Playing football in the NFL is one of the highest-earning jobs in the world. Sports is a lucrative industry, but very few sports commands handsome earnings like the NFL. The average NFL player's salary is $2.7 million, but some players are paid much more than that.
Most NFL fans are happy to pay to watch their favorite players slug it out on the field. They know that these players' performances will determine their chances with NFL odds for each game in the long season. So, paying to watch them play gives the fans a chance to cheer these players on to victory.
Many young Americans dream of playing in the NFL someday. Besides the love for the sport, it is crucial to understand the motivating factors behind this dream.
What inspires young Americans to dream of playing in the NFL?
Many things inspire young Americans to dream of playing in the NFL. For some, it’s the excitement and competition of the sport. Others are inspired by the camaraderie and teamwork that are required to be successful.
And for many, it’s the opportunity to achieve their childhood dreams. From childhood, particularly in schools, these players have been developing and dreaming of playing football to deliver happiness to the faces of American football fans in the stadiums.
Some are motivated to play in the NFL because of the financial rewards and prospective earnings. Some are enticed by fame. Playing in the NFL makes them relevant figures in America’s and global entertainment circles. They also get the opportunity to build their social capital, which they can leverage for even more rewards (financial and otherwise).
Who are the top earners in the NFL?
Many NFL players love their jobs because of the huge paycheck they receive. The average footballer's salary in the NFL runs into millions of dollars in guaranteed sums annually.
Footballers in the NFL are one of the highest-paid athletes in America. Ironically, some footballers are clamoring for more pay. One cannot place value on the entertainment and fun these footballers deliver to fans weekly in stadiums across the country. However, playing in the NFL is life-changing for many footballers.
As with most sports, the top performers in the NFL can negotiate lucrative deals. Here are some players with some of the highest guaranteed sums as at the start of the 2022 NFL season:
Rodgers’ new deal with the Green Bay Packers makes him the highest earner in the NFL for the 2022 season. The 38-year-old Quarterback has been an exceptional player with two MVP titles to his name and one Super Bowl title in his nearly two-decade-long career.
Rodgers’ new deal will see him earn $50.3 Million per season with a guaranteed sum of $150.6 Million from his contract.
Wilson plays as a Quarterback for Denver Broncos, where he earns approximately $49 Million every season. Despite being traded to Denver Broncos in the 2022 off-season, Wilson was able to secure a 5-year contract extension which will accrue to approximately $245 Million over the next seven years.
Kyler Murray is an American football quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Oklahoma, where he was a two-time Heisman Trophy winner and was drafted first overall by the Cardinals in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Murray’s deal is also one of the most lucrative in the NFL. The 24-year-old secured a 5-year contract extension with Arizona Cardinals with $46.1 Million set to be earned this season. Murray’s contract is worth approximately $230+ Million when estimated, but the player has $160 Million guaranteed.
Watson is another high-earning Quarterback who plays for Cleveland Browns. Deshaun Watson has a 5-year running contract worth $230 Million with Cleveland. His annual earnings are approximately $44.9 Million.
However, he will not be paid the total amount this year after the NFL suspended him over sexual misconduct.
Patrick Mahomes’ contract is one of the highest valued contracts in the NFL. The 27-year-old Quarterback who plays for Kansas City Chiefs inked a 10-year contract worth $450 Million with the Chiefs. With an expected annual salary of $45 Million, Mahomes’ deal stands out for a young Quarterback with enormous potential.
The contract also includes a no-trade clause and a full guarantee. This means that Mahomes will be with the Chiefs for at least the next ten years, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
This is great news for Chiefs fans, as they can expect to see their team contend for a Super Bowl title for many years to come, with Mahomes leading the way.
Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen is another top-earning Quarterback. Allen’s contract is worth $258 Million with an estimated annual salary of $43 Million. Allen is guaranteed $150 Million from the contract, and his performances are a testament to why he was offered such a lucrative deal.
What you need to know about these deals?
The quoted figures are from the contracts signed between these players and their respective teams. Many players collaborate with brands in different sectors, and some even run other personal businesses from which they earn good money. However, many make much more from other commercial endeavors and brand collaborations.
The most important thing to remember is that these deals are not set in stone. Players can be released or traded at any time, and their contracts can be renegotiated. So, while a player may be earning a huge salary right now, that doesn't mean they will continue to do so in the future.
These are the highest-paid NFL players for the start of the 2022 season. If you look up the history of many former and current NFL players, you will realize that the monies they earned from playing in the NFL helped to elevate their financial status.
Playing football is one route that has positively transformed the lives of many young men in America. And their earnings’ impacts are usually felt in their immediate families and communities.
So, while the love for the game of football is big in the hearts of many Americans, the transformative effects of playing and earning good money in the NFL are also a major dream for many young Americans.