Top 10 Highest Paid NFL Players
The NFL is one of the most popular sports leagues in the world, with the 32 teams earning a combined gross income of $17.19 billion in 2021. As such, it only makes sense that NFL players are awarded some of the most lucrative contracts in all of sports. This list measures the value of their contract by the average amount they are set to receive annually.
Who are the Highest-Paid NFL Players in the World?
1. Aaron Rodgers - $50,271,667
Aaron Rodgers makes $50,271,667 every year as the leader of the Green Bay Packers’ offense. Rodgers is a quarterback, like all the other players on this list, and is considered one of the all-time greats. Some of his many accolades include being a four-time NFL MVP, Super Bowl Champion, Super Bowl MVP, a four-time First Team All-Pro, and being selected to the Pro Bowl 10 times. He has thrown for over 450 touchdowns, with less than 100 interceptions, and holds a career rating of 104.3.
2. Russell Wilson - $48,517,647
Upon signing with the Denver Broncos, Russell Wilson makes $48,517,647 each year throughout the duration of his contract. Said contract was one of the highest in NFL history, with $245 million set to be paid out over the course of five years. Wilson won a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks, was selected to the Pro Bowl nine times, and led the league with the most passing touchdowns in 2017. As of 2022, he has nearly 300 career passing touchdowns with only 90 interceptions, and his career passer rating is 101.1.
3. Kyler Murray - $46,100,000
As one of the premier up-and-coming players in the NFL, Kyler Murray makes $46,100,000 every year as the quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals. Murray was drafted by the Cardinals in 2019 with the first overall pick, and has made quite the difference for the team ever since. He was the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2019 and has twice paid a visit to the Pro Bowl. Despite still being early in his career, Murray has thrown for nearly 13,000 yards, 76 touchdowns, and ran for an additional 1,900 yards and 22 touchdowns as of 2022.
4. Deshaun Watson - $46,000,000
Deshaun Watson makes $46,000,000 per year for his strong play at quarterback. As a member of the Houston Texans between 2017 and 2021, Watson made an immediate impact for the Texan’s offense. He made three Pro Bowls and led the league in passing yards in 2020. In 2018 and 2019, the Texans won their division largely in part to Watson’s spectacular quarterback skills and game-management ability. His new contract with the Cleveland Browns is set to pay out $230 million over the course of five years, but his position on this list may change depending upon how much he actually makes, due to the fact that he is currently facing lawsuits and suspension over inappropriate behavior that may impact his contract payout.
5. Patrick Mahomes - $45,000,000
Patrick Mahomes makes $45,000,000 per year under his current contract. Being one of the most famous names in the entire NFL for a reason, the Kansas City Chiefs were eager to lock up their star quarterback to a mega-contract that has the potential to pay out a total of $503 million over the course of 10 years if he gets all bonuses and incentives. It’s one of the largest contracts in sports history. Seeing as Mahomes has a career passer rating of 106.1 with a 166-39 career touchdown to interception ratio, he has clearly earned a substantial payday.
6. Josh Allen - $43,005,667
Another one of the NFL’s rising stars, Josh Allen makes $43,005,667 per year. The Buffalo Bills selected Allen seventh overall in the draft, and it took him a couple of years to find his footing in the NFL, but once he did, he quickly became one of the best quarterbacks in the league. In his breakout 2020 campaign, Allen led the Bills to a division title, and in doing so, broke the Bills’ single-season passing yardage record. He also holds the record for the highest passer rating in a postseason, with a 149.0 rating in the 2021 playoffs.
7. Derek Carr - $40,500,000
Derek Carr makes $40,500,000 per year as the starting quarterback for the Las Vegas Raiders. Carr was chosen by the Raiders in Round Two of the 2014 NFL Draft and quickly got off to a good start under center. In 2016, he guided the team to their first playoff appearance since 2002. He’s also appeared in three Pro Bowls, thrown for just over 200 touchdowns in his career, and has maintained a career passer rating of 92.1.
8. Matthew Stafford - $40,000,000
With the Los Angeles Rams, Matthew Stafford earns $40,000,000 every year. Matthew Stafford spent the first 12 years of his career with the Detroit Lions, finding success, albeit inconsistently. In 2021, the Los Angeles Rams took a chance and made a trade for Stafford. That bet paid off, as Stafford excelled in his new home, guiding the Rams to a Super Bowl win that same season. The next season, his contract extension amounted to $160 million to be paid out over the course of four years.
9. Dak Prescott - $40,000,000
Under his current contract, Dak Prescott also makes $40,000,000 per year. As the signal-caller for the Dallas Cowboys, Prescott earned such a substantial contract thanks to his two Pro Bowl appearances, an Offensive Rookie of the Year Award in 2016, and leading the Cowboys to two division titles. In 2021, the Cowboys rewarded Prescott with a new contract to the tune of $160 million over the course of four years. Prescott holds a career passer rating of 98.2.
10. Kirk Cousins - $35,000,000
Kirk Cousins makes $35,000,000 every year as a quarterback in the NFL. Cousins’ current team is the Minnesota Vikings, who signed him to a three-year, $84 million contract in 2018. Before the Vikings, Cousins found success with the Washington Redskins. He’s made it to three Pro Bowls, led the league in completion percentage in 2015, and maintains a career passer rating of 98.1. His touchdown-to-interception ratio similarly stands at a respectable 230-96.
- Jared Goff - $33,500,000
- Carson Wentz - $32,000,000
- Aaron Donald - $31,666,667
- Matt Ryan - $30,000,000
- Tyreek Hill - $30,000,000
- Ryan Tannehill - $29,500,000
- T.J. Watt - $28,002,750
- Davante Adams - $28,000,000
- DeAndre Hopkins - $27,250,000
- Joey Bosa - $27,000,000
Who is the highest-paid NFL Player?
The highest-paid NFL player on a per-year basis is Aaron Rodgers, who earns $50,271,667 every year as the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers earns so much money thanks to his many successful seasons in the National Football League, along with his reputation for elevating all the other players on the team around him. Thanks to his efforts, the Packers have enjoyed many trips to the postseason during Rodgers’ tenure.