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Caleb Williams’ NFL Contract Details: How Much Will NFL Draft’s No. 1 Pick Earn?

The much-anticipated moment in football arrived over the weekend: Caleb Williams has officially been drafted as the quarterback for the Chicago Bears, securing the coveted No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft, which took place from April 25 to April 27.

Caleb Williams
Caleb Williams, photo via Instagram, @nfl

Contract Details

Williams, the 2022 Heisman Trophy recipient and former Southern California quarterback, made waves in college football not only for his on-field prowess but also for his lucrative endorsement deals and his off-field fashion style. With partnerships with brands like Dr. Pepper, Wendy’s, Beats by Dre, and Playstation, Williams reportedly earned approximately $10 million during his tenure with the Trojans, The Athletic reported estimated.

However, the financial landscape is about to change drastically for Williams as he transitions to the NFL. As the top selection in the draft, he’s poised to become the highest-paid rookie since the league implemented the rookie salary scale in 2011. Quarterback Sam Bradford’s $78 million deal with the St. Louis Rams in 2010 remains the rookie record.

Williams is slated to sign a four-year deal worth approximately $38.5 million, according to Spotrac.

The contract includes a signing bonus of around $24.8 million. Additionally, the contract will feature a fifth-year team option, providing flexibility for the team’s long-term plans, USA Today reported.

Williams’ contract surpasses last year’s No. 1 pick, Bryce Young of the Carolina Panthers, who inked a four-year deal worth $38 million with a $24.6 million signing bonus.

Williams contract will be the second-highest value of this era for a No. 1 pick in the four major pro sports leagues. San Antonio Spurs’ Victor Wembanyama is in the top earner slot, with a four-year, $55.17 million NBA deal after being taken No. 1 overall in the 2023 NBA draft.

As far as the NFL, following Williams, the contract worth for each selection in the 2024 NFL draft slightly decreases. For example, the No. 2 pick is estimated to earn approximately $36.8 million, while the third pick will receive $35.8 million. The final pick of the first round, No. 32 overall, is expected to secure a contract worth around $12.1 million. All first-round picks entail four-year deals with fifth-year team options, USA Today reported.

Interestingly, Williams made the deal sans an agent, he had his own representation team led by his father, Carl. Williams was the league’s first No. 1 draft pick to be selected without officially being repped by a certified agent, who could want as much as 3 percent of a player’s earnings, Sportico reported.

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