Aaron Rodgers is now the highest-paid player in football, thanks to a $134 million contract with a $57.5 million signing bonus. His $33.5 million annual salary toppled the record set by Matt Ryan, who just a few months earlier became the first player in history to earn $30 million a year. Last year, Matthew Stafford made headlines with a record-breaking contract that pays him $135 million over five years — it didn’t remain a record very long. What do all these men have in common? They’re quarterbacks.
Quarterback is indeed the NFL’s money position. In fact, eight of the 10 highest-paid players in football line up behind the center. With the start of the 2018 season, here’s a look at the richest quarterbacks in the game, their contracts and careers.
Blake Bortles Net Worth: $20 Million
Blake Bortles signed a three-year, $54 million contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who drafted him in the first round in 2014. $26.5 million of that haul is guaranteed, thanks largely to a $15 million signing bonus. He’ll be paid an average of $18 million a year until he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2021, although he has a potential out in 2020. With a stud running back, a shored up O-line and new targets at both tight end and wide receiver — not to mention a big, juicy contract — expectations on Bortles are high.
The Jaguars are the 18th-richest team in the NFL.
Derek Carr Net Worth: $20 Million
Drafted by the Raiders in 2014, Derek Carr remains with Oakland. He signed a five-year, $125 million contract that includes a $12.5 million signing bonus. About $70.2 million is guaranteed to Carr, who will earn an average of $25 million a year. The Raiders new coach Jon Gruden stunned the football world when he traded superstar defensive end Khalil Mack, one of Carr’s closest friends and teammates.
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Andy Dalton Net Worth: $25 Million
Andy Dalton has played his entire eight-year career with the Bengals. He’s currently locked in a six-year, $96 million contract that pays him an average annual salary of $16 million a year and includes a $12 million signing bonus. Dalton’s stellar 130.9 preseason passer rating was the best in the league.
Still, the Bengals will always be the Bengals, and fans are constantly raving against owner Mike Brown. This is what it would take to buy the team from him.
Jimmy Garoppolo Net Worth: $25 Million
Jimmy Garoppolo earned less than $675,000 last year with the Patriots, a far cry from the $27.5 million he’ll earn on average now that he’s San Francisco’s starter — now that’s a lucrative raise. The 49ers signed Garoppolo to a five-year, $137.5 million contract that includes a $7 million signing bonus. Tom Brady’s former understudy is now expected to be one of the league’s top quarterbacks. He went 5-0 last year with San Francisco and Bleacher Report speculates that some among the New England brass regret letting him go.
Ryan Tannehill Net Worth: $30 Million
Drafted by the Dolphins in the first round in 2012, Ryan Tannehill remains in Miami under a four-year, $77 million contract. He earns an average salary of $19.25 million a year and picked up an $11.5 million signing bonus as part of the deal. The Dolphins are swimming in quarterbacks, with three on the roster as the battle for the backup position rages on.
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Matthew Stafford Net Worth: $35 Million
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford made headlines in 2017 when he signed a then-record five-year, $135 million contract that included a whopping $50 million signing bonus and $92 million guarantee. His average salary is $27 million a year. He earned it by carrying the weight of the team on his shoulders, but now, Detroit has put big bucks into its running game, which should relieve some of the pressure on Stafford.
Decades of underperforming have really put a dent in the Lions’ revenues and profits.
Andrew Luck Net Worth: $40 Million
Andrew Luck is in the middle of a five-year, $122.97 million contract that pays him an average of $24.594 million a year and includes a signing bonus of $32 million. Luck is about to play his first real game since 2016 after missing all of last year due to a shoulder injury that came with a long and painful recovery. Maybe he should just retire instead — Indianapolis is one of the best cities to retire rich.
Cam Newton Net Worth: $45 Million
A career Panther since Carolina drafted him No. 1 overall in 2011, Cam Newton is in the middle of a five-year, $103.8 million contract. The contract, which includes a $22.5 million signing bonus, pays him an average annual salary of $20.76 million. The Panthers are hoping that the addition of Norv Turner as offensive coordinator will give Newton a boost. The Panthers are the 30th-most-valuable U.S. sports franchise — see how much the team is worth.
Russell Wilson Net Worth: $45 Million
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is nearing the end of a four-year, $87.6 million contract that includes a $31 million signing bonus and pays him an average salary of $21.9 million a year. It was just revealed that Wilson earned the honor of being featured on the current Wheaties cereal boxes.
Kirk Cousins Net Worth: $50 Million
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is starting a three-year, $84 million contract that includes a $3 million signing bonus and pays him an average salary of $28 million a year. He’s guaranteed the entire $84 million. After leaving the Redskins, Cousins turned down a guaranteed $90 million from the Jets to go to Minnesota.
The Vikings are hoping Cousins also helps boost the team’s revenues.
Joe Flacco Net Worth: $55 Million
Ravens star quarterback Joe Flacco signed a three-year, $66.4 million contract that includes a $40 million signing bonus and pays him an average of $22.13 million a year. All but $22 million of the contract is guaranteed. Although the Ravens enjoyed extraordinary success with Flacco at the helm, including six playoff runs in seven seasons and a Super Bowl win, the team is coming off a disappointing three-year postseason drought.
See how much Super Bowl ticket prices have increased since the team was last in the championship game.
Alex Smith Net Worth: $55 Million
A 14-year veteran of the NFL, Alex Smith was drafted in the first round in 2005. He’s just starting a four-year, $94 million contract with the Redskins, which includes a $27 million signing bonus and pays him an annual average salary of $23.5 million. Smith is coming off a career season, which included more than 4,000 passing yards and 26 touchdowns in 2017.
Smith’s millions won’t go as far in Washington — it’s one of the most expensive places to live in the country.
Sam Bradford Net Worth: $70 Million
With nine years of NFL experience, Arizona quarterback Sam Bradford signed a contract that lasts just one year, but pays him $20 million, $15 million of which is guaranteed, including a $10 million signing bonus. The Cardinals are in the midst of a quarterback controversy, but Bradford just edged out Josh Rosen for the starting job versus the Redskins in Week 1.
The Cardinals are one of the more affordable teams to go watch live.
Aaron Rodgers Net Worth: $70 Million
Aaron Rodgers is now the NFL’s highest-paid player for the second time in his career. Rodgers will earn an average annual salary of $33.5 million as part of a four-year, $134 million contract that comes with a $57.5 million signing bonus. Eventually, he’ll make the list of richest NFL MVPs of all time.
Ben Roethlisberger Net Worth: $70 Million
Longtime Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is winding down a four-year, $87.4 million contract, which includes a $31 million signing bonus and pays him an average salary of $21.85 million a year. Roethlisberger was also one of the highest paid players in the 2017 Pro Bowl. The 15-year veteran had a concussion scare in the preseason, but it turned out to be a false alarm.
Matt Ryan Net Worth: $70 Million
Matt Ryan had a career season in 2016, and his hard work paid off. Ryan held the distinction of being the first player to earn $30 million a year. That’s the average annual salary that comes with his five-year, $150 million contract, $100 million of which is guaranteed. His signing bonus is $46.5 million.
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Philip Rivers Net Worth: $80 Million
Chargers veteran Philip Rivers has 15 years under his belt in the NFL since he was drafted in the first round in 2004. Rivers signed a four-year, $83.25 million contract that includes a $22.5 million signing bonus and pays him an average of $20.81 million a year until he becomes a free agent in 2020. Rivers’ stellar performance in 2017 earned him a Pro Bowl selection last year.
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Drew Brees Net Worth: $100 Million
At the age of 39, Drew Brees has 18 years of NFL experience under his belt, making him one of the most seasoned veterans in the league. He signed a two-year, $50 million contract that includes a $13.5 million signing bonus. Brees is currently embroiled in a lawsuit surrounding the sale of a rare, multimillion-dollar blue diamond.
Eli Manning Net Worth: $100 million
Eli Manning is deep into a four-year, $84 million contract that includes a $31 million signing bonus and pays him an average salary of $21 million a year. The Giants made a huge statement regarding their faith in Manning when they cut Davis Webb, a backup who many believed was being groomed to replace the Super Bowl-winning Manning. The Giants are the third-most-valuable NFL franchise.
Tom Brady Net Worth: $180 million
Although Joe Montana was long considered the greatest quarterback in history, it’s getting harder and harder — even for Patriots haters — to argue that Tom Brady hasn’t earned that title. The three-time MVP and 13-time Pro Bowler has been to eight Super Bowls and won five — and his exploits have earned him the title of richest quarterback in the league. Brady signed a two-year, $30 million contract that includes a $10 million signing bonus.
Click through to see the richest Super Bowl MVPs of all time.
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Net worth figures via Celebrity Net Worth.