Each team in the league was limited to $80,362 in signing bonuses for undrafted rookie free agents. (The number is from PFT.)
Based on salary information from ESPN, the Titans didn’t come close to spending that, paying a total of $45,000 in bonuses to just six of the 14 undrafted rookies they signed on May 11, the day after the draft concluded.
Here are the guys who got bonuses:
On the original list of players signed, eight didn’t get any guaranteed money: Receivers Josh Stewart, Jaz Reynolds, Derel Walker and Eric Ward (who has since been waived injured and is now on IR); tackle William Poehls; safety Hakeem Smith; tight end David Wright; and linebacker Jamail Merrell (who has since been waived).
Bonuses generally indicate there was competition for a player and the combination of money and opportunity the Titans offered topped that available elsewhere.
Guaranteed money also means, since the Titans have invested in them, those players have the best chance at sticking. Though $15,000 doesn’t mean much in NFL salary dollars and is hardly going to make a guy a lock for the roster.
The Titans have since added five more rookies: Linebacker David Gilbert, WR Julian Horton, RB Waymon James, OL Viondy Merisma and CB Winston Wright.
We don’t have their salary info, but they got signed after a tryout in rookie minicamp. It’s safe to presume that if undrafted rookies signed right after the draft didn’t get bonuses, guys on the market a week later certainly didn’t.