NFL is the most lucrative sporting league in the world. Athletes are paid handsomely for all their talent and hard work. The majority of NFL players are paid well, and some may even be paid more than they are worth.
In the middle of the 2023 season, the Philadelphia Eagles signed Jalen Hurts as their franchise quarterback to a five-year deal worth $255 million. The Cleveland Browns inked Deshaun Whart to an 5-year, $230 million contract during the 2022 offseason.
These players are getting paid well, but how do they rate on the list of top 10 highest-paid NFL stars? We’ll look at the 10 NFL players who earned the highest salaries each year in this article.
10. Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys)
This list is dominated by quarterbacks, as they are paid the highest in the NFL. Dak Precott has a four-year contract worth $160 million with the Dallas Cowboys in 2021. He is currently the 8th highest paying NFL player.
Prescott earns $40 million per year and has a cap of approximately $49 million in the 2023 football season. He continues to lead the Dallas-based team. The Cowboys, under Prescott’s leadership, reached the Divisional Round of the playoffs in last season. However they lost to the San Francisco 49ers.
The Cowboys future is bright, as long as the QB can play both offense and defense. Dak Prescott’s Cowboys are looking to make a deep run in 2023 after adding talent in the off-season.
9. Daniel Jones (New York Giants).
Daniel Jones plays quarterback for the New York Giants. The G-Men recently signed a contract worth $160 million over four years, with $104 millions fully guaranteed. He is the 8th highest paid NFL player, earning $40 million a year.
Giants gave a huge contract to 25-year old quarterback, despite the fact that he had not been to Pro Bowl in his four-year tenure with the Giants.
It appears that the New York football team has put a lot in Daniel Jones, after his stellar performance in 2022 when he led Giants to victory in the playoffs. They’re hoping it pays off. It’s one of the worst NFL contracts ever.
8. Matthew Stafford (Los Angeles Rams)
After winning the Super Bowl the Los Angeles Rams immediately signed their QB Matthew Stafford to a four-year contract worth $160 millions with $130 guaranteed. Stafford has a salary of $40 million per year, which is tied for 8th place among NFL players.
Stafford played his first 12 seasons in Detroit, before being rescued in 2021 by the Rams. In his first season in Los Angeles, he won the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, due to injury, he was forced to miss almost the entire season of 2022.
It looks like he is recovering from his injuries, and he should be ready for the 2023 season. If Matthew Stafford gets healthy, the Rams could be in the running for a Super Bowl next season.
7. Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills)
Many people thought that the Buffalo Bills made a mistake when they selected Josh Allen with the 7th pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. Fast forward to today, and it appears that the Bills were right to select the Wyoming product.
Josh Allen, after two seasons of average performances, has made a great improvement to become one the best quarterbacks. Allen’s outstanding performance in year 3 earned him a handsome salary in 2021.
Dual-threat QB signed six-year contract worth up to $258 million, with guaranteed $150 million. With an average salary of $43,005,667, he is the 7th-highest paid NFL player.
6. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes does not make the top five list of the highest-paid NFL player annually. The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback is the best in the NFL right now. But he’s only the sixth highest paid player.
Chiefs quarterback signed a deal that was team-friendly when he agreed to a 10-year contract worth up $450 million by 2020. He earns approximately $45million per year. After seeing recent contracts, that 10-year contract looks like a great deal.
The Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, however, will continue to work to add to the trophy cabinet of the Kansas City football team while earning $45 million a year until he is able to become a free agent.
5. Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns
When the Cleveland Browns signed Deshaun Watt to a five-year, $230 million deal with a fully guaranteed guarantee, they changed the market price for quarterbacks. Watson’s contract makes him the 5th highest-paid NFL player ever, with an annual salary of $46,000,000.
Watson’s contract prompted other quarterbacks to demand a similar deal. This is a high-risk deal, and not every team owner will give it to players. The Browns have clearly put a lot in faith the 27-year old QB, and we hope that it will work out for both parties.
4. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
After the Browns signed Deshaun to a massive deal, many quarterbacks began to demand similar contracts. This included the Arizona Cardinals PQ Kyler Murry.
Murray got a similar deal with the Cardinals but it wasn’t fully guaranteed. The Cardinals signed Kyler Murry in July 2022 to a five-year contract worth $230.5 millions, including $160,000,000 in guarantees.
This contract puts him at the 4th highest paid NFL player ever with a salary average of $46,100,000. According to reports, the QB is recovering from an injury to his ACL and may miss up half of 2023’s season.
3. Russell Wilson (Denver Broncos).
In the off-season of 2022, the Denver Broncos made a big investment and bought Russell Wilson. The Broncos had to give up a large amount of draft capital in order to get the former Super Bowl Champion.
After acquiring Wilson, the team signed him to an enormous five-year deal worth up to $245 million, which included $165 million of guarantees. Wilson’s average salary is $48,517.647 per year.
Denver’s Russell Wilson isn’t working well despite the huge contract. Denver’s new head coach Sean payton might turn the tide in Denver. The Wilson trade could become one of NFL’s worst ever trades.
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers may be traded to New York Jets prior to the 2023 NFL Draft despite having signed a new contract with the Green Bay Packers only last off-season. Rodgers agreed to a three-year contract worth up $150 million. This included approximately $100 million in guaranteed payments.
The four-time MVP quarterback is the second highest paid NFL player, earning an average of $50,271,667 annually. The 10-time Pro Bowl quarterback is looking to leave Green Bay after signing the contract last off-season. NY Jets will take over his contract.
If the trade between the Packers and Aaron Rodgers is successful, Rodgers could end up in New York for next season. The 39-year old QB may be playing his final season next year, but his current contract could help him climb the list of richest NFL players of history.
1. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles
The Browns and Deshaun Watson deal has changed the value of quarterbacks.
Jalenhurts, and the Philadelphia Eagles stunned many people last season with their performances when they won the NFC Championship. Hurts is now the highest paid NFL player ever thanks to his remarkable season.
The Eagles in April 2022 signed Jalen Hurts to a 5-year contract worth up to $255 million dollars, with about $180 million of guarantees. With an average salary exceeding $51,000,000. He is the highest-paid NFL athlete ever.
Jalen Hurts may not be at the top of this list for long, as the QB market has just skyrocketed. Other talented QBs, such as Lamar Jackson Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert, who are due to receive a contract renewal, will also demand higher contracts.