A Deep Look At The Richest Nfl Players And Their Lucrative Contracts7 min read

A Deep Look At The Richest Nfl Players And Their Lucrative Contracts<span class="wtr-time-wrap after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">7</span> min read</span>
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The world of professional American football is extremely lucrative, with the highest paid NFL players raking in record-shattering contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars. We take an in-depth look at the wealthiest NFL stars and the staggering details around their earnings.

While no current NFL player cracks the top list of the highest paid athletes worldwide, their deals and endorsements still position them comfortably among the richest celebrities on the planet.

Below we highlight the crucial facts and figures around the highest earning NFL professionals playing today.

1. Patrick Mahomes II – The New King of NFL Contracts

Without question, Patrick Mahomes II of the Kansas City Chiefs dominates as the top paid NFL player. His 10-year contract extension in 2020 shattered records across the sports world for its sheer size and value.

●   Mahomes’ deal totals a mind-boggling $450 million. With incentives, he could potentially earn up to $503 million, the richest contract in NFL history.

●   His average annual salary sits at an incredible $45 million.

●   The contract additionally includes a record-breaking $140 million injury guarantee.

At just 25 years old, Mahomes already boasts a Super Bowl championship and league MVP honors. His unmatched talent and early career success position him for potentially greater earnings through incentives and endorsements in the years ahead.

2. Josh Allen Lands a Massive Payday with the Bills

Hot on Mahomes’ heels for richest NFL contracts is rising superstar Josh Allen. In 2022, the Buffalo Bills quarterback put pen to paper on a 6-year, $258 million extension.

●   Allen’s deal comes with an NFL record-setting $150 million guaranteed.

A Deep Look At The Richest Nfl Players And Their Lucrative Contracts

●   His average annual salary now totals $43 million, second only to Mahomes.

●   Still only 26 years old, the young quarterback now has the potential for $16 million a year in possible performance incentives.

After leading Buffalo to contention with his cannon arm and dual-threat abilities, Allen’s payday solidifies his place among the highest paid NFL stars.

3. Aaron Rodgers Cashes In Big with the Packers

Four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers joins the elite company of the league’s top paid players after signing a monumental 3-year, $150 million contract this past offseason.

●   The Green Bay Packers signal-caller now boasts an average salary of $50 million a year.

●   His 2024 earnings could balloon to $59.5 million, the largest single-season haul for an NFL player ever.

●   Rodgers additionally negotiated a guaranteed $101 million for his age 39-40 seasons.

Despite approach 40 years old, Rodgers remains lethal on the gridiron. His late career megadeal definitively stamps him as one of the richest stars in NFL history.

4. Deshaun Watson Lands $230 Million from Cleveland

In a blockbuster 2022 trade, quarterback Deshaun Watson joined the Cleveland Browns on a 5-year, $230 million guaranteed contract.

●   Watson’s fully-guaranteed deal obliterates records for an NFL player.

●   His $46 million average yearly earnings land him firmly among the highest paid.

●   Watson negotiated a $1 million base salary for 2022 after facing suspension tied to off-field conduct.

Watson’s deal from Cleveland represents both the upside and risk we often see attached to the massive contracts of the league’s top talent.

5. Kyler Murray Bet Big on Himself with Arizona

A Deep Look At The Richest Nfl Players And Their Lucrative Contracts

Earlier in 2022, rising dual-threat quarterback Kyler Murray agreed to a massive 5-year, $230 million extension to stay in Arizona.

●   Murray now boasts an average salary of $46 million a year.

●   An eye-popping $160 million is guaranteed for the young signal caller.

●   At just 24 years old, Murray is the youngest player to ever land a contract above $200 million.

Murray gambled on his budding talent in negotiating this record deal. Now locked in long term, he has the chance to guide his Cardinals to playoff success while cementing his place among the NFL’s richest talents.

Russell Wilson Still Ranks Among Highest Paid

Though no longer the chief earner he once was, Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson still claims elite status among top paid NFL stars.

●   During 2019 in Seattle, Wilson set marks for highest signing bonus ($65 million) and average salary ($35 million) that have since been eclipsed.

●   He trails only Mahomes and Allen for active guaranteed money at $165 million.

●   Across salary, bonuses and endorsements, Wilson has earned nearly $300 million in his 11-year career.

While newer talents now claim higher peak earnings, over the length of his career Wilson definitively stands tall as one of the wealthiest NFL players of all time.

Joey Bosa Tops NFL Defenders

In 2020, Joey Bosa of the Los Angeles Chargers reset markets for defensive players with his 5-year, $135 million extension.

●   Bosa’s deal averages $27 million per season.

●   An incredible $102 million is fully guaranteed for the Chargers’ lethal pass rusher.

●   The 26-year old star took home $78 million at signing, a record amount for an NFL defender.

A Deep Look At The Richest Nfl Players And Their Lucrative Contracts

As the centerpiece of LA’s defense, Bosa’s paycheck fittingly makes him football’s best paid defender by a wide margin.

Julio Jones Still Claims Top WR Spot

Though recently slowed by injuries, Atlanta Falcons icon Julio Jones still leads NFL wide outs in average salary at $22 million a season.

●   Jones’ current 3-year, $66 million Falcons deal runs through 2024.

●   An excellent route-runner with elite size, Jones boasts six straight 1000-yard seasons from 2014-2019.

●   Across 12 seasons, the veteran receiver has amassed nearly 14,000 yards through the air.

Despite battling nagging injuries, Jones’ proven track record allows him to still claim top earner status among the league’s talented wide receivers.

Highest Paid By Position

With contracts constantly reshaping markets across the league, different players claim top earner status within the various NFL position groups.


1. Patrick Mahomes – $45 million/year

2. Josh Allen – $43 million/year

3. Aaron Rodgers – $50 million/year

4. Deshaun Watson – $46 million/year

5. Kyler Murray -$46 million/year

Wide Receivers

1. Julio Jones – $22 million/year

2. Tyreek Hill – $20 million/year

3. Davante Adams – $28 million/year

4. Cooper Kupp – $20 million/year

5. AJ Brown – $25 million/year

Defensive Players

1. Joey Bosa – $27 million/year

2. TJ Watt – $28 million/year

3. Myles Garrett – $25 million/year

4. Khalil Mack – $23.5 million/year

5. Aaron Donald – $22.5 million/year

Based on average annual earnings, the players above currently set the market at their respective positions. Of course, new deals shuffle these lists each season.

Notable NFL Contracts & Earnings

Beyond the very top earners, a number of unique contracts and payouts are worth noting across the NFL landscape:

A Deep Look At The Richest Nfl Players And Their Lucrative Contracts

●   Future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady has earned a record $332.9 million over 23 legendary seasons between New England and Tampa Bay.

●   Former Saints quarterback Drew Brees retired with a then-record contract value of $269.7 million, with $247.7 million earned across 15 years in New Orleans.

●   In 2021 during his rookie season, quarterback and top draft pick Trevor Lawrence landed a 4-year, $36.8 million fully guaranteed contract with Jacksonville.

●   Do-it-all offensive weapon Christian McCaffrey of the Panthers leads all running backs with a 4-year deal averaging $16 million per season.

●   San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle reset markets for his position in 2020, signing a 5-year, $75 million contract averaging $15 million a season.

●   Veteran defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has amassed over $166 million in career earnings across 13 seasons roaming fearsome defensive fronts.

The Road Ahead

With salary cap space continuing to balloon and new media rights deals pumping revenue into the NFL, expectations are that contract values for the league’s superstars will continue climbing in the years ahead. As a new generation of top draft picks like Trevor Lawrence sign their second NFL deals four years from now, we may see new records set for the highest paid players at every position.

One thing remains certain – the world’s best football talents will continue seeing their bank accounts swell as interest and profits surrounding America’s most popular sport continue rising. We look forward to seeing new superstars emerge from the college ranks and strike it rich when their time for a big payday arrives.