Teams don’t get to the Super Bowl without talented, highly-paid players. This year, the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals rosters feature five players with double-digit million-dollar salaries in 2021 and 55 players making at least $1 million this year. But, the question is, which Super Bowl 56 player makes the most money?
Who is the highest-paid player on the LA Rams?
The highest-paid player on the LA Rams, which also makes him the Super Bowl 56 player who makes the most money, is quarterback Matthew Stafford. With a $9.5M base salary, $10M roster bonus, and 5K workout bonus, Stafford is on the books for $20M this season.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as Stafford is the eighth-highest-paid player in NFL history. Stafford’s $246.5M career earnings are only behind Peyton Manning ($248.7M), Eli Manning ($252.2M), Aaron Rodgers ($263.6M), Matt Ryan ($267M), Ben Roethlisberger ($267.2M), Drew Brees ($269.7), and Tom Brady, the highest-paid player in NFL history at $292.9M in career earnings.
The defensive side of the ball is well-compensated, too. After Stafford, the Rams Super Bowl 56 players who make the most money is DT Aaron Donald ($14.3M). CB Jalen Ramsey is third at $9.7M.
As for the rest of the Rams, some notable salaries include:
- TE Tyler Higbee ($5.8M)
- LT Andrew Whitworth ($5.6M)
- OLB Leonard Floyd ($5.5M)
- WR Cooper Kupp ($5.3M)
- OLB Von Miller ($722K)
- WR Odell Beckham Jr. ($850K)
One more fun fact about the LA Rams’ salary structure: P Johnny Hekker is the highest-paid punter in the game, making $3.6M in 2021.
Who is the highest-paid player on the Cincinnati Bengals?
One of the most valuable entities in the NFL is an awesome rookie quarterback on his rookie deal. That’s exactly what the Cincinnati Bengals have in Joe Burrow. In year two of Burrow’s four-year (with a fifth-year team option) rookie deal, Burrow made $8.2M in 2021.
Burrow’s relatively low salary (for a star QB) allowed the Bengals to dedicate more money to the defense. The D is the unit that slowed down Patrick Mahomes in the AFC Championship to propel the Bengals to the Big Game. The Bengals’ Super Bowl 56 player who makes the most money is CB Trae Waynes, clocking in at $158M.
The next two highest-paid players are also on that side of the ball. DT D.J. Reader made $13.5M in 2021, and DE Trey Hendrickson, an offseason free-agent signing, earned $12.4M. An offensive player finally makes it on the list at No. 4, with third WR Tyler Boyd’s $9.8M 2021 salary.
Other notable Bengals salaries include:
- RB Joe Mixon ($8.1M)
- TE C.J. Uzomah ($6.1M)
- CB Chidobe Awuzie ($6.0M)
- WR Ja’Marr Chase ($5.6M)
- S Vonn Bell ($$5.4M)
- WR Tee Higgins ($1.9M)
As the only K drafted in the 2021 NFL Draft, Evan McPherson made $745K this season, just slightly less than the highest-paid kicker in the Super Bowl, Matt Gay, who took home $800K in this, his third season.
Which Super Bowl 56 player makes the least money?
After discussing which Super Bowl 56 player makes the most money, let’s look at which Super Bowl 56 player makes the least money.
The NFL minimum salary for rookies in 2021 is $660K. This increases for every year of service time. The one-year minimum is $780k, the two-year minimum is $850k, and so on. This goes all the way up to veterans with 10-plus years of service time who make a minimum of $1.05M.
These contracts are prorated for time spent on the active roster. So, if a player is released and re-signed or placed on the practice squad, that number goes down.
On the LA Rams, the lowest-paid player on the active roster is S Jake Gervase. The Rams cut him following training camp. However, he re-signed as a practice squad player with a $780K contract if he made the active roster. After playing in two regular-season games and three postseason games, all on special teams, Gervase made $48K this season.
The lowest-paid player in this year’s Super Bowl, though, comes from the Cincinnati Bengals. Jake Browning, an undrafted rookie QB out of Washington, made the Bengals practice squad as the team’s third-string signal-caller after the Minnesota Vikings cut him. His brief time on the active roster this season earned him a cool $36K, making him the lowest-paid player on the Super Bowl rosters.
Gervase, Browning, and others at the low end of the Super Bowl wage scale might not factor into the game, but they’ll be pulling hard for their team to win on Sunday. Winning a Super Bowl means a $150K bonus for the players, double the $75k the losing payers get.
All contract figures courtesy of Spotrac