Jim Brown’s 1957 Cleveland Browns Rookie Contract

This 1957 deal called for Brown to earn $12,000 during his initial season with the Cleveland Browns. 75% of this amount was to be paid in weekly installments throughout the season ($750 per game), with the remaining $3,000 to be paid at the end of the 1957 season. The written addendum (see top right) calls for Brown to also be paid a $3,000 signing bonus. The contract bears the signatures of Brown and former NFL Commissioner Bert Bell (1946-1959), among others.

He repaid Cleveland with 997 total yards and 10 touchdowns during the 1957 campaign. The Syracuse alum finished his career with then NFL records of 12,312 rushing yards and 106 rushing touchdowns in 118 career games; he is still the only player in NFL history to average over 100 yards (104.3) per game for an entire career. Brown was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.

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