Guide to the NFL, part 2

Part 1:

7. Draft

When we get to the month of April, we arrive at the NFL Draft. All 32 teams gets one selection per round up to seven total rounds to choose a collegiate player that has declared for the draft or a player three years removed from high school. Each pick is timed and the draft itself is nationally-televised. The order of the draft for every round is as follows and I’ll use 2018 as an example. Picks 1 through 20 are for non-playoff teams based on their regular-season record going from worst to best. So in 2018 the Cleveland Browns were given the #1 pick. Spots 21 through 24 are the teams who lost in the Wild-Card round ranked on their regular-season record from worst to best. 25 through 28 are the Divisional playoff teams who lost and spots 29 and 30 are the Conference championship teams who lost. Finally, the Super Bowl Champs pick last. With the order laid out, teams will negotiate by trading future picks and players on their roster to move up to select a desired rookie in the present draft. Because of this, the order changes for future draft rounds. A great example of this was in 2018 where the Browns had the #1 and #4 overall pick. They were given the #4 pick because of a trade they agreed with Houston the previous year. The Texans traded their 2018 1st Round pick in a deal to draft Quarterback Deshaun Watson. Because Houston finished fourth, the Browns were given that spot. Trades like this between teams will happen even after the draft is complete going into the regular season with the trade deadline being after the conclusion of Week 8.

9. Revenue

So if each NFL team has a Salary Cap of $188.2 million dollars, how is the league even making money? The NFL has three primary sources of revenue: NFL Ventures, which handles the merchandising like jerseys and apparel; NFL Enterprises that consists of the NFL Network and NFL Sunday Ticket broadcasts; and Television Contracts, which is the bread and butter of the league, making up almost two-thirds of their entire revenue. TV is the reason why the Salary Cap has risen so much since 1994. With TV ratings increasing 5% from 2017 to 2018, NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox all race to see who can outbid each other whenever a new deal is negotiated. The numbers speak for themselves. In 2018, NFL games averaged 15.8 million viewers, excluding the London broadcasts. For the prime time games, the NFL has three nights of just one game being broadcast nationally: Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football. Each of those nights had an increase from 2017s viewership. To finally put this into perspective, in Super Bowl 53, where the New England Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams 13 to 3, a 30-second commercial cost companies $5.25 million dollars. That’s $175,000 dollars a second. As the Super Bowl crowns a champion and the season comes to a close, the league distributes their revenue equally among the 32 teams regardless of performance to make it fair. In 2017, the NFL earned a reported $14.2 billion dollars, giving each franchise $443.75 million dollars. Living in America, it’s hard to ignore the NFL. Being the most popular sport in the country, loyal fans of all ages rep their team at school and in the workplace. Fantasy Football has even taken a life of its own with every new season because of the accessibility from our mobile devices. Social media has also allowed fans to follow their favorite players, giving them inside access that wasn’t a possibility two decades ago. The NFL structure, fairness in scheduling, free agency and the draft order, and today’s NFL Commissioner targeting a $25 billion dollars by 2027 with all of their revenue streams, it’s safe to assume that the juggernaut known as the NFL is here to stay for a very long time.