The NFL has grown to be the juggernaut of the sports world over the last couple of decades. The league brought in $13 billion last year which is the most by any sports league across the globe. Of course, the owners benefit from a stat like this but so do the players within the NFL.
Even though American football doesn’t have the highest average salary, $2 million per year is nothing to scoff at. That number is watered down in the NFL due to the high number of players on each team’s roster.
NFL teams have 53 players on a roster which dilutes the average salary per player. The big guns at the top still get paid handsomely.
Highest Paid Players in the NFL
When measuring this statistic, we are going to base the salary numbers off the 2020 cap hits. Below are the top salaries in the NFL for the upcoming 2020 season.
|Player||Team||Position||2020 Cap Hit|
|Jared Goff||Los Angeles Rams||QB||$36 Million|
|Russell Wilson||Seattle Seahawks||QB||$31 Million|
|Dak Prescott||Dallas Cowboys||QB||$28.7 Million|
|Jimmy Garoppolo||San Francisco 49ers||QB||$26.6 Million|
|Khalil Mack||Chicago Bears||OLB||$26.6 Million|
|Von Miller||Denver Broncos||OLB||$25.6 Million|
|Aaron Donald||Los Angeles Rams||DT||$25 Million|
|Phillip Rivers||Indianapolis Colts||QB||$25 Million|
|Tom Brady||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||QB||$25 Million|
|Fletcher Cox||Philadelphia Eagles||DT||$23.8 Million|
The top two positions that stand out are quarterbacks and pass rushers. Between the two, they make up all ten of the top ten. It really shows you what teams value the most in the league.
Why don’t we extend the list a little further? The quarterbacks now make up 15 out of the top 23 overall. That’s over 65%, which is crazy if you think about it. Jared Goff leads the way for all quarterbacks, and for every player for that matter.
Let’s do the same thing for the pass rushers. 6 of the top 15 highest paid players in the NFL are players who try and tackle the quarterback for a living. That’s good for 40%.
Again, a huge number for a single position. Khalil Mack, Von Miller, and Aaron Donald have the three highest cap hits for 2020. I’m sure you’re familiar with those line wreckers.
Related: Aaron Donald Workout
All in all, leading an offense and throwing a tight spiral or tackling the guy who does that is the way to get paid in the NFL. To prove that, you have to go down to 18th to find a position other than pass rusher or quarterback (Trenton Brown, OT for the Las Vegas Raiders). The next closest is Sammy Watkins, wide receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs, at 24th.