Total Rookie Compensation Pool
Now I forgot to mention this earlier, but the wage scale also limits the amount of money that can be spent on the total value of the rookie contracts, including bonuses.
This is called the “total rookie compensation” pool.
So sticking with the 49ers’ 2011 situation, the league put a cap on the value of all their rookie contracts at $38,147,464.
In other words, if all their 2011 draft picks play-out their four-year rookie contracts, the total amount of money the 49ers can spend on paying these players over those four seasons $38,147,464.