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Top 10 Richest Football Players

Top 10 Richest Football Players

The NFL has produced countless millionaires, however some players have been able to capitalize on their athletic ability more than others and truly cash in on their football careers. Read on to learn about the richest players ever to take the field in the NFL.

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Who are the richest NFL football players?

  1. Roger Staubach
  2. Tom Brady
  3. Fran Tarkenton
  4. Peyton Manning
  5. Steve Young
  6. Russell Wilson
  7. Drew Brees
  8. Eli Manning
  9. Joe Montana
  10.  John Elway

1. Roger Staubach

Roger Staubach is the richest professional football player with an estimated net worth of $600 million dollars. Roger is a former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and two-time Super Bowl champion. He joined the Cowboys in 1969 and played on the team for 11 years before finally retiring in 1980 at the age of 38. Roger played football during a time where there were no extremely profitable contracts, sponsorships, or endorsement deals. During his offseason, he began to make good money while working as a real estate broker and he started his own real estate business in 1977. In retirement, he dedicated his time to the company and sold it in 2008 for $613 million dollars.

2. Tom Brady

Tom Brady is easily one of the biggest names in NFL history and one of the most decorated professional athletes in all of sports boasting a net worth of $400 million. Tom was the quarterback for the New England Patriots for 20 seasons and played a big part in making the franchise a powerhouse. He secured six Super Bowl Championships during his time with the Patriots and already has one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Although he is often considered one the most skilled players in the NFL, he has never been the highest paid. He has made about $235 million dollars from his career and much more from big name sponsorships with Uggs, Under Armour, Aston Martin, Movado, and more.

3. Fran Tarkenton

Fran Tarkenton is a former Minnesota Vikings quarterback who has amassed a net worth of around $300 million. Tarkenton was drafted in the 1961 NFL draft by the Vikings where he played for 13 seasons. He also had a brief stint with the New York Giants in between his two tenures with Minnesota. During his career, Tarkenton won one MVP award and was selected to the Pro Bowl nine times. Tarkenton made most of his money after his retirement as he founded multiple different successful companies and invested in Apple in the 1990s. 

4. Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning is a big name in professional football, with a net worth of around $250 million. The now retired player was a top NFL quarterback throughout his 17 year career playing on both the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos. With two Super Bowl Championships and five MVP awards under his belt, Peyton is a renowned figure that gains a lot of attention. He has large endorsement deals with companies such as Nationwide, DirecTV, Mastercard, Gatorade, Buick, and Papa John’s, and earned $150 million dollars from these deals in 2016 alone.

5. Steve Young

Steve Young has an estimated net worth of around $200 million. He originally began his football career in the United States Football League (USFL) and was selected as the first overall pick in the 1984 supplemental NFL draft. He was picked by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and traded to the San Francisco 49ers just two years later after being considered a waste of time and money. He eventually followed the legacy of Joe Monata by winning a Super Bowl and two MVP awards in his 12 seasons with the 49ers. Young serves as an analyst on ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown.

6. Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson is the youngest player on this list but still has a net worth of around $165 million. The former Seattle Seahawks quarterback is a nine-time Pro Bowler and led his team to a Super Bowl Championship victory in 2014 and appearance in 2015. In 2019, he signed a $140 million dollar contract extension, which made him the second highest paid quarterback in the NFL behind Matt Ryan. He also earned about $90 million dollars in endorsements and other pursuits between 2018 and 2019. Now a member of the Denver Broncos, Wilson is sure to shoot up on this list.

7. Drew Brees

Drew Brees has a net worth of $160 million. After a brief stint with the San Diego Chargers, he started for the New Orleans Saints in 2006 and was the top quarterback for them until his retirement following the 2020 season. He led the Saints franchise to their first Super Bowl Championship win in 2009 and has achieved many other accomplishments that make him a shoo-in for the National Football Hall of Fame. Drew has accumulated over $244 million dollars in career earnings, and his additional endorsement deals have made him one of the most recognizable players in the NFL.

8. Eli Manning

Eli Manning has a net worth of around $150 million. He was the first overall pick by the San Diego Chargers in the 2004 NFL draft and was instantly traded to the New York Giants. He played for the Giants for 16 years and won two Super Bowls during his reign. Throughout his career, he had many endorsement deals and became a very respected and recognizable name around the world. Having just retired, Eli made approximately $252 million dollars from playing in the NFL.

9. Joe Montana

Joe Montana is a legendary NFL quarterback who has garnered a net worth of around $150 million. Montana played 15 seasons in the NFL, where he played 13 for the San Francisco 49ers and two for the Kansas City Chiefs. Montana won all four Super Bowls that he played in and won two MVP awards. Like many of the players on this list, Montana earned most of his wealth from endorsements and investments as opposed to top career earnings. Some notable companies that sponsored Montana include AT&T, Mastercard, Guinness, and Papa Johns.

10. John Elway

John Elway had a 16-year long career as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos where he helped grow his net worth to $145 million. He led the team to two Super Bowl Championships and has since been inducted into the National Football Hall of Fame. After retiring, he became the co-owner of an Arena Football League team and sold his car dealership for $82.5 million dollars. Starting in 2011, he became the general manager and executive vice president for the Denver Broncos but has never taken a stake in the team.

Honorable Mentions

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers has a net worth of around $120 million. His career began with three seasons as a backup to another legendary quarterback, Brett Favre, in the Green Bay Packers franchise. Since then, he has been their leading man taking the team to a Super Bowl title and securing four MVP awards. Across his 15 seasons in the NFL, he has earned $233 million dollars in career earnings, though that number will soon increase with his new lucrative contract. He has also received many endorsements, most notably with State Farm Insurance.

Brett Favre

Brett Favre was a big name in professional football and is a highly respected player, earning a net worth of $100 million. For 20 seasons, Brett was a renowned quarterback in the NFL, mainly for the Green Bay Packers franchise. He led the Packers to a Super Bowl in 1996 and was a three-time MVP award winner. In his later seasons, he briefly played for the Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets, but he is best known for his days as a Packer. He was inducted into the National Football Hall of Fame in 2016 and now serves as an assistant football coach at a high school in Mississippi during his retirement free time.

Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger is a retired quarterback who spent his entire playing career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, during which he amassed a net worth of $100 million. During his time in Pittsburgh, Big Ben (as he was affectionately known) was a five-time Pro Bowler, two-time Super Bowl Champion, and the 2004 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. His large net worth wasn’t only because of his dominance on the gridiron, however. He was sponsored by companies like Fanatics, Nike, Panini, and Sprint.

FAQ

How much do professional football players get paid?

On average, NFL players make approximately $1.1 million dollars a year. Even though the NFL is the most profitable professional sports league in the world, the players rank last among the four major American professional sports (NBA, MLB, NHL, NFL) in average salary. The average NFL salary doesn’t spike until most players are out of the league or older, and those players between the ages of 22 to 27 earn far less than the overall average. This age range, however, makes up 70% of the NFL.

Who is the highest paid player in the NFL?

The highest paid NFL player is Aaron Rodgers, who makes around $50 million per year. Following his back to back MVP seasons in 2020 and 2021, Rodgers inked a new deal with the Green Bay Packers that pays him $150 million over three years. While this deal has the largest annual value in NFL history, Patrick Mahomes recently signed a 10-year $450 million dollar contract which is the largest total contract in history.

What position gets paid the most money in the NFL?

In the NFL, quarterbacks make more money than all other positions. The average yearly salary for quarterbacks is $6.8 million, while the top ten highest paid quarterbacks average around $40 million. The other highest paid positions are wide receivers and defensive ends. The cheapest or lowest paid positions in the NFL are the long snappers and fullbacks

Who is the richest team owner in the NFL?

Currently, the richest team owner in the NFL is David Tepper, owner of the Carolina Panthers. The hedge fund manager has a net worth of approximately $16.7 billion dollars and he is ranked inside of the top 150 richest people in the world. He was recruited as a credit analyst by Goldman Sachs in 1985 and quit after seven years to start his own private hedge fund, Appaloosa Management. His business is currently valued at over $13 billion. He purchased the Carolina Panthers in 2018 and has been the owner ever since.

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