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Which NFL players are the most expensive in the NFL playoffs? Full salary list

From quarterbacks, to wide receivers, to offensive lineman and even a linebacker, here’s our look at the guys who are making the big bucks in the NFL

From quarterbacks, to wide receivers, to offensive lineman and even a linebacker, here’s our look at the guys who are making the big bucks in the NFL

There are 32 teams in the National Football League (NFL) and a place in one of those rosters is the dream for millions of high school and college players across the United States and further afield. For some it’s the glitz and glamour of appearing in one of the most popular competitions in the world, one that brings with it a wealth of promotional activities with the biggest brands in the world. For others, it’s a chance to showcase their sporting prowess, something they have dedicated their young lives to, making multiple sacrifices along the way.

No matter the background and reason for getting into the sport and striving for the top, there is no doubt that there are fortunes to be made for those that do reach the NFL. Stay fit, perform on the biggest stage, and reap the financial rewards. With that in mind, here’s a look at those currently in the game who are doing just that...

Who are the highest paid players in the NFL?

It will likely come as no surprise to you that the star quarterbacks top the salary table. After all, they do have the collective weight of team and fan responsibility resting on their shoulders, well arms. According to the official numbers Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow is the man earning the most in the league. With an annual salary of $55 million, the Bengals’ signal caller is definitely earning that coin. Of course, we’re betting that he’d probably trade a few bucks for a spot in this year’s playoffs if he could, but you can’t have your cake and eat it as they say.

Coming in just behind Burrow is none other than the Los Angeles Chargers QB, Justin Herbert. Though the Chargers didn’t have the best of seasons, with the team eliminated and Herbert himself undergoing surgery on his finger, he’s still one of the league’s highest earners with an annual salary of $52.5 million. Following up Burrow and Herbert we’ve got the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson on $52 million. Having put in an MVP-level season, both Jackson and the Ravens have charged through the playoffs and now stand with a shot at a Super Bowl appearance, if they can defeat the reining champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, in the AFC Championship game. Right behind Jackson, we’ve got the Philadelphia Eagles’ Jalen Hurts. Quite frankly, the Eagles had a rough time this season, between injuries and illness. Indeed, Hurts himself was plagued by the latter as the season came down the stretch. Ultimately, the defending NFC champions fell to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card round, and Hurts who is on $51 million a year could do little to help. Below you can see the full list of the highest earners in the NFL:

Top contracts in the NFL

TeamPlayerAnnual SalaryContract
Cincinnati BengalsJoe Burrow$55 million$275 million (5 years)
Los Angeles ChargersJustin Herbert$52.5 million$262.5 million (5 years)
Baltimore RavensLamar Jackson$52 million$260 million (5 years)
Philadelphia EaglesJalen Hurts$51 million$255 million (5 years)
Denver BroncosRussel Wilson$48.5 million$242.5 million (5 years)
Arizona CardinalsKyler Murray$46.1 million$230.5 million (5 years)
Cleveland BrownsDeshaun Watson$46 million$230 million (5 years)
Kansas City ChiefsPatrick Mahomes$45 million$450 million (10 years)
Buffalo BillsJosh Allen$43 million$258 million (6 years)
Dallas CowboysDak Prescott$40 million$160 million (4 years)
Los Angeles RamsMatthew Stafford$40 million$160 million (4 years)
New York GiantsDaniel Jones$40 million$160 million (4 years)

Rounding out the list of highest paid in the NFL

As we mentioned before, quarterbacks are by far the highest earners in the NFL, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t others who aren’t making the big bucks in the league. Let’s take a look:

49ers Nick Bosa is highest-paid non-QB

With an annual salary of $34 million, San Francisco’s defensive end Nick Bosa is the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL.

Tyreek Hill is the highest-paid WR in the NFL

Picked up from the Chiefs last season, Miami’s Tyreek Hill has been outstanding. Unfortunately, the man they call the “Cheetah” was unable to help his new team beat his old one as the Dolphins fell to the Chiefs 26-7 in the Wild Card Round. That said, Hill appears to believe that his team has what it takes to do damage. Dolphins fans can only hope that his annual salary of $30 million will motivate him to keep pushing when the next season rolls around.

What is the average NFL salary?

Of course, those top earners are some ways ahead of the lesser-known NFL roster fillers, and when you examine the complete league, the average amount comes out around the $2 million-a-year mark. I’d argue that’s still enough to put bread on the table. Yet, let’s try to understand how salaries work in the league at a deeper level. We can explain the paradox by viewing a group of 10 players. If one of them is a star quarterback earning $20 million a year, the other nine players only make $50,000 a year, each. The average salary for this group is then $2,800,000. The more reasonable value is the median salary, which is the middle value of a set of numbers. In the case of our example group, the median salary is $50,000.

The median wage for all NFL players is $860,000, yet far underneath the $2 million that gets more promotion. A rising first-year rookie has a minimum pay of $435,000. The most publicly exposed are the stunningly high earnings of top quarterbacks. A few of them have contracts paying higher than $25 to $30 million per year. The average salary for all quarterbacks is $5,766,000, but the median income is $1,100,000. Defensive ends come in behind the quarterbacks with large salary contracts. Defensive ends have an average income of $2,625,000 and a median salary of $847,300. Incidentally, some of the lowest-paid are the running backs. They get beaten up during every game and only last around three years of playing in the league. Surprisingly, the average wage for a running back is $1,012,000, while the median salary is $630,000. In contrast, kickers are players who last longest in the NFL, with an average playing time of approximately seven years. Their income averages $1,792,000 per year, with a median wage of $1,000,000.

“Show me the money” effect

The salaries of NFL players rise somewhat by the age of 26. At this age number of players still active starts to go down just as incomes begin to make a tense increment. It may be because a few players have proved themselves as exceptional athletes and brought value to the team, so the owners want to ensure their services with more expensive paying contracts.