Around the site, the term futures contract gets thrown around a lot this time of year. Nevertheless, some readers aren’t quite sure what a futures contract is.
To sum it up, basically, it’s a minimum salary contract that is the same as a regular-active player contract, but it doesn’t take effect until the start of the next league year in March. Teams are allowed to sign players to futures contracts once the regular season ends, but the contract won’t count against the current salary cap or 53-man roster limit. Instead, it will count against the salary cap and 90-man camp limit of the following season, hence the futures term. Till then, the player goes on the reserve/futures list and can’t be signed by any other team.
With that explained, it’s no wonder the Pittsburgh Steelers have been busy signing many current practice squad players and other free agents to these contracts. The majority of these signings are made to create competition in training camp and see which players deserve a full-time roster spot.
However, some of these futures players end up not only making the team, but become productive players in the NFL. In the spirit of that, I’ve decided while my colleagues break down the potential draft picks of the Steelers, I will take a different approach and break down the possible hidden gems, one by one to see if some of these guys have a chance to make noise this upcoming training camp.
Look out for my first article when I break down recent future-signee, former North Texas wide receiver, Brelan Chancellor.