The NFL Players Association doles out millions of dollars in endorsement fees to players. It can be a cash cow for some, but most average players don’t get big paychecks.
It’s nice to see yourself on a football card, especially if you’re a first round draft pick who’s earning a nice extra check for posing for some photos. But bragging rights might be about all the vast majority of players have at the end of the day.
A Detroit newspaper scoured the records and found teams like the Lions, who have been a non-contender for several years, have only a few players earning over $20,000 per year from NFLPA endorsement money for items like trading cards and video games.
Records provided by the NFL Players Association, which handles all group licensing for NFL players, show that the Lions attract little attention from companies searching for a marketable mug.
Based on player payouts from the NFLPA, the Lions rank 29th in the 32-team league. In fact, players on most teams can only hope to wind up in so much demand they can negotiate their own deals.