The NFL's highest-paid quarterbacks in salary, guaranteed money and total contract value

Sporting News

The list of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL changes often, and some notable moves in the rankings are on their way.

The name Patrick Mahomes, for example, is nowhere to be found among the league's highest-paid quarterbacks no matter the criteria. But Mahomes likely will become the NFL's highest-paid quarterback in every measurable way when he and Chiefs finally agree on an extension.

MORE: The NFL's highest-paid players overall

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Listing the highest-paid QBs in the NFL is an inexact science since there are multiple ways to arrange the ranking. For example, Seahawks passer Russell Wilson currently makes the most money in terms of average annual salary, but three QBs — the Falcons' Matt Ryan, the Vikings' Kirk Cousins and the Packers' Aaron Rodgers — have more fully guaranteed dollars attached to their contracts.

Below are the 10 highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL, organized three ways by three different criteria — average annual salary, fully guaranteed money and total contract value. (NFL QB contract figures courtesy of Over The Cap and Spotrac.)

NFL's highest-paid quarterbacks

  • Average annual salary

Rank

Salary

QB

Team

1.

$35 million

Russell Wilson

Seahawks

2.

$34 million

Ben Roethlisberger

Steelers

T3.

$33.5 million

Jared Goff

Rams

T3.

$33.5 million

Aaron Rodgers

Packers

5.

$33 million

Kirk Cousins

Vikings

6.

$32 million

Carson Wentz

Eagles

6.

$30.144 million (tag)

Dak Prescott

Cowboys

7.

$30 million

Matt Ryan

Falcons

8.

$29.5 million

Ryan Tannehill

Titans

9.

$27.975 million

Jacoby Brissett

Colts

Wilson's four-year contract extension with Seattle, signed in April 2019, made him the league's highest-paid player in terms of average annual salary. Because $35 million of his $65 million signing bonus was deferred to 2020, Wilson is scheduled to make $53 million this year, an amoun that includes his $18 million base salary.

Roethlisberger's high annual salary is the product of the contract extension he received from the Steelers in April 2019. His base salary in 2020 is just $8.5 million, but including a $12.5 million roster bonus, he is scheduled to earn $21 million this year. (Only $16 million of that is guaranteed for injury.)

MORE: Projecting Mahomes' record NFL contract

  • Fully guaranteed money

Rank

Guaranteed

QB

Team

1.

$94.5 million

Matt Ryan

Falcons

2.

$78.7 million

Aaron Rodgers

Packers

3.

$70 million

Russell Wilson

Seahawks

4.

$66.47 million

Carson Wentz

Eagles

5.

$66 million

Kirk Cousins

Vikings

6.

$62 million

Ryan Tannehill

Titans

7.

$60.5 million

Matthew Stafford

Lions

8.

$57.04 million

Jared Goff

Rams

9.

$55 million

Alex Smith

Redskins

10.

$50 million

Tom Brady

Buccaneers

Ryan technically received $100 million in guarantees when he signed his extension with the Falcons in May 2018, but only $94.5 million (2018, 2019 and 2020 base salaries; $46.5 million signing bonus; $10 million option bonus) was guaranteed at signing. Ryan restructured his contract after last season to convert $12 million of his 2020 salary into a signing bonus, so he is scheduled to earn $20.5 million this year.

Cousins' three-year deal with the Vikings, signed in March 2018, is the only fully guaranteed contract in the history of the NFL. He is scheduled to earn $30 million in 2020 unless Minnesota gives him an extension.

  • Total contract value

Rank

Total value

QB

Team

1.

$150 million

Matt Ryan

Falcons

2.

$140 million

Russell Wilson

Seahawks

3.

$137.5 million

Jimmy Garoppolo

49ers

4.

$135 million

Matthew Stafford

Lions

T5.

$134 million

Jared Goff

Rams

T5.

$134 million

Aaron Rodgers

Packers

7.

$128 million

Carson Wentz

Eagles

8.

$125.025 million

Derek Carr

Raiders

9.

$118 million

Ryan Tannehill

Titans

10.

$103.8 million

Cam Newton

Panthers

While the total value of Garoppolo's contract ranks high, he was guaranteed just $48.7 million when he signed the deal in February 2018. Because so much of his potential earnings over the next three years comes from non-guaranteed base salary, he carries small dead cap charges and high cap savings for the 49ers if cut or traded.

Stafford signed his big extension with the Lions almost three years ago. He is scheduled to earn just $8.3 million in 2020, but his earnings will increase in 2021 ($20 million) and 2022 ($23 million) if Detroit keeps him on his current contract.

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