American Football is one of the most prestigious and glamorous sports on the planet. Although its fan base is limited outside of North America, the NFL is starting to become part of mainstream sport in Europe and the subcontinent. As one of the biggest major league sports in the US, it should be of little surprise that the NFL also carries the biggest salaries for its football superstars.
Historically, the quarterbacks get most of the salary attention, as they are the ones throwing for touchdowns and territory week in, week out. As the 2022/23 NFL season prepares to reach the end zone, let’s look at the biggest earners in the league this campaign.
Patrick Mahomes (Quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs)
You might be surprised to find that Patrick Mahomes is only fifth in the list of biggest salaries for the 2022/23 NFL season, taking home $46.79 million. Mahomes is one of the brightest stars in the NFL right now. He played a key role in transforming the fortunes of the Kansas City Chiefs in recent years.
Mahomes was named the NFL’s MVP in 2018 and the Super Bowl MVP during the Chiefs’ Super Bowl LIV success. Mahomes and the Chiefs are on track to make a bold bid for another Super Bowl in 2023. They are priced as +350 favorites to win the Super Bowl, with DraftKings putting them ahead of the Buffalo Bills and the San Francisco 49ers. Although this operator used to focus on daily fantasy sports, it’s now a fully-fledged sports betting portal, with its DraftKings promo code one of the market leaders for first-time NFL bettors across multiple US states.
Deshaun Watson (Quarterback, Cleveland Browns)
Quarterback Deshaun Watson is no stranger to controversy, but he is still one of the most in-demand players in the NFL. So much so that the Cleveland Browns sought to tie him down to a five-year contract with a total of $230 million. In the 2022/23 NFL season alone, Watson will take home around $46 million, regardless of how many games he turns out for the Browns.
There are several reasons why Cleveland were prepared to invest so much into Watson, despite his off-field issues. He has an exceptional throwing arm and in-game IQ, while his accuracy is also up there with the best in the business.
Kyler Murray (Quarterback, Arizona Cardinals)
Kyler Murray agreed a new five-year contract arrangement with the Arizona Cardinals ahead of the start of the 2022/23 NFL season. Murray still has at least a decade at the top of the game, which explains the Cardinals’ long-term thinking. Murray’s five-year deal is said to be worth $230.5 million, which equates to $46.1 million per season, a touch more than Deshaun Watson.
The new deal hasn’t panned out quite as well as the Cardinals would have hoped for this term. A serious ACL knee injury revealed by NFL.com ruled Murray out for the rest of the season before Christmas. Arizona will have everything crossed that he recuperates in time for the start of the 2023/24 campaign.
Russell Wilson (Quarterback, Denver Broncos)
Russell Wilson was one of the Seattle Seahawks’ biggest players for some time, but his switch to the Denver Broncos has made him a very rich man. The 34-year-old was traded to the Broncos, landing a five-year contract extension that’s reportedly worth $49 million per annum.
Wilson is certainly one of the most durable quarterbacks in the modern-day era of NFL. After making his debut, Wilson was able to play 149 successive games with Seattle, making him a player that the Seahawks could depend on. However, he’s been less prolific at Denver to date.
Aaron Rodgers (Quarterback, Green Bay Packers)
Aaron Rodgers is currently the highest-paid NFL player in 2023. The two-time NFL MVP secured a new three-year contract with the Packers last year, raking in $50.3 million per season. In doing so, Rodgers has become the first NFL player to earn more than $50 million in a single season.
It’s fair to say that Rodgers is a quarterback that earns his corn. He has been a league MVP on four separate occasions, a Super Bowl winner and a ten-time Pro Bowl selection. The 2022/23 campaign also sees Rodgers at the peak of his powers. He threw 85 touchdowns in the previous two years.