Top 10 Highest Paid NFL Positions: Who Makes the Most Money?

highest paid nfl positions

The National Football League (NFL) is one of the most popular and lucrative sports leagues in the world. NFL players are among the highest-paid athletes in the world, and the highest paid NFL positions in the league can earn millions of dollars per year.

In this blog post, we will look at the highest paid NFL positions, the factors that affect NFL player salaries, and why certain positions are paid more than others. We will also provide a list of the top 10 highest paid NFL positions in 2023.

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What is the Highest Paid NFL Position?

The highest paid NFL position is quarterback. Quarterbacks are the most important players on the field, as they are responsible for leading the offense and making decisions about where to throw the ball. The best quarterbacks in the league can win games by themselves, and they are often paid the most money as a result.

In the previous year, the average salary for an NFL quarterback was expected to be over $3.3 million. However, the salaries of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the league can be much higher. For example, the top-paid quarterback in the NFL, Patrick Mahomes, is expected to earn over $50 million in 2023.

There are several reasons why quarterbacks are paid so much money.

First, they are the most important players on the field. A team with a good quarterback has a much better chance of winning games.

Second, quarterbacks are often very popular and marketable players. This means that teams can make a lot of money by selling jerseys and other merchandise related to their quarterbacks.

Finally, quarterbacks are in high demand. There are only 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL, and there are many teams that would be willing to pay a lot of money to have a good one.

All these reasons make quarterbacks the highest paid NFL position.

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Top 10 Highest Paid NFL Positions

As we uncover the most financially rewarding positions in the NFL with this guide to the top 10 highest paid NFL positions, know that understanding these roles sheds light on the league’s salary structure and highlights the value placed on different skill sets within professional football.

Delve into this list to gain insight into the economic dynamics of America’s most popular sport.

Here is the list of the top 10 highest paid NFL positions:

#1. Quarterback

Quarterbacks are the highest paid NFL position players because they are the most important players on the field. They are responsible for leading the offense and making decisions about where to throw the ball. The best quarterbacks in the league can win games by themselves.

The average salary for an NFL quarterback as of 2023 was expected to be over $3.3 million. However, the salaries of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the league can be much higher. For example, the top-paid quarterback in the NFL, Patrick Mahomes, is expected to earn over $50 million in 2024.

Other high-paid quarterbacks include Josh Allen, Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, and Matthew Stafford.

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#2. Wide receiver

Wide receivers are the second highest paid NFL position. They are responsible for catching passes from the quarterback and scoring touchdowns. The best wide receivers in the league can be threats to score from anywhere on the field.

NFL wide receivers are projected to earn an average salary exceeding $2.8 million, but the highest paid NFL position for wide receivers can command significantly more. For instance, Davante Adams, the league’s top-paid wide receiver, is anticipated to earn over $28 million this year.

Some other highly compensated wide receivers are Tyreek Hill, Stefon Diggs, DeAndre Hopkins, and A.J. Brown.

#3. Edge rusher

Edge rushers are defensive players who are responsible for rushing the passer and sacking the quarterback. The best edge rushers in the league can be dominant forces on defense and can change the outcome of a game

The average salary for an NFL edge rusher in 2023 is expected to be over $2.6 million. However, the salaries of the highest-paid edge rushers in the league can be much higher. For example, the top-paid edge rusher in the NFL, T.J. Watt, is expected to earn over $28 million in 2023.

Other high-paid edge rushers include Myles Garrett, Joey Bosa, Nick Bosa, and Maxx Crosby.

#4. Offensive tackle

Offensive tackles are offensive linemen who are responsible for protecting the quarterback and blocking for the running back. The best offensive tackles in the league are essential to the success of any offense.

It is anticipated that the average salary for an NFL offensive tackle will surpass $2.6 million, but the top earners in this position can expect substantially higher salaries.

For instance, Tyron Smith, the highest-paid offensive tackle in the NFL, is projected to earn over $25 million as of.

Other high-paid offensive tackles include David Bakhtiari, Trent Williams, Laremy Tunsil, and Ryan Jensen.

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#5. Defensive tackle

Defensive tackles are defensive linemen who are responsible for stopping the run and pressuring the quarterback. The best defensive tackles in the league can be dominant forces on defense and can make it difficult for opposing teams to run the ball.

The average salary for an NFL defensive tackle in 2023 is expected to be over $2.6 million. However, the salaries of the highest-paid defensive tackles in the league can be much higher. For example, the top-paid defensive tackle in the NFL, Aaron Donald, is expected to earn over $31 million in 2023.

Other high-paid defensive tackles include Cameron Heyward, Fletcher Cox, Chris Jones, and Quinnen Williams.

#6. Tight end

Tight ends are versatile players who can line up as receivers or blockers. The best tight ends in the league can be threats to score from anywhere on the field and can also help to protect the quarterback.

The average salary for an NFL tight end as of 2023 is expected to be over $2.5 million. However, the salaries of the highest-paid tight ends in the league can be much higher. For example, the top-paid tight end in the NFL, Darren Waller, was expected to earn over $17 million in 2023.

Other high-paid tight ends include Travis Kelce, George Kittle, T.J. Hockenson, and Tyler Higbee.

#7. Cornerback:

Cornerbacks are defensive players who are responsible for covering wide receivers and preventing them from catching passes. The best cornerbacks in the league can be lockdown defenders who can make it difficult for opposing quarterbacks to complete passes.

The average salary for an NFL cornerback in 2023 is expected to be over $2.4 million. However, the salaries of the highest-paid cornerbacks in the league can be much higher. For example, the top-paid cornerback in the NFL, Jalen Ramsey, is expected to earn over $20 million this year.

Other high-paid cornerbacks include Marlon Humphrey, Jaire Alexander, Tre’Davious White, and Denzel Ward.

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#8. Linebacker

Linebackers are defensive players who are responsible for stopping the run and covering tight ends. The best linebackers in the league can be versatile defenders who can make plays all over the field.

The average salary for an NFL linebacker as of 2023 is expected to be over $2.3 million. However, the salaries of the highest paid NFL position for linebackers in the league can be much higher. For example, the top-paid linebacker in the NFL, Bobby Wagner, was expected to earn over $20 million in 2023.

Other high-paid linebackers include Darius Leonard, Fred Warner, T.J. Watt, and Micah Parsons.

#9. Safety:

Safeties are defensive players who are responsible for covering deep and preventing long passes. The best safeties in the league can also be playmakers who can intercept passes and cause turnovers.

The average salary for an NFL safety as of 2023 is expected to be over $2.2 million. However, the salaries of the highest-paid safeties in the league can be much higher. For example, the top-paid safety in the NFL, Derwin James Jr., is expected to earn over $19 million this year.

Other high-paid safeties include Jamal Adams, Justin Simmons, Tyrann Mathieu, and Kevin Byard.

#10. Interior offensive lineman

Interior offensive linemen are offensive linemen who line up at center or guard. They are responsible for protecting the quarterback and blocking for the running back. The best interior offensive linemen in the league are essential to the success of any offense.

The average salary for an NFL interior offensive lineman this year is expected to be over $2.1 million. However, the salaries of the highest paid NFL position of interior offensive linemen in the league can be much higher. For example, the top-paid interior offensive lineman in the NFL, Quenton Nelson, was expected to earn over $20 million in 2023.

Other high-paid interior offensive linemen include Brandon Scherff, Joe Thuney, Ali Marpet, and Corey Linsley.

Read also: Top 10 Highest Paid Tight Ends in 2023: Who Makes the Most Money

Why are Certain NFL Positions Paid More Than Others?

There are many reasons why certain NFL positions are paid more than others. The most important reason is that some positions are simply more important to the team’s success. For example, a good quarterback can completely change the outcome of a game. As a result, teams are willing to pay a premium for good quarterbacks.

Another reason why some NFL positions are paid more than others is that they are more marketable. For example, wide receivers are often very popular and marketable players. This means that teams can make a lot of money by selling jerseys and other merchandise related to their wide receivers.

Finally, some NFL positions are paid more than others simply because they are in high demand. For example, there are only 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL, and there are many teams that would be willing to pay a lot of money to have a good one.

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How Much Do NFL Players Earn?

The salaries of NFL players vary depending on many factors, including their experience, performance, and position. The average salary for an NFL player is expected to be over $2.7 million. However, the salaries of the highest-paid players in the league can be much higher. For example, the top-paid player in the NFL, quarterback Patrick Mahomes, is expected to earn over $50 million.

Here is a breakdown of the average salaries for NFL players by position this year:

  • Quarterback: $3.3 million
  • Wide receiver: $2.8 million
  • Edge rusher: $2.6 million
  • Offensive tackle: $2.6 million
  • Defensive tackle: $2.6 million
  • Tight end: $2.5 million
  • Cornerback: $2.4 million
  • Linebacker: $2.3 million
  • Safety: $2.2 million
  • Interior offensive lineman: $2.1 million

What Factors Affect an NFL Player’s Salary?

There are several factors that affect an NFL player’s salary, including:

  • Position: Some positions, such as quarterback and wide receiver, are typically paid more than other positions, such as offensive lineman and defensive back. This is because these positions are generally considered to be more important to the team’s success.
  • Experience: More experienced players generally earn more than less experienced players. This is because they have a proven track record of success and are more likely to be able to perform at a high level.
  • Performance: Players who perform well tend to earn more than players who perform poorly. This is because they are more valuable to their teams and are more likely to be able to help their team win.
  • Age: Younger players generally earn less than older players. This is because they have less experience and are more likely to be injured.
  • Health: Players who are healthy and have no major injuries tend to earn more than players who are injured or have a history of injuries.
  • Market value: Players who are in high demand from other teams tend to earn more than players who are not in high demand. This is because they have more leverage when negotiating contracts.
  • Salary cap: The salary cap is the maximum amount of money that each team can spend on player salaries. This can limit the amount of money that teams can pay their players.

Conclusion

The highest paid NFL positions are those that are most important to the team’s success, most marketable, and in the highest demand. Quarterbacks are the highest-paid NFL players because they are the most important players on the field. Other high-paid positions include wide receiver, edge rusher, offensive tackle, and defensive tackle.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the highest-paid position in the NFL?

The highest paid NFL position is quarterback.

Why do quarterbacks earn so much money?

Quarterbacks earn so much money because they are the most important position on the field. They are responsible for leading the offense and making decisions about where to throw the ball. The best quarterbacks in the league can win games by themselves.

What are the other highest paid NFL positions?

The other highest-paid positions in the NFL are wide receiver, edge rusher, offensive tackle, defensive tackle, tight end, cornerback, linebacker, safety, and interior offensive lineman.

How much do NFL players earn?

The salaries of NFL players vary depending on their experience, performance, and position. The average salary for an NFL player is over $2.7 million. However, the salaries of the highest-paid players in the league can be much higher. For example, the top-paid player in the NFL, quarterback Patrick Mahomes, is expected to earn over $50 million in 2023.

What factors affect an NFL player’s salary?

The factors that affect an NFL player’s salary include their experience, performance, position, and the salary cap. The salary cap is the maximum amount of money that each team can spend on player salaries.

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