NFL CBA Series: Split Contract

English: Ryan Grant takes a handoff from Aaron...

English: Ryan Grant takes a handoff from Aaron Rodgers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



When a player is not on a team’s Active or Inactive List, the team can reduce that player’s salary due to his services being unavailable (i.e. on a team’s Injured Reserve list). Many young players, typically late-round draft picks, will sign what are referred to as Split Contracts to reduce the financial burden to teams when a player isn’t able to take the field.

The CBA also sets a minimum for the amount a player can earn under a Split Contract—the split figure is included with an asterisk in Paragraph 5 of the standard NFL Player Contract. These minimum salaries from 2012 through 2020 are charted below by Credited Seasons.

(Amounts in thousands)


2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020


$273 $288 $303 $318 $333 $348 $363 $378 $393


$288 $303 $318 $333 $348 $363 $378 $393 $408


$303 $318 $333 $348 $363 $378 $393 $408 $423


$343 $358 $373 $388 $403 $418 $433 $448 $463


$368 $383 $398 $413 $428 $443 $458 $473 $488


$393 $408 $423 $438 $453 $468 $483 $498 $513


$418 $433 $448 $463 $478 $493 $508 $523 $538

(Art. 26, Sec. 1 (b), 146)

Young, unproven players are far from the only players who receive Split Contracts. A veteran with durability concerns may also be asked to agree to a split in his P5 Salary.

Recently, former Green Bay Packers’ running back Ryan Grant agreed to minimum salary, Split Contract in 2012 to rejoin the team. Grant’s contract called $700,000 in P5 Salary, prorated over the games remaining (he was signed in December to replace an injured James Starks). If Grant would have wound up on IR, which he didn’t, his salary would have been reduced to $368,000, prorated over the remaining games of the season.

If a veteran player has four or more Accrued Seasons and makes a team’s week one roster, his full salary is guaranteed for the rest of the season.

This is the case whether his contract calls for a split or not, he is entitled to full compensation and not subject to a reduced salary.

In the example above, Grant, who has more than four Accrued Seasons, contract would not be guaranteed and could be reduced because he was signed in-season.

Despite this, Split Contracts provide veterans, who teams may not have signed without the availability of such deals, a chance to prove that they can stay healthy and perform at a high level.

Teams are fans of the split because of the relief, in both cash and salary cap, these contracts provide.

All stats compiled from
All contract figures compiled from

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