The 10 Highest-Paid NFL Players in 2022

The National Football League is one of the most wealthy organizations in sports. NFL teams are always on the lookout to sign and retain the best talent. The highest-paid NFL players in 2022 show how much teams are willing to spend on the very best.

Aaron Rodgers takes home the crown for the highest-paid NFL player in 2022 after his three-year contract helped him unseat last year’s top earner, Patrick Mahomes. Deshaun Watson’s latest signing with the Cleveland Browns elevates him further this season and gives Mahomes a run for his money too.

These three quarterbacks, along with seven others, are the highest-paid NFL players in 2022.

Who are the highest-paid NFL players in 2022?

1. Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers signed an extension with the Green Bay Packers, which pushes him to the top of the NFL’s highest earners this season. The three-year extension elevates his salary above the $50 million mark yearly, according to NFL.com. This rate is not only the highest in 2022 but also the maximum an NFL player has earned in history.

  • Team: Green Bay Packers
  • Contract: Three-year extension worth $150.6 million 
  • Average annual salary: $50.3 million

2. Deshaun Watson

The new season starts a critical phase in Deshaun Watson’s NFL career. Inking the five-year contract with the Cleveland Browns pushes the QB to the No. 2 ranking of the NFL’s highest-paid players. It also gives Watson the crown of the highest-paid player in terms of guaranteed money. He passed Rodgers with up to $80 million in guaranteed earnings.

3. Patrick Mahomes

The massive 10-year contract Patrick Mahomes signed with the Kansas City Chiefs propels him not only to nearly the top for NFL quarterbacks but among the highest earners in the NFL and sports history. Following the $450 million deal, Mahomes is set to stay with Kansas City up to 2031, earning a salary of up to $45 million annually.

  • Team: Kansas City Chiefs
  • Contract: 10 years, worth $450 million
  • Average annual salary: $45 million

4. Josh Allen

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes hug before an NFL football game
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Bills quarterback Josh Allen in 2021 | Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire

The soon-to-be 26-year-old Josh Allen comes fourth on the list of highest earners in NFL after signing a six-year contract of $258 million with the Buffalo Bills in 2021. This contract will earn Allen a guaranteed salary of $150 million. The contract is no mistake, considering the quarterback’s massive improvement in his four latest seasons. 

  • Team: Buffalo Bills
  • Contract: Six years, $258 million
  • Average annual salary: $43 million

5. Derek Carr

Derek Carr’s three-year deal with the Las Vegas Raiders makes him the fifth highest-paid NFL player in 2022.

  • Team: Las Vegas Raiders
  • Contract: Three years, $121.5 million
  • Average annual salary: $40.5 million

6. Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford appears in the top-10 list of highest-paid NFL athletes after the QB’s four-year contract with the Los Angeles Rams removed him from the Detroit Lions. The $160 million contract comes with a $60 million signing bonus, $130 million in guaranteed earnings, and a $40 million yearly average, according to Spotrac.

  • Team: Los Angeles Rams
  • Contract: four years, $160 million
  • Average annual salary: $40 million

7. Dak Prescott

After recovering from an ankle injury he suffered in 2020, Dak Prescott resumes his NFL career with a contract that pushes him up the list of the top-10 highest earners. The two-time Pro Bowler now ties with the Rams’ Matthew Stafford concerning their average annual salaries.

  • Team: The Dallas Cowboys
  • Contract: four years, $160 million
  • Average annual salary: $40 million

8. Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson ties with Kirk Cousins and earns slightly lower than Dan Prescott. The 33-year-old Super Bowl champion now makes up to $35 million from his contract with the Denver Broncos.

  • Team: Denver Broncos
  • Contract: four years, $140 million
  • Average annual salary: $35 million

9. Kirk Cousins

The two-time Pro Bowler ties with Russel Wilson after his contract with Minnesota Vikings.

10. Jared Goff

Now with the Detroit Lions, Jared Goff closes out the list of the top-10 highest-paid NFL players of 2022 with an average annual salary of $33.5 million. Goff was working on a lucrative deal with the Los Angeles Rams. But the deal came to an end when he joined Lions as part of Matthew Stafford’s purchase.

  • Team: Detroit Lions
  • Contract: Four years, $134 million
  • Average annual salary: $33.5 million

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