NFL: What Position Gets Paid the Least?
Not all positions in the NFL are equal. Some are more important than others, and as a result the average salaries are typically higher. Other than the best defensive players in the league, offensive players are generally paid better than those on defense. Quarterback is the highest-paid position, with the biggest stars at the position earning in excess of $30 million, and in some cases more than $40 million per season.
But, of course, there are some positions at the other end of the salary spectrum in the NFL. Those players are still making good money but they’re not in nearly the same range as the players at the top of the chain. Here’s the lowest-paid position in the NFL.
Long snappers get paid the least of any position in the NFL
The long snapper position is one of the least important positions on a football field, and as a result is the lowest-paid position on average, according to rankings provided by Spotrac.
With an average pay of $930,463 per year, long snapper is not only the lowest-paid position but also the only position group tracked by Spotrac that falls under a $1 million average salary.
The highest-paid long snapper this season is the Ravens’ Morgan Cox, who counts for $1.24 million against Baltimore’s cap space in 2020, in his final year of a five-year contract. At the bottom of the positional list is the Broncos’ Jacob Bobenmoyer, an undrafted free agent, who is making $610,000 this season.
Fullbacks aren’t much higher up the NFL chain
The fullback position has been losing luster for quite some time in the NFL, so it’s not surprising that it ranks next-to-last on the list of highest-paid positions. This season’s average salary at the position is $1,191,699, which is nearly half a million less than special teams, which is the position group just ahead of fullback in the rankings.
Kyle Juszczyk is, by far, the highest-paid player at the position with a $5.05 million base salary and a $6.7 million cap hit for the 49ers. The biggest star at the position, Juszczyk is in the final year of his four-year deal with the team.
The next closest fullback, based on cap dollars, is the Ravens’ Patrick Ricard at just under $3 million. This season’s lowest-paid fullback is the Packers’ John Lovett, who is making just $538,235 in his second season in the league.
Specialty positions don’t pay well
The common bond between long snapper and fullback is that they are specialty positions that teams don’t feel add much and aren’t too important to the team’s success — leading to the low salaries.
Fullback has become such a specialty that only 20 of the 32 teams have a fullback this season. The more important a position is, the higher the salaries are at that position. The long snapper is, as the name suggests, a player who is only used when his team needs to snap the ball farther than usual.
The long snapper is a special teams specialist who is usually only on the field for punts and field goal or point-after-touchdown attempts. While the snap is important for kicks, the job of the holder and the punter or kicker are more important than that of the long snapper.
Fullbacks are the lesser of the two running back positions, with the halfback being a team’s main runner. A fullback’s main role is blocking players on the defense, and as fullbacks are usually bigger than halfbacks they most often carry the ball when the team needs to get short yardage and wants to send the fullback up the middle to try to get those yards, especially in the red zone.
Fullbacks are often used more in the passing game than on the ground. In his first seven games this season, for example, Juszczyk has as many receptions as carries, with seven apiece, and he has 12 targets in the passing game.