The NFL's 25 highest-paid players in 2022: Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray set the standard (2023)

Every March, NFL free agency arrives. And every year, like clockwork, NFL teams dole out hundreds of millions of dollars in an effort to improve their squads and compete for a Super Bowl.

The 2022 NFL offseason was no different. As a result, the list of the league's highest-paid players will surely change.

Some of the changes to the list of highest-paid players from 2021 will come via the free-agent market. That said, more of them will come via extensions or reworked contracts for top talents around the league.

For example, Aaron Rodgers has already signed a lucrative extension, and it will pay him more than $50 million per year. Playersl like Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson, Kyle Murray and Matthew Stafford have joined him among quarterbacks while a burgeon ing receiver market resulted in big-time deals for Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams.

MORE: NFL's highest-paid QBs for 2022 in AAV, total salary, guarantees

The exploding quarterback and receiver markets will surely yield some new highly paid players, but don't sleep on the market for top-tier pass rushers. NFL teams are always looking for solid pass rushers, so players like T.J. Watt, Joey Bosa and Aaron Donald will threaten to be among the highest-paid defensive players in the NFL.

Defining the highest-paid NFL players can be an inexact science. You can focus on what a player is making in guarantees, what they are making in any given season or what they make on an average annual basis during the duration of their contract. Typically though, sorting it by annual value is the best way to go.

Here's a look at the league's highest-paid players for 2022, with all salary information coming via

This story will be updated as contracts are signed throughout the 2022 season.

The NFL's 25 highest-paid players in 2022: Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray set the standard (1)

NFL's highest-paid players 2022

1. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers

  • Annual salary: $50.3 million

Rodgers signed a three-year extension with the Packers that will make him the NFL's highest-paid player in 2022. The two-time reigning MVP will be the first NFL player to earn more than $50 million per season, and his $150.6 million in guaranteed money is the most for an NFL player in history as well. Rodgers has completed 69.8 percent of his passes for 8,414 combined yards, 85 touchdowns and nine interceptions over the last two seasons. He has won one Super Bowl during his 17-year career with the Packers.

2. Russell Wilson, QB, Broncos

  • Annual salary: $49 million

Wilson was traded to the Broncos during the 2022 offseason. That didn't impact his standing among the league's highest-paid players until he received a five-year extension from Denver's new ownership group. Wilson made 149 consecutive regular-season starts before missing his first game in 2021 after suffering a finger injury. The former Seahawk has averaged 3,987 passing yards, 31 passing touchdowns and nine interceptions per 17 games played during his career. He also won a Super Bowl during his second season and was named the Walter Payton Man of the Year for 2020.

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3. Kyler Murray, QB, Cardinals

  • Annual salary: $46.1 million

Murray inked a five-year, $230.5 million extension with the Cards this offseason, locking him down for the foreseeable future. At just 24 years old, the talented hurler has improved his passer rating every season since entering the league back in 2019. And although he has had some playoff struggles, Murray is one of the best young quarterbacks in the league. Now, he'll be paid like one.

4. Deshaun Watson, QB, Browns

  • Annual salary: $46 million

The Cleveland QB, who has been accused in 22 civil lawsuits and 10 criminal complaints of sexual misconduct and sexual assault, signed a five-year, $230 million deal with the Browns after arriving via trade earlier in the offseason. The contract is fully guaranteed, so despite Watson's 11-game suspension to start the 2022 season, he stands to make a significant amount of money.

5. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs

  • Annual salary: $45 million

Mahomes has been to two Super Bowls in his four years as a starter and has never failed to make at least the AFC Championship Game. He has averaged 5,129 yards, 41 pass TDs and 10 interceptions per 17 games played during his career. It doesn't look like the Chiefs are going to regret giving him the NFL's richest contract — 10 years, $450 million — any time soon.

6. Josh Allen, QB, Bills

  • Annual salary: $43 million

Allen signed a contract in August of 2021 that will paid him $150 million in guarantees, the most in NFL history before Rodgers' latest deal. He has markedly improved in each of his four NFL seasons and has led the Bills to double-digit wins and playoff appearances in three consecutive seasons. He had 42 total touchdowns and a career-high 763 rushing yards in 2021. He also threw for 637 yards and nine touchdowns in two 2022 postseason games before the Bills were eliminated by the Chiefs in the divisional round of the playoffs.

7. Derek Carr, QB, Raiders

  • Annual salary: $40.5 million

Carr has found lots of success with the Raiders in recent years, leading them to a playoff appearance in 2021. For his efforts, the former second-round pick was rewarded with a three-year, $121.5 million extension earlier in the offseason.

T-8. Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys

  • Annual salary: $40 million

Prescott returned from a devastating ankle injury suffered in 2020 and posted a career-high 68.8 completion percentage and 37 passing touchdowns in 2021. He has a career record of 53-32 as a starter but he has gone just 1-3 in four postseason starts. That includes a 23-17 loss against the 49ers during last year's playoffs.

The NFL's 25 highest-paid players in 2022: Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray set the standard (2)

(Getty Images)

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T-8. Matthew Stafford, QB, Rams

  • Annual salary: $40 million

Stafford finally got his ring, leading the Rams to Super Bowl glory in 2021. The former first overall pick enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career in the process, throwing for nearly 4,900 yards and 41 touchdowns including the playoffs. Stafford was subsequently compensated for his impressive play, inking four-year, $160 million deal with the Rams shortly after Los Angeles' Super Bowl win.

10. Kirk Cousins, QB, Vikings

  • Annual salary: $35 million

Cousins was brought to Minnesota to get them over the hump. He hasn't done that, but he has thrown for at least 4,200 yards and 33 touchdowns in back-to-back seasons. However, he is just .500 in his career as a starter with a record of 59-59-2.

11. Jared Goff, QB, Lions

  • Annual salary: $33.5 million

Goff signed a lucrative deal with the Rams but was dealt to the Lions as a part of the 2021 Matthew Stafford trade. Goff completed 67.2 percent of his passes for 3,245 yards, 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions in his first season in Detroit. However, he posted just a 3-10-1 record and has a 3-17-1 career record when not coached by Sean McVay.

12. Carson Wentz, QB, Commanders

  • Annual salary: $32 million

Wentz signed a long-term extension with the Eagles but was traded shortly thereafter to the Colts after throwing a league-high 15 interceptions in 2020 and being benched in favor of Jalen Hurts. Wentz's numbers were better in 2021, as he had 27 touchdowns compared to seven interceptions, but the Colts had just a 9-8 record and saw Wentz average 6.9 yards per attempt. He was traded again in 2022 and now will look to prove himself with the Commanders.

13. Aaron Donald, DT, Rams

  • Annual Salary: $31.6 million

Previously No. 23 on this list, Aaron Donald became the second Aaron this offseason to negotiate a huge extension. The Rams defensive tackle inked a deal to the tune of two years for $65 million with an optional third year for $30 million.

The deal comes with three years left on Donald's existing contract, but prior to the Super Bowl and after the Rams victory, which was the first of Donald's career, rumors continued to emerge that Donald was mulling retirement if he and the Rams couldn't rework his deal.

Donald has 98 career sacks and just won his first Super Bowl. He has been an All-Pro seven straight seasons and has won the AP's Defensive Player of the Year award in three of the last five years. He has never logged fewer than eight sacks in a season and once recorded a league-high 20.5 sacks — just two sacks shy of Strahan and Watt's record of 22.5 — from the defensive tackle spot.

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The restructure of Donald's contract netted him a $40 million raise, up to $65 million over the course of the next two seasons. Donald has an opt-in for his third year that would give him an additional $30 million, bringing the total up to $95 million.

Aaron Donald's contract makes him the highest-paid non-QB in NFL history.

MORE: NFL's highest-paid defensive players in AAV, total value and guarantees

T-14. Matt Ryan, QB, Colts

  • Annual salary: $30 million

Matt Ryan's streak of 4,000-yard seasons came to an end in 2021 when he totaled 3,968 passing yards. His 20 passing touchdowns were tied for the second-lowest of his 14-year NFL career, but his offense was devoid of receiving weapons for most of the season. Ryan isn't the same player that won the MVP in 2016 and led the Falcons to a Super Bowl, but he is still a solid veteran quarterback. He should get a chance to prove that in his first season with the Colts.

T-14. Tyreek Hill, WR, Dolphins

  • Annual salary: $30 million

Cheetah got his bag this offseason, joining fellow do-it-all force Jaylon Waddle in Miami on a four-year, $120 million contract. At 28, Hill is firmly in his prime. He's already made three All-Pro teams and has established himself as one of the most dynamic players in the league's history.

16. Ryan Tannehill, QB, Titans

  • Annual salary: $29.5 million

Since escaping Adam Gase in Miami, Tannehill has posted an 30-13 regular-season record as a starter and has led the Titans to three straight playoff appearances. an AFC Championship Game berth. He also has a 76 to 27 TD-INT ratio in three seasons as the Titans' primary starter.

The NFL's 25 highest-paid players in 2022: Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray set the standard (3)

17. TJ Watt, EDGE, Steelers

  • Annual salary: $28.003 million

Watt has done an admirable job stepping out of his brother, JJ's, shadow and establishing himself as one of the most feared edge rushers in the league. The 26-year old just finished a campaign where he recorded 22.5 sacks, tying Michael Strahan's NFL record.

18. Davante Adams, WR, Raiders

  • Annual salary: $28 million

The Packers traded the two-time AP All-Pro first-teamer to the Raiders for first- and second-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, and the Raiders rewarded Adams by making him the NFL's highest-paid receiver, though he was surpassed in that category by Tyreek Hill shortly thereafter. Adams has averaged 121 catches, 1,483 yards and 14 touchdowns per 17 games played over the last five seasons. He has made the Pro Bowl during each campaign.

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19. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Cardinals

  • Annual salary: $27.25 million

Hopkins signed an extension in 2020 that added two years and $54.5 million to his current contract. As such, he's one of the league's highest-paid receivers, and he should be. Hopkins has averaged 99 catches, 1,323 yards and eight touchdowns per 17 games played during his career. He has missed just nine games in nine seasons and though he will miss six due to a suspension in 2022, he is still generally a reliable No. 1 target.

20. Joey Bosa, DE, Chargers

  • Annual salary: $27 million

Bosa is a great sack artist and has averaged 12 sacks per 17 games during his career. He won the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2016 and won't turn 27 until July of 2022. He will continue to be one of the NFL's best outside pass-rushing threats for a long time given his relative youth.

21. Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams

  • Annual salary: ​​$26.7 million

Kupp got his deal after mounting one of the greatest seasons any pass catcher has ever had. The 28-year old came dangerously close to break Calvin Johnson's record for most receiving yards in a single season and nabbed two touchdowns against the Bengals en route to a Super Bowl MVP. He then agreed to new terms with Los Angeles, getting a three-year, $80.1 million deal to extend his stay in Tinseltown.

T-22. Myles Garrett, DE, Browns

  • Annual salary: $25 million

Garrett has been as-advertised during his NFL career. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft has totaled 58.5 sacks in five NFL seasons. He also has 11 forced fumbles during his career. He may be the NFL's best pass rusher, so he's certainly worth this type of money.

The NFL's 25 highest-paid players in 2022: Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray set the standard (4)

T-22. AJ Brown, WR, Eagles

  • Annual salary: $25 million

Brown was dealt from the Titans to the Eagles during the NFL Draft. He then secured a four-year, $100 million deal to become Philly's No. 1 target. Brown was on pace for his third consecutive 1,000-yard season before injuries derailed him.

T-24. Stefon Diggs, WR, Bills

  • Annual salary: $24 million

Diggs was part of the group of wideouts who inked massive deals this offseason. The Maryland alum just completed his fourth season with 1,000-plus receiving yards and earned All-Pro honors in 2020. He agreed a four-year, $96 million extension with Buffalo in the offseason.

T-24. DK Metcalf, WR, Seahawks

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  • Annual salary: $24 million

Metcalf became the penultimate receiver of the 2022 offseason to earn an upgraded contract, signing a three-year, $72 million extension that averages $24 million per year. He's coming off a third consecutive season with at least 1,000 yards receiving, though 2022 will be telling as he adjusts to either (or both) of Geno Smith and Drew Lock after Seattle traded Wilson to the Broncos.

Zac Al-Khateeb contributed to this report.


Who is highest-paid NFL QB? ›

Ranking the NFL's biggest contracts for 2022
  • 1 / 25. 1) Aaron Rodgers (QB), Green Bay Packers - $50.272 million. ...
  • 2 / 25. 2) Russell Wilson (QB), Denver Broncos - $49 million. ...
  • 3 / 25. 3) Kyler Murray (QB), Arizona Cardinals - $46.1 million. ...
  • 4 / 25. ...
  • 5 / 25. ...
  • 6 / 25. ...
  • 7 / 25. ...
  • 8 / 25.

Who had the first million dollar contract in the NFL? ›

Jones was ranked as the best wide receiver in the draft. The $2.1 million contract he received (equivalent to $6,900,000 in 2021) was the first in the NFL worth over a million dollars.

Who is the best NFL player of all time? ›

The list
RankPlayerYear inducted to Pro Football Hall of Fame
1Jerry Rice2010
2Jim Brown1971
3Lawrence Taylor1999
4Joe Montana2000
91 more rows

Do NFL Waterboys get paid? ›

Thieneman's latest clip, which drew nearly 300,000 viewers in one day, claims that the average NFL water boy salary is actually around $53,000.

How much do NFL refs make? ›

The NFL won't disclose how much money their referees make, but based on the expired collective bargaining agreement from 2019, officials made an average of $201,000 per year, according to That accounts for all officials that appear on the field, which means the head referees for games could make even more.

What are the top 10 quarterback salaries in the NFL? ›

Total Cash
  • Aaron Rodgers. GB, QB. $59,515,000.
  • Deshaun Watson. CLE, QB. $46,000,000.
  • Daniel Jones. NYG, QB. $46,000,000.
  • Patrick Mahomes. KC, QB. $40,450,000.
  • Kyler Murray. ARI, QB. $39,000,000.

What's Tom Brady's salary? ›

Current Contract

Tom Brady signed a 1 year, $15,000,000 contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, including $15,000,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $15,000,000. Contract Notes: 2022 Roster Bonus: $13.88M (fully guaranteed, treated as signing bonus) No-tag clause for 2023.

Who is the lowest paid backup quarterback? ›

10 Lowest-paid Backup QBs in the NFL (Average Annual Salary)
PlayerTeamAvg. Annual $
Anthony GordonKC$660,000
Jake BrowningMIN660,000
Danny EtlingMIN$660,000
Brian LewerkeNYG$660,000
6 more rows
Aug 21, 2021

Who is a billionaire in the NFL? ›

In 2018, David Tepper bought the Carolina Panthers for $2.8 billion. Tepper is a hedge fund manager. His Appaloosa Management hedge fund firm now manages nearly $13 billion in assets.

Who has a 90 million dollar contract in the NFL? ›

Running back Stephen Davis' new deal with Washington is the first in league history to have a maximum value of more than $100 million, although realistically it is worth much less.

Who was the first 100 million dollar QB? ›

The NFL's First 100 Million Dollar Man. On March 1, 2001, Brett Favre signed a "lifetime" contract extension, a 10-year deal worth $100 million with the Green Bay Packers.

Who is the goat of all time? ›

The never-ending debate on who is the GOAT (common parlance for “greatest of all time”) NFL quarterback has been settled — at least for now. Seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady, who announced his retirement last week, holds that distinction, according to U.S. adults and NFL fans in a new Morning Consult survey.

Who is the No 1 player in football history? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo (Al Nassr & Portugal) (Total Football Goals: 824) 17 Feb. 2023 Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 500 league goal, playing for his club Saudi Arabia club Al Nassr. Ronaldo has the highest football salary in history, worth €200 million per year and has contract till 2025.

What is the salary of a cheerleader in the NFL? ›

A report just last year from NBC News pinpointed the average pay for NFL cheerleaders to be about $150 a game, or roughly $22,500 a year, which is not much different than what it was reported to be in the original Raiders lawsuit.

How much do NFL ball boy make? ›

As of Mar 2, 2023, the average annual pay for a Ball Boy in the United States is $40,376 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $19.41 an hour. This is the equivalent of $776/week or $3,364/month.

How much does a towel boy make in the NFL? ›

Former NFL player Jake Thieneman claimed in a TikTok clip that an average NFL water boy makes around $53.000, noting that the actual figure depends on the team's status and the applicant's experience. "Now, there's a misconception that these people just hand out water and towels," Thieneman said.

Do Super Bowl refs get paid? ›

The NFL has not freely given out the figures, but according to the most recent reports, referees were estimated to bring in between $30,000 and $50,000 for officiating in the big game in 2018, so it is likely that this rate has gone up or at least is in this ballpark for Super Bowl LVI.

Do NFL refs have other jobs? ›

For the majority of officials, being a referee is only their side job. Primary Occupation: Civil litigator at a Phoenix law firm. FYI: He's run 12 marathons and is known to have the build of a pro-athlete himself—Hochuli is 6'1 and 215 pounds.

How much money does a NFL referee make in the Super Bowl? ›

The NFL does not release salary figures for referees but, according to Sporting News, the highest paid NFL refs make $250,000 annually. NFL referees on average usually make about $205,000 per year.

Who is the highest paid NFL player in 2023? ›

Ranking the NFL's biggest contracts for 2023
  • 1 / 25. 1) Aaron Rodgers (QB), Green Bay Packers - $50.272 million. ...
  • 2 / 25. 2) Russell Wilson (QB), Denver Broncos - $49 million. ...
  • 3 / 25. 3) Kyler Murray (QB), Arizona Cardinals - $46.1 million. ...
  • 4 / 25. ...
  • 5 / 25. ...
  • 6 / 25. ...
  • 7 / 25. ...
  • 8 / 25.

Who is the top 10 highest paid NFL players? ›

Cap Hit
  • Deshaun Watson. CLE, QB. $54,993,000.
  • Patrick Mahomes. KC, QB. $49,293,381.
  • Dak Prescott. DAL, QB. $49,130,000.
  • Josh Allen. BUF, QB. $39,772,281.
  • Ryan Tannehill. TEN, QB. $36,600,000.

How much is Tom Brady's net worth? ›

When NFL legend Tom Brady left the field at the end of the final game of the 2022 season, he was the league's career leader in passing yards (89,214) and touchdowns (649). He also left with an estimated net worth of $512 million.

Who has the biggest NFL contract? ›

1. Aaron Rodgers, $50.2 million
  • Aaron Rodgers, $50.2 million. Signed: March 2022 (contract ends in 2026)
  • Russell Wilson (DEN), $50 million.
  • Kyler Murray (ARI), $49.2 million.
  • Deshaun Watson (CLE), $46 million.
  • Josh Allen (BUF), $45.9 million.
Feb 13, 2023

How much salary do NFL players keep? ›

After a federal tax rate of 37% has been taken out, Nfl Football Players could expect to have a take-home pay of $726,525/year, with each paycheck equaling approximately $30,272 *. * assuming bi-monthly pay period.

How much did Tom Brady make in football last year? ›

Tom Brady signed a 1 year, $15,000,000 contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, including $15,000,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $15,000,000.

Who is the highest paid NFL player including endorsements? ›

Tom Brady

What is the biggest signing bonus in NFL history? ›

Matt Ryan, QB — $267.0 million

He then signed a five-year, $150 million extension with a $46.5 million signing bonus. The $100 million total guarantee in the deal was the largest ever for an NFL contract at the time.

Who makes more money Tom Brady or his wife? ›

After divorce rumors, people asked if Tom Brady had a larger net worth than his -still- wife. However, the information confirms that Gisele Bündchen has approximately $150 million more than Tom Brady in assets.

Who is richer Tom Brady or his wife? ›

Tom Brady & Gisele Bundchen's net worth

According to Spotrac, Tom Brady's net worth is estimated at around $333 million, which is one of the highest among active NFL players. But his wife Gisele Bundchen is also one of the highest-paid models in the world and is worth $400 million.

What is Andy Reid's annual salary? ›

According to NFL reporter Albert Breer, Kansas City Chiefs' head coach Andy Reid is among a select group of coaches that makes $10 million per year.


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