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Highest Paid NFL Players

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.

PlayerTeamPosition2020 Cap Hit
Jared GoffLos Angeles RamsQB$36 Million
Russell WilsonSeattle SeahawksQB$31 Million
Dak PrescottDallas CowboysQB$28.7 Million
Jimmy GaroppoloSan Francisco 49ersQB$26.6 Million
Khalil MackChicago BearsOLB$26.6 Million
Von MillerDenver BroncosOLB$25.6 Million
Aaron DonaldLos Angeles RamsDT$25 Million
Phillip RiversIndianapolis ColtsQB$25 Million
Tom BradyTampa Bay BuccaneersQB$25 Million
Fletcher CoxPhiladelphia EaglesDT$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.

Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams is the highest paid players in the NFL

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.

Pass Rushers

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%.

Khalil Mack of the Chicago Bears is one of the highest paid players in the NFL

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.


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