Welcome to Denver, Brett Rypien.
The Broncos were so impressed with the Boise State quarterback, they gave him the financial incentive of a mid-round sixth round draft pick—even though Rypien went undrafted.
Rypien, the nephew of former Washington quarterback Mark Rypien, was lured to the Broncos with a $146,000 guarantee. It may well be the richest guarantee given to an undrafted rookie in Broncos history. And it’s certainly the richest undrafted guarantee of the John Elway era.
Last year, quarterback Luke Falk, the No. 199 pick in the sixth round of the 2018 draft, received a $148,832 guarantee.
Tom Brady was once drafted with the No. 199 pick.
Rypien’s staggering guarantee does not necessarily mean he’s guaranteed to make the Broncos’ 53-man roster. Rypien’s guaranteed money breaks down to a $10,000 signing bonus and $136,000 in salary for 2019.
It just so happens $136,000 is the salary for a full-season practice-squad player.
Rypien actually got a three-year, $1.765 million contract from the Broncos: $505,000 in 2019 (with the $146,000 guaranteed); the $585,000 minimum salary in 2020 (non-guaranteed) and $675,000 in 2021 (non-guaranteed) salary.
It virtually assures Rypien will be part of the Broncos’ quarterback room in 2019 although it’s not a fully guarantee.
Veteran backup Kevin Hogan recently received a $300,000 signing bonus on a one-year, $1.29 million contract from the Broncos. Hogan has a chance to stick with veteran Joe Flacco and second-round rookie Drew Lock assured of making the 53-man roster.
Should Rypien stick with the Broncos on their practice squad, he would have to pass through waivers. The bet here? Rypien won’t play much in the preseason to increase his chances of clearing waivers. If Rypien does get decent playing time in the preseason, it would not bode well for Hogan.
A couple other players from the Broncos list of 17 undrafted players who have a chance to stick with the team when the final, 53-man rosters are set in September: Cornerback Alijah Holder, edge rushing outside linebacker Malik Reed, inside linebacker Joe Dineen and possibly receiver Trinity Benson. They all received five-figure signing bonuses.
The signing bonuses (and total guarantee if different from bonus) of the Broncos’ 17 undrafted rookies:
CB Alijah Holder, Stanford, $18,000 ($30,000)
LB Malik Reed, Nevada, $15,000
QB Brett Rypien, Boise State, $10,000 ($146,000)
LB Joe Dineen, Kansas $10,000
WR Trinity Benson, East Central (Okla.), $10,000
LB Josh Watson, Colorado $7,500
RB Devontae Jackson, $7,000
OL Brian Wallace $5,000
OL Josh Leglue $5,000
WR Kelvin McKnight, Samford, $5,000
TE Austin Fort, Wyoming, $3,500
OL Quinn Bailey, Arizona State, $3,000
WR Romell Guerrier, Florida Tech, $3,000
DL Jaylen Johnson, Washington, $2,500
FB George Aston, Pittsburgh, $2,000 ($8,000)
LB Ahmad Gooden, Samford $2,000
OL Ryan Crozier, Connecticut, $0