With all of the (understandable) excitement surrounding the NFL Draft, you may be wondering how long the average NFL career is. It’s easy to think of the greats like Brady or Rodgers playing for 2 decades, but those types of careers are not the norm. Quite often, it’s the exact opposite.
We all know how demanding football is on the body physically. According to the NFL Players Association, the average length of a career in the NFL is just 3.3 years. This may come as a surprise to many fans, who expect their favorite players to have long and successful careers. However, there are a number of factors that contribute to the relatively short careers of NFL players.
One of the main reasons for the short careers in the NFL is the physical toll that the sport takes on players’ bodies. Football is a high-impact sport that involves a lot of physical contact and collisions. Players are at risk of serious injuries every time they step onto the field, and even minor injuries can have a significant impact on their ability to perform.
In addition to the risk of injury, players in the NFL must also contend with the wear and tear that comes with years of playing the sport. The constant physical demands of football can take a toll on players’ bodies, leading to chronic pain and other long-term health problems.
Another factor that contributes to the short careers of NFL players is the highly competitive nature of the sport. There are only a limited number of roster spots available on each team, and players must constantly compete against one another to earn and maintain their positions. This means that even players who are highly talented and successful may find themselves out of the league after just a few years.
Finally, there is the issue of financial considerations. While some NFL players are able to earn large salaries over the course of their careers, the majority of players make much less money than fans might expect. In fact, many players earn just the league minimum salary, which is currently set at $660,000 per year. Given the short careers of most NFL players, it is understandable that many of them choose to move on to other careers once their playing days are over.
So many great players had their careers cut short due to injury. Terrell Davis is one of the most obvious examples, but superstars like Andrew Luck, Calvin Johnson, and Todd Gurley all hung their cleats up earlier than they might’ve otherwise due to the various injuries they suffer. It’s a great reminder that many of the players we see drafted this weekend and get excited about will be out of the league in just a few years.