Are you wondering how much your favorite football player is making? If you are curious about the highest paid NFL players, that’s what you will learn here.
American football ranks among the top five sports that pay the highest salaries. What dollar amount compensates for being the best in this very physical, demanding game of strategy, brawn, and brawl?
Yet, knowing a player’s exact compensation can be tricky. They have their in-field paychecks and off-field income streams from various endorsements, events, and social media. The way contracts and compensation packages are structured also complicates the computation.
Still, this article will try to shed light on these sports titans’ income.
Table of Contents
First, Here’s How the NFL Players Are Picked
Every March, the free agency rolls up, and so begins the teams’ mission of picking the best players. A team consisting of top-tier players will have a significantly better chance of winning.
During the NFL draft, some teams draft new players from other teams, whereas some will renew or revise their contracts depending on how the player has been performing. Millions of dollars are spent to have the perfect combination of players.
The teams in American football are made up of 11 positions. The quarterback has the most important, demanding, and valuable role; thus, he is offered the highest amount of money. A good quarterback can be the deciding factor in how well a team will perform. That being said, each player plays a crucial role.
No one can be lacking because the whole team suffers. A team that works together wins together. So all the other positions, such as defensive end, offensive tackle, etc., are just as crucial.
So without further ado, Let’s jump right into the list of highest-paid NFL players.
Top 25 Highest Paid NFL Players
1. Aaron Rodgers – $50.3 Million
The first entry on our list is the Green Bay Packers’ amazing quarterback, considered by Britannica as the GOAT (greatest of all time) to play the position. Signing a three-year extension guarantees him $150.9 million.
Rodgers is a back-to-back two-time MVP, which is impressive, to say the least. He is the first NFL player to earn more than $50 million annually. That brings Aaron Rodgers’ net worth to over $120 million total.
2. Deshaun Watson – $46 Million
Deshaun started his pro career in 2017 with the Houston Texans. In 2022, he signed a 5-year contract with the Cleveland Browns, guaranteeing him $230 million. This controversial quarterback has a yearly salary of $46 million.
3. Patrick Mahomes – $45 Million
The quarterback for Kansas City Chiefs has a 10-year contract of $450 million and takes home an annual salary of $45 million. With that annual salary, Patrick Mahomes’ net worth adds up to a total of $40 million.
Mahomes has an impressive record, and his winning streak seems like it won't stop anytime soon. His massive contract should speak for the amount of trust the Chiefs have in his skill.
4. Josh Allen – $43 Million
Josh Allen is the Buffalo Bills’ star quarterback. He holds the previous record of bagging a guaranteed $150 million as part of the terms of his six-year extension, reportedly worth $258 million.
Allen receives a salary of $43 million per year. In addition, he also received a signing bonus of $16 million.
5. Dak Prescott – $40 Million
Dak Prescott takes home a handsome annual salary of $40 million playing for the Dallas Cowboys.
He has a four-year contract that guarantees him $160 million, and he also received a signing bonus of $66 million. So nothing can keep Dak Prescott from performing, not even an ankle injury.
6. Russell Wilson – $35 Million
This quarterback takes home an annual salary of $35 million and plays for the Denver Broncos.
He has a four-year $140 million contract with a signing bonus of $65 million. In addition, Russell Wilson has a Super Bowl title under his belt and the Walter Payton Man of the year award.
7. Kirk Cousins – $35 Million
Kirk Cousins was supposed to be the man to turn everything around for the Minnesota Vikings.
That has yet to happen, but that didn’t change the fact that he takes home an average salary of $35 million. In addition, he received a signing bonus of $25 million.
8. Jared Goff – $33.5 Million
Jared Goff has a four-year contract of $134 million playing as a quarterback for the Detroit Lions. His base salary is $33.5 million, and upon signing the contract, he received a $25 million bonus.
9. Carson Wentz – $32 Million
Carson Wentz has been through a couple of drafts: his career started with the Eagles, followed by a stint for the Colts. Recently, he was traded to the Washington Commanders.
He has an average annual salary of $32 million and a $128 million four-year contract. His guaranteed income amounts to $108 million.
10. Aaron Donald – $31.6 Million
The first defensive tackle on our list, Aaron Donald, plays for the Los Angeles Rams, which won the 2022 Super Bowl. He is a three-time defensive player of the year and an All-Pro for seven seasons back-to-back.
He has an average annual salary of $31.6 million. His 3-year contract rework grants him an increase of $40 million, while the third year is optional for $30 million.
11. Matt Ryan – $30 Million
Matt Ryan is a seasoned veteran playing quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts. He received a signing bonus of $46.5 million and has a base salary of $30 million per year. He has a five-year contract of $150 million.
12. Ryan Tannehill – $29.5 Million
Ryan Tannehill remains one of the most valuable players for the Tennessee Titans, as he was responsible for their triple playoff appearances.
Tannehill bags an average salary of $29.5 million. He has a four-year contract worth $118 million, and Ryan Tannehill’s total net worth is over $50 million.
13. Davante Adams – $28.25 Million
Davante Adams is the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL. In the 2022 NFL draft, the Las Vegas Raiders drafted him into the team. He won the All-Pro twice and proved a valuable asset for the Raiders as they gave him an average salary of $28.25 million, a $19.25 million signing bonus, and a five-year contract of $140 million.
14. Jimmy Garoppolo – $27.5 Million
Jimmy Garoppolo took the San Francisco 49ers to the finals of the 2020 Super bowl. He signed a five-year contract with the 49ers worth $137.5 million and an average salary of $27.5 million.
2022 is the last year of his five-year contract; he may go for an extension, or his position might go to Trey Lance. Let’s see what happens.
15. DeAndre Hopkins – $27.3 Million
DeAndre Hopkins is the second wide receiver on this list. He used to be the highest-paid WR, but Davante Adams now holds that title with his new deal.
Hopkins has a yearly salary of $27.3 million and a two-year contract guaranteeing him $54 million.
16. T.J. Watt – $28 Million
T.J. Watt is the first defensive end on our list of highest-paid NFL players. He signed a four-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers that guarantees him a payout of $112 million with a yearly salary of $28 million.
17. Matthew Stafford – $27 Million
Matthew Stafford was a shining star that turned the tides in favor of the Los Angeles Rams. After being drafted in 2021, Stafford led the Rams to a Super Bowl victory. Matthew has a four-year contract worth $160 million. In addition, he receives an annual salary of $27 million.
18. Joey Bosa – $27 Million
Joey Bosa has a five-year contract with the Los Angeles Chargers worth $135 million with a $35 million signing bonus. On top of that, he makes an average yearly salary of $27 million. He was named the AP Defensive rookie in 2016.
19. Derek Carr – $25 Million
Derek Carr is valuable for any team that gets its hands on him—playing for the Las Vegas Raiders, and he receives a yearly salary of $25 million.
Carr signed a three-year contract that guaranteed him $121.5 million. In addition, this quarterback also received a $7.5 million signing bonus.
20. Myles Garrett – $25 Million
For the man that was the most sought-after pick in 2017, it isn’t surprising that he receives a good amount of money for his skills. Myles Garrett is a defensive end playing for the Cleveland Browns and the best pass rusher for most.
He has a five-year contract worth $125 million. In addition, he takes home an average salary of $25 million.
21. Khalil Mack – $23.5 Million
Khalil Mack is the first outside linebacker (OLB) on this list. Turning 31 in 2022, Mack is still a force to be reckoned with. He signed a six-year contract in 2018 with the Chicago Bear that guarantees him a payout of $141 million. He makes a yearly salary of $23.5 million.
22. Trent Williams – $23.01 Million
Trent Williams is the highest-paid offensive tackle in the NFL. He is the best left tackle, and his skills earned him a handsome payout. He receives an average salary of $23.01 million and has a six-year contract with the 49ers that guarantees him $138 million.
23. David Bakhtiari – $23 Million
David Bakhtiari plays for the Green Bay Packers as an offensive tackle. Unfortunately, his recent performance hasn’t been up to par due to his ACL injury. However, in four years, he secured the title of All-Pro twice, which is an impressive feat.
Bakhtiari has an average salary of $23 million and a four-year contract worth $92 million. In addition, he also received a $30 million bonus upon signing.
24. Laremy Tunsil – $22 Million
The second to the last entry on our list is also an offensive tackle for the Houston Texans. Laremy Tunsil has a three-year contract worth $66 million. He receives an average salary of $22 million per year. He also received a signing bonus of $13 million.
25. DeForest Buckner – $21 Million
The last name on our list of highest-paid NFL players is DeForest Buckner. The Colts offered him a four-year contract in 2020 that guarantees him $84 million and an average salary of $21 million. Buckner held the title of All-Pro in 2020.
Conclusion – Highest Paid NFL Players
Players of the National Football League (NFL) are among the highest-paid athletes in the world, with a player’s average salary reportedly at $2.8 million per year. Leading the pack of the highest-paid NFL players on this list are the quarterbacks, undoubtedly the most important position in the field.
But all these footballers have earned their keep not only by their sheer talent but also by their years of discipline, hard work, and determination. Every one of them has a dream for themselves and their families, an objective for the team, and a goal for every game.
To quote football legend Bo Jackson, “Set your goals high, and don't stop till you get there.”
All the players on this list have surely set the bar high, and they deserve to continue reaping fame and fortune for it.
This post is originally appeared on Hello Sensible.
Marjolein is the founder of Radical FIRE. She has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. Radical FIRE is a personal finance blog that helps you live your dream life through making more money and investing. We want you to reach your financial goals and have fun while doing it!