Patrick Mahomes and More of the Highest-Paid Players in Super Bowl LVII
The executives in NFL front offices who deal with player contracts face a constant battle of filling rosters on budgets. They must live within the constraints of the NFL salary cap, which represents the total amount teams can pay in player base salary and all bonuses each season.
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While the $208.2 million cap in place for the 2022 season sounds generous, it proved a tough number to navigate for some general managers.
Considering that some teams have multiple players earning more than $10 million or even $20 million, teams must pinch some pennies, perform some magic through contract restructures and make tough decisions when it comes to salaries.
So which players in Super Bowl LVII, set for Feb. 12, gobbled up the most of their team’s salary caps?
10. Joe Thuney, Guard, Chiefs
- 2022 Salary Cap Number: $8,151,250
Joe Thuney’s base salary was just $1.035 million in the 2022 season, but it will increase to $15 million next season in the third year of his five-year, $80 million contract. The $15 million becomes guaranteed if he is on the roster on March 18.
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9. Travis Kelce, Tight End, Chiefs
- 2022 Salary Cap Number: $8,444,999
Considered the best tight end in football, Travis Kelce earned a base pay just below $2.9 million in the 2022 season after a renegotiation turned $4.6 million of his salary into a signing bonus. His four-year, $57.25 million package is second among tight ends to George Kittle (five years, $75 million) of the San Francisco 49ers.
8. Brandon Graham, Defensive End, Eagles
- 2022 Salary Cap Number: $9,413,000
Brandon Graham has played all 13 of his NFL seasons in Philadelphia and has earned more than $88 million. He had a base salary of $1.15 million in 2022, and the rest of his cap number came off signing bonuses and a workout bonus.
7. Darius Slay, Cornerback, Eagles
- 2022 Salary Cap Number: $9,731,000
Darius Slay’s three-year, $50.05 million deal saw him receive a base salary of $1.12 million in 2022 after a restructuring turned $14.88 million into a signing bonus. A similar move likely will occur this offseason with his pay base currently slated to be $17 million in 2023.
6. Lane Johnson, Right Tackle, Eagles
- 2022 Salary Cap Number: $11,059,000
Lane Johnson, who has a four-year, $72 million deal, has had his contract restructured five straight years. So while he had the second-largest cap hit on the team, his base salary was just $1.12 million.
5. Frank Clark, Defensive End, Chiefs
- 2022 Salary Cap Number: $13,286,111
Frank Clark received $3.725 million in base pay this season and earned another $1 million in incentives due to playing in more than 60 percent of the defensive snaps and the Chiefs reaching the playoffs. He pocketed another $500,000 for Kansas City’s AFC Championship Game victory and will earn another $1 million if the Chiefs beat the Eagles in the Super Bowl.
4. Orlando Brown Jr., Left Tackle, Chiefs
- 2022 Salary Cap Number: $16,662,000
Orlando Brown Jr. is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in March after playing under the franchise tag in the 2022 season. His total earnings over his first four NFL seasons were under $7 million.
3. Javon Hargrave, Defensive Tackle, Eagles
- 2022 Salary Cap Number: $17,802,000
Javon Hargrave’s salary cap number and base salary ($12.75 million) were the highest figures on the team in 2022. He is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in March as his three-year, $39 million deal expires.
2. Chris Jones, Defensive Tackle, Chiefs
- 2022 Salary Cap Number: $29,415,667
Chris Jones is completing the third season of a four-year, $80 million deal and has the second-highest salary cap number on the squad. He matched his career high of 15 1/2 sacks to earn a $1.25 million bonus.
1. Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback, Chiefs
- 2022 Salary Cap Number: $35,793,381
While Patrick Mahomes’ $450 million contract — spread over 10 years — is the largest in NFL history, his base salary was just $1.5 million in 2022. He earned $30.7 million overall, most of it coming in a roster bonus of $27.4 million.
Methodology: GOBankingRates used Spotrac’s 2022 cap tracker data for both the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles to find the 10 highest-paid players (in terms of 2022 cap hit) playing in Super Bowl LVII. GOBankingRates found (where applicable) each player’s; (1) 2022 cap hit; (2) 2022 base salary; (3) 2022 signing bonus; (4) 2022 roster bonus; and (5) 2022 miscellaneous pay, including restructuring, contract incentives and workout bonuses. All data was collected and is up to date as of Jan. 30, 2023.
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