It was a long an agonizing wait as cameras focused on Johnny Manziel’s every move with each pick of the NFL draft. The hype before the NFL draft was whether or not Manziel would be the first pick of the first round, not whether or not he would be picked in the first round. When the first quarterback picked was Blake Bortles as the overall 3rd pick to Jacksonville, Manziel must have know it was going to be a long day.
As the first round continued and he still failed to be picked at number 10, he’d lost and estimated $10 million compared to being the first pick. When he still wasn’t picked with the twenty-first pick, he had lost an additional $4 million in compensation. With him finally being picked twenty-second by the Cleveland Browns, it’s a good guess that Manziel lost $15 million in compensation compared to had he been the first pick he coveted. The loss of money didn’t seem to bother him too much, however, as he flashed his “money sign” to the crowd upon walking onto the stage by rubbing his thumbs and fingers together above his head.
How do we know that Johnny Manziel lost this much money? We can compare to what the draft picks earned in 2013 as a rough comparison. The overall number 1 pick was Erik Fisher who wen to the Kansas City Chiefs who wound up with a 4 year deal worth $22,190,498. The 10th overall pick in 2013 was Chance Warmack who went to the the Tennessee Titans and signed a 4 year deal for $12,166,649, or approximately $10 million less than Erik Fisher received. By the time the twenty-first player was chosen (Tyler Elfert to the Cincinnati Bengals), the four year cpmensation package has dropped to $8,256,000, or $14 million less than the number one pick.
In the scheme of things, this isn’t going to leave Manziel in the poorhouse. He already has an apparel and a Nike endorsement deals inked, and estimates are that he’ll earn several million dollars a year from endorsements. Still, it has to hurt leaving well over $10 million on the table because you weren’t picked as high in the draft as you thought you should be.
This truly goes to show how important monetarily a top ten draft pick in the NFL draft can be. With a $10 million dollar difference in contract size between the first and the tenth pick, there is big money to be had by finding a way to be picked a single spot higher. Maybe this was what Manziel and his agent were hoping for. It didn’t turn out the way that they hoped.