Every NFL offseason brings us the same stories about players negotiating moves and teams trading for stars that will bring them Super Bowl glory. It certainly worked for the Rams last year and 2022 was no different with the fevered speculation.
It is no surprise that the top ten highest-paid players in the NFL are all quarterbacks. These are the men who paid the big bucks to make the decisions and lead the team. But some of the names on this list may cause a second look because of the lack of success they have managed to inspire so far. But if you are going to bet on the Super Bowl you will probably be backing one of these to make those all-important passes.
#10 Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
- #10 Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
- #9 Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos
- #8 Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams
- #7 Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
- #6 Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders
- #5 Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
- #4 Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
- #3 Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns
- #2 Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
- #1 Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Vikings fans have not always backed Cousins to be the QB to finally bring them a Super Bowl. But his annual income of around $35 million is being earned this season so far. Minnesota looks good for the playoffs and could be the team to beat the Eagles to the NFC championship in the New Year.
#9 Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos
Wilson managed to negotiate a contract with the Broncos that pays him around the same as Kirk Cousins – and that was obviously enough to leave Seattle after nine years. Things are not going so well at the moment though.
#8 Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams
Last year’s Super Bowl champ was able to use that success to wrangle a very attractive new contract from the Rams and now takes home around $40 million a year. The pressure of the repeat seems to be weighing down on LA this year though.
#7 Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Prescott came to the Cowboys in 2016 as the proposed backup to Tony Romo but took his chance when the starter was injured in pre-season. He has done well but has suffered from injuries – including this season. He has now returned to start earning some of his reputed $40 million salary.
#6 Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders
Carr led the Raiders to their first playoff game in five years in 2021 but was unable to stop the Bengals from progressing. That did allow him to up his salary though, to about $40.5 million a year. But at the current time, it looks unlikely that he will lead Las Vegas back to the postseason in 2022.
#5 Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Allen has steadily improved over the last few years and is now expected to take the Bills to Super Bowl glory for the first time ever. That was enough for the organization to pay him around $43 million a year – and it looks like money well spent at the moment, with Buffalo the number-one team in the AFC.
Figure 2 Salaries increase every single offseason
#4 Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes was supposed to be leading the Chiefs to repeat Super Bowl victories a few years ago but the rest of the league seemed to have caught up somewhat. He is still an electrifying quarterback to watch though – and his 10-year $450 million contract is a testament to that.
#3 Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns
A very controversial addition to this list, Deshaun Watson is fully guaranteed $230 million over five years even though he is currently suspended because of sexual harassment allegations. He isn’t set to return until week 13 but will still be able to pay any fines quite easily.
#2 Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
Yet another quarterback that signed a lucrative contract extension in the offseason, Kyler Murray’s performances last season did enough to bump him up this list even though the Cards ultimately fizzled out and then got dumped by the Rams in the wild card game. His new salary has not resulted in an improved Arizona record.
#1 Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
If you are a Super Bowl-winning quarterback that publically considers retirement or the possibility of a move to another team, you are likely to be able to renegotiate an attractive contract extension. This was the case for Rodgers, who ultimately remained at the Packers after agreeing a deal that makes him the first NFL player to earn over $50 million in a single season.