There's no easy way to make it to the NFL, but getting into California as a skilled position player might be a good start. Following the 2017 NFL Draft, 20 former California Bears offensive skilled position players currently make a combined $79,755,703 million in average yearly NFL salary.
That includes three quarterbacks, five running backs, a pair of tight ends, and 10 wide receivers. Here's a look at the players, organized by average yearly salary.
|Player||Pos.||Avg. Salary||NFL Team|
|Aaron Rodgers||QB||$22,000,000||Green Bay|
|Keenan Allen||WR||$11,250,000||L.A. Chargers|
|DeSean Jackson||WR||$11,166,667||Tampa Bay|
|Jared Goff||QB||$6,984,418||L.A. Rams|
|Shane Vereen||RB||$4,116,667||N.Y. Giants|
|Davis Webb||QB||$902,832||N.Y. Giants|
|Chad Hansen||WR||$704,912||N.Y. Jets|
|Richard Rodgers||TE||$690,254||Green Bay|
|Trevor Davis||WR||$641,794||Green Bay|
|Daniel Lasco||RB||$603,870||New Orleans|
|Chris Harper||WR||$570,000||San Francisco|
|Darius Powe||WR||$510,000||N.Y. Giants|
*Note: This has been updated to include Marshawn Lynch's contract with Oakland.
Aaron Rodgers — arguably the top quarterback in the NFL today — is a large part of that total salary. His $22 million per year is the 6th-highest average yearly salary among all quarterbacks.
Behind him are the Nos. 8 and 9 highest paid wide receivers in the NFL, with Keenan Allen and DeSean Jackson pulling in $11.25 million and $11.17 million, respectively.
Throw in $8 million for Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones (21st-highest wide receiver salary), a hair under $7 million for the 2016 No. 1 overall draft selection Jared Goff, and a trio of $4-plus million running backs in C.J. Anderson, Shane Vereen and Marshawn Lynch, and the eight highest-paid Cal skilled players combine for a grand total of $73,517,752 per year in average yearly salary.
Behind those eight players are 12 more Cal grads who are recent draft picks or undrafted free agents still on their rookie contracts.
Clearly, Cal has done a great job grooming skilled position players for bright NFL futures.