicted on Armstead’s pay stub, which amounts to nearly a 50 percent decrease. However, what some may not consider is that in addition to those taxes, external financial factors and activities such as local, property, and self-employment taxes also contribute significantly to the decrease.
The third part of the series highlights payroll deductions such as his union dues, his 401K plan payments, and seasonal tickets for friends and family to accompany the players. The latter aspect took some by surprise, as they believed that loved ones were entitled to free access to games. Armstead’s payroll deductions total around $760 per week.
In the last video, published on Sept. 27, Armstead laughs at the miscellaneous section on his pay stub, given that he does not receive paid vacation time or sick days.