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The NFL’s 25 highest paid players

Listing the NFL’s highest paid players is an inaccurate science. For example, Patrick Mahomes’ record deal with the Chiefs makes him the highest paid player in the league … in terms of average annual salary and total dollars tied to the deal.

Some argue that the total guaranteed money at signing is the only number that matters in an NFL contract, and Mahomes doesn’t lead the league in that category. No current NFL contract contains more guaranteed money at signing than the $ 94.5 million promised by Falcons Matt Ryan in 2018.

MORE: The full details of Patrick Mahomes’ record deal

For this list, however, Sporting News will stick to the average annual salary as the determining factor in ranking the NFL’s highest paid players and using the total guaranteed money when drawing as a tiebreaker. The list is, as always, subject to change.

Tip of the hat for our friends at Overthecap.com for the contract figures.

  • 1. Patrick Mahomes, QB, chiefs

    • Average annual salary: $ 45 million
    • Total Guaranteed At Signature: $ 63,082 Million

    The Chiefs in 2020 signed Mahomes for a 10-year contract extension that will earn him $ 450 million, a record deal in the NFL.

  • 2. Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks

    • Average annual salary: $ 35 million
    • Total guaranteed at signing: $ 70 million

    Wilson is in the second season of his current contract with the Seahawks, which was renewed in 2019 with a four-year deal of $ 140 million. He will sign until 2023.

  • 3. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers

    • Average annual salary: $ 34 million
    • Total guaranteed at signing: $ 37.5 million

    Roethlisberger is in the second season of his current contract with the Steelers, which was renewed in 2019 with a two-year deal of $ 68 million. It is signed until 2021.

  • Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers

    • Average annual salary: $ 33.5 million
    • Total guaranteed at signing: $ 78.7 million

    Rodgers is in the third season of his current contract with the Packers, which was renewed in 2018 with a four-year deal of $ 134 million. He will sign until 2023.

  • 5. Jared Goff, QB, Rams

    • Average annual salary: $ 33.5 million
    • Total Guaranteed At Signature: $ 57,043 Million

    Goff is in the second season of his current contract with the Rams, which was renewed in 2019 with a four-year deal of $ 134 million. He will sign until 2024.

  • Kirk Cousins, QB, Vikings

    • Average annual salary: $ 33 million
    • Total guaranteed at signing: $ 61 million

    Cousins ​​is in the first season of his current contract with the Vikings, which was renewed in 2020 with a two-year deal of $ 66 million. It will be signed until 2022.

  • 7. Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles

    • Average annual salary: $ 32 million
    • Total Guaranteed At Signature: $ 66.471 Million

    Wentz is in the second season of his current contract with the Eagles, which was renewed in 2019 with a four-year deal of $ 128 million. He will sign until 2024.

  • 8. Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys

    • Average annual salary: $ 31.41 million (franchise tag)
    • Total guaranteed at signing: $ 31.41 million

    The Cowboys posted the franchise tag on Prescott in 2020, and the quarterback signed the call for tenders in late June to ensure his full 2020 salary.

  • 9. Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons

    • Average annual salary: $ 30 million
    • Total guaranteed at signing: $ 94.5 million

    Ryan is in the third season of his current contract with the Falcons, which was renewed in 2018 with a five-year $ 150 million deal. It is signed until 2023.

  • 10. Ryan Tannehill, QB, Titans

    • Average annual salary: $ 29.5 million
    • Total guaranteed at signing: $ 62 million

    Tannehill is in the first season of his current contract with the Titans, which was renewed in 2020 with a four-year deal of $ 118 million.

  • 11. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, 49ers

    • Average annual salary: $ 27.5 million
    • Total guaranteed at signing: $ 48.7 million

    Garoppolo is in the third season of the five-year $ 137.5 million contract he signed with the 49ers in 2018 after being traded by the patriots.

  • 12. Joey Bosa, DE, Chargers

    • Average annual salary: $ 27 million
    • Total guaranteed at signing: $ 78 million

    Los Angeles not only made Bosa the highest-paid NFL defender in terms of average money per year with his five-year deal, but no defensive player is ever guaranteed to sign again.

  • 13. Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions

    • Average annual salary: $ 27 million
    • Total guaranteed at signing: $ 60.5 million

    Stafford is in the fourth year of its current contract with the Lions, which was renewed in 2017 with a five-year deal of $ 135 million.

  • T14. Myles Garrett, DE, Browns

    • Average annual salary: $ 25 million
    • Total guaranteed at signing: $ 50 million

    Garrett enters the first year of his new contract with the Browns after cashing out a five-year contract worth up to $ 125 million.

  • T14. Tom Brady, QB, Buccaneers

    • Average annual salary: $ 25 million
    • Total guaranteed at signing: $ 50 million

    Brady signed a two-year contract with the Buccaneers in the 2020 NFL free agency. The full $ 50 million is guaranteed, excluding $ 9 million in available incentives.

  • 16. Derek Carr, QB, Raiders

    • Average annual salary: $ 25 million
    • Total guaranteed at signing: $ 40 million

    Carr is in the fourth year of his current contract with the Raiders, which was renewed in 2017 with a five-year deal of $ 125.025 million.

  • T17. Drew Brees, QB, Saints

    • Average annual salary: $ 25 million
    • Total guaranteed at signing: $ 25 million

    Brees signed a two-year contract extension with the Saints in 2020, earning him a $ 23 million signing bonus. Seasons 2022 and 2023 are invalid years, so New Orleans can evenly distribute that signing bonus; he is under contract until 2021.

  • T17: Philip Rivers, QB, Colts

    • Average annual salary: $ 25 million
    • Total guaranteed at signing: $ 25 million

    Rivers signed a one-year contract with the Colts in the 2020 NFL free agency. The full $ 25 million is guaranteed and includes a $ 12 million signing bonus.

  • 19. Khalil Mack, DE / OLB, Bears

    • Average annual salary: $ 23.5 million
    • Total guaranteed at signing: $ 60 million

    Mack is in the third season of his current contract with the Bears, which was renewed with a six-year deal of $ 141 million after being traded by the Raiders in 2018. It is signed until 2024.

  • 20. Alex Smith, QB, Redskins

    • Average annual salary: $ 23.5 million
    • Total guaranteed at signing: $ 55 million

    Smith is in the third season of his current contract with the Redskins, which was renewed with a four-year deal for $ 94 million after being traded by the Chiefs in 2018. It is signed until 2022.

  • 21. Aaron Donald, DL, Rams

    • Average annual salary: $ 22.5 million
    • Total guaranteed at signing: $ 50 million

    Donald is in the third season of the six-year $ 135 million contract extension that he signed with the Rams in 2018. It is signed until 2024.

  • 22. Julio Jones, WR, Falcons

    • Average annual salary: $ 22 million
    • Total guaranteed at signing: $ 64 million

    Jones is in the second season of the three-year $ 66 million contract extension that he signed with the Falcons in 2019. The extension will start next season and will be signed until 2023.

  • 23. Laremy Tunsil, LT, Texans

    • Average annual salary: $ 22 million
    • Total guaranteed at signing: $ 40 million

    Tunsil signed a three-year contract extension with the Texans in 2020 worth $ 66 million in new money.

  • 24. Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Cowboys

    • Average annual salary: $ 21 million
    • Total guaranteed at signing: $ 48 million

    Lawrence is in the second season of a five-year $ 105 million contract he signed with the Cowboys in 2019 after placing the franchise tag on him for the second year in a row.

  • 25. DeForest Buckner, DT, Colts

    • Average annual salary: $ 21 million
    • Total guaranteed at signing: $ 39.378 million

    Buckner signed a four-year, $ 84 million contract extension with the Colts after trading off the 49ers in 2020.

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