Top 6 Richest NFL Quarterbacks

Richest NFL Quarterbacks

Over the years, the National Football League (NFL) has evolved into a multi-billion-dollar industry. Those who have often benefited the most from this money and exposure are those playing the position of quarterback. Quarterbacks are typically the stars of their team, and not only do they get high salaries, but they use their stardom to make money off the field. Below is a list of the top six richest quarterbacks in NFL history.


Who are the richest NFL Quarterbacks of all time?

  1. Roger Staubach
  2. Fran Tarkenton
  3. Peyton Manning
  4. Tom Brady
  5. Steve Young
  6. Drew Brees

1. Roger Staubach

Interestingly, the richest quarterback in NFL history is one who played during a time when the NFL was just blossoming into the league it is today. Roger Staubach, who played for the Dallas Cowboys from 1969-1979, currently has an estimated net worth of $600 million. This is despite the fact that during his NFL career, Staubach never made more than $160,000 in a given season. Roger would go on to make the vast majority of his money during his post-playing career, capitalizing off of the stardom he had obtained while playing for the Cowboys.

In 1977, as his NFL career was winding down, Staubach started a real estate company with his friend Robert Hollaway Jr. that was dubbed the Staubach Company. Working with companies such as AT&T and McDonald’s, the Staubach Company quickly rose in value. Roger served as chairman and CEO of the company until he stepped down in 2007, and the company was sold soon after in 2008 for $613 million. Staubach also earned some of his net worth by becoming a partial owner of Hall of Fame Racing, a NASCAR Sprint Series Cup Team.

2. Fran Tarkenton

Similar to Staubach, Fran Tarkenton played in the NFL before players were making millions of dollars in salary. Tarkenton played for the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants from 1961-1978 and currently has an estimated net worth of $300 million. Throughout his playing days, Tarkenton made a total of $1.2 million, never making more than $250,000 in a single season. 

Again, like Staubach, Tarkenton was able to have a successful business career to make the bulk of his earnings. He founded a computer-program generator company called Tarkenton Software, which eventually merged with a similar company known as Knowledge Ware. This merged company went public in 1989, and by 1991, Tarkenton’s share was worth $50 million. Fran currently owns Tarkenton Financial, GoSmallBiz, and Tarkenton Teleconferencing, as well as $100 million in Apple stock and $15 million in real estate. 

3. Peyton Manning

The number three ranked quarterback on this list is the first to have played in the modern era of the NFL. Peyton Manning played for the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos from 1998-2015 and has a net worth that is currently estimated at $250 million. Since he played much more recently in a more lucrative NFL, Manning was able to earn millions of dollars in playing salary. His rookie contract was worth over $7 million a year, and he made as much as $19.2 million in a season. In total, Manning earned $248 million in salary during his playing days. 

Outside of football, Manning signed several endorsements with companies that include Papa Johns, Nationwide, and Gatorade. Currently, Manning works for ESPN as an NFL analyst, and in the 2021-2022 season, he and his brother Eli hosted a simulcast of ESPN’s showing of Monday Night Football, called the “Manningcast”, on ESPN2.

4. Tom Brady

Considering many experts argue that he is the greatest quarterback of all time, it is no surprise to see Tom Brady on a list of richest quarterbacks. Currently, Brady has a net worth that is said to be $250 million. He played for the New England Patriots from 2000-2019 and has played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since 2020, making him the only active quarterback on this list. Like Manning, Brady has been able to obtain millions of dollars from his football contract alone. In 22 seasons, Brady has earned over $302 million in salary, including over $39 million in 2021 alone. 

Brady has also made $100 million in endorsement deals throughout his career from companies like Under Armour, Sam Adams, and Footlocker. Brady has also started some of his own companies, most notably TB12 Sports, a fitness regime aimed at helping athletes get in peak physical condition. In 2021, Brady also co-founded autograph.io, a website that helps people both create and sell digital collectibles. It was announced that Tom Brady inked a $375 million deal with Fox Sports to become an NFL analyst following his retirement from playing professionally.

5. Steve Young

Steve Young played during the late 1980s and throughout the 90s, a period slightly before the modern era of NFL football. Young played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1985-1986 and the San Francisco 49ers from 1987-1999, earning a net worth currently valued at $200 million. Young earned his first few million dollars playing in the United States Football League (USFL) for the Los Angeles Express from 1984-1985. While he initially signed a $40 million contract, Young only ended up earning about $4.2 million due to the league and team folding in 1985. Playing in the NFL, Young would go on to make $49 million in salary in his 15 NFL seasons. In his post-playing career, Young has had several business ventures to help raise his career net worth. He helped to co-found an equity firm with the help of billionaire Jon M. Huntsman called Huntsman Gay Global Capital (HGGC). Currently, Young serves as an NFL analyst for ESPN and earned $2 million last season as an analyst for Monday Night Football.

6. Drew Brees

Last on this list of richest NFL quarterbacks is Drew Brees, another modern era quarterback. Brees played for the Los Angeles Chargers from 2001-2005 and the New Orleans Saints from 2006-2021, and his current net worth is $160 million. Due to his recent retirement, the vast majority of Brees’ net worth came from his playing days. During his 20-year career, Brees earned just over $269 million in salary. Once his playing days were over, Brees’s first venture was to join the NBC broadcast team for their showing of Sunday Night Football as well as NBC’s coverage of Notre Dame football. Starting in 2022, Brees signed a 2-year, $50 million dollar contract with NBC.