NFL

40 NFL Stars With The Largest Guaranteed Salaries

Darren - July 9, 2020
NFL

40 NFL Stars With The Largest Guaranteed Salaries

Darren - July 9, 2020

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

31. Von Miller

The 31-year-old Denver Broncos outside linebacker is entering the fifth season of a six-year, $114 million extension. He will make about $18 million alone this year in guaranteed pay. Miller is a Broncos great but the pressure is on for him to improve the Broncos following a season-ending injury.

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Nobody pushes Miller harder than himself. He really wants the Defensive Player of the Year Award. It would be a great way to cap off the end of his career. The Super Bowl 50 MVP believes it’s a viable target as he approaches the end of his lucrative contract that includes one of the biggest salaries for defensive players. Fans will have to see if he returns to the team at such a high price, as he could become a cut heading into the 2021 league year.

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30. Robert Quinn

Former Cowboy Quinn secured a lucrative deal with the Chicago Bears as the Illinois franchise looks to make gains in 2020. He signed a five-year, $70 million contract after the Bears released Leonard Floyd, ranking him among the biggest salaries for pass rushers. Quinn looks like a potentially strong signing after a very good 2019.

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Quinn recorded 11.5 sacks, 34 tackles, three passes defended, and two forced fumbles in 14 games in 2019. He also recorded the third-best pressure rate and disruption rate in the entire NFL. Now he needs to bring those numbers North and do it all over again.

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29. Derek Carr

Carr scored a five-year, $125 million extension with the Las Vegas Raiders in 2017. He will make about $20 million this year in the lucrative deal. The Raiders’ quarterback is now at the midpoint of his contract but knows the stakes are high this season.

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The year is beyond important because the Mahomes’ deal has changed the playing field for elite QBs. If Carr can develop more consistency and prove how good he is, he will be in a position to demand more money and again make one of the highest salaries in the NFL. The ball is in his court.

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28. Ezekiel Elliot

The first of two Cowboys in a row, it’s no surprise that Elliot has a very lucrative contract. One of the best running backs in the league, he actually stands to make more this year alone than Christian McCaffrey. While the Panthers’ star has a bigger overall deal, Elliot has the higher guaranteed pay of the two salaries for 2020.

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Elliot is a machine and one of the Cowboys’ most important players. His relationship with QB Dak Prescott will be key to any chance of Dallas doing anything exciting this year. No wonder they will pay him about $20 million in 2020 alone. A great player to watch.

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27. Amari Cooper

The well-rounded wide receiver tested free agency but chose to sign a lucrative extension with the Cowboys. He has superb footwork and makes great decisions, which explains why ‘America’s Team’ wanted to keep him. Cooper will hope to take Dallas to the next level.

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They gave him a five-year $100 million contract in March. This will pay him about $20 million this year alone. He had hardly hit the free-agent market before the Cowboys came in with a megadeal to pay him one of the highest-paid salaries at his position.

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26. Arik Armstead

Armstead is working hard in training this offseason because he wants to prove his 10-sack season was no fluke. After signing a lucrative five-year deal to remain with the San Francisco 49ers, he’ll get every chance to show why he’s making one of the biggest salaries in the league for a defender. It’s been a sharp rise for the former Oregon Duck.

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The 49ers will pay him $85 million over five years and he’ll make about $20 million in 2020 alone. They clearly want to keep their best players together as they look to go one better than last year and win the Super Bowl. This is still a young team, but one that is growing.

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25. Jack Conklin

If the Cleveland Browns play as a cohesive unit this season, they could be a very good team. Of course, this means getting Baker Mayfield up to speed after a shoddy 2019. Signing Conklin from the Titans is a great move. The Browns will hand him $20 million this year, one of the top salaries for a lineman.

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Conklin will play on the right side of the Browns’ offense while Jedrick Wills will be on the left in his rookie year. In 2019, the Browns came in 23rd in offensive rankings. That number must improve this year if they are to do anything meaningful.

Mandatory Credit: Bleacher Report

24. Trae Waynes

It’s been a very frustrating time for Waynes. In one of the most surprising moves of the offseason, he moved to the Cincinnati Bengals on a three-year, $42 million deal in March. The lucrative contract will see him earn about $20 million alone this year. But the problem is that he still isn’t officially a Bengal.

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The global health crisis meant that he couldn’t take his physical. Until that happens, the Bengals won’t pay him. It also means he can’t train heavily in case of injury. This could cause the Bengals to renege on the contract agreement. In short, Waynes is in a bizarre situation but still set to get paid one of the highest salaries for a cornerback.

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23. Matt Ryan

Another quarterback whose value has dramatically increased because of the Mahomes deal, Ryan is one of the top QBs in the league. The Atlanta Falcons star signed a five-year, $150 million extension in 2018. This included a lucrative $46.5 million signing bonus.

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In 2020, he will make a guaranteed $20.2 million excluding bonuses. The Falcons are hoping to have a stellar year with the likes of Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Todd Gurley next to Ryan. But only time will tell if their offensive line will be as effective this year with several changes.

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22. Jalen Ramsey

The L.A. Rams have an excellent defense and Ramsey is a big part of that. In 2020, the franchise handed Ramsey a hefty five-year contract because they wanted to reward him for his efforts. Furthermore, his $105 million deal is the biggest defensive back deal in history. Meanwhile, he will take home at least $21 million in 2020 as part of one of the most lucrative salaries in the sport.

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A four-time Pro Bowler, Ramsey made his name with the Jaguars before the Rams swooped for his signature. It was a wise decision because he is one of the best in his position in the league. He doesn’t play in the most glamorous position, but teams will pay big money for athletes like Ramsey because they are like building blocks. He has a big future in California.

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21. Ben Roethlisberger

Last season was effectively a right-off for Roethlisberger after a significant elbow injury. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback will hope he can make a large difference this year. At the age of 38, there’s nothing guaranteed. But he’s still far better than the Steelers’ other options as we saw when he was out in 2019.

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Roethlisberger enters the first season of a two-year, $68 million extension. This will pay him a guaranteed $21.5 million this year. Roethlisberger knows that the end of his phenomenal career is near. Can the Steelers go deep into the playoffs this year?

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20. Trent Brown

Brown earned the highest of all salaries for offensive lineman in the NFL last year until Laremy Tunsil took matters into his own hands. Nevertheless, Brown’s salary is still incredibly lucrative. The Las Vegas Raiders will pay him $22 million this year, excluding bonuses.

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It’s well deserved too because Brown was a shining light in their team. While his work ethic and love for the sport has been questioned in the past, there’s no doubt that he is on top of his game at the moment. Few things motivate as well as money does.

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19. Laremy Tunsil

Not much gets past Tunsil – on or off the field. The Houston Texans made him the highest-paid offensive lineman in the league after Tunsil negotiated with them without an agent. Tunsil signed a $66 million extension that will see him make over $22 million this year. It’s a record in terms of salaries for his position.

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Furthermore, Tunsil hopes his unorthodox negotiation method will inspire other players to do the same thing. Unscrupulous agents slice off big chunks from their clients’ paychecks. If you have a good head for business on your shoulders, then why not do it yourself?

Mandatory Credit: Bleacher Report

18. Aaron Donald

Donald is an unstoppable force. The defensive tackle is a true monster on the playing field. The LA Rams know that they have a special player, and that’s why they pay him so much money. Now, the six-time Pro Bowl choice will work with new Rams’ defensive coordinator Brandon Staley.

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This could be massive for the Rams. Staley helped Von Miller develop into an outstanding player and will hope to do the same with Donald. Donald will make about $22 million this year in guaranteed money, making him one of the highest-paid players at his position.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

17. Julio Jones

In 2019, Jones signed a three-year, $66 million extension with the Falcons. His lucrative deal will see him earn close t0 $23 million this year alone. Analysts rate him as one of the best receivers in the history of the NFL, so you can see why the Falcons rewarded him.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

Coming off of a season in which he finished second in the league with 1,394 yards despite missing a game, Jones will be a favorite to lead the league in that category next season. In short, he’s one of the finest in his position in the league right now.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

16. DeForest Buckner

The Indianapolis Colts’ defensive tackle is on a very lucrative contract. After the 49ers traded him to the Colts, he signed a four-year, $84 million extension with $44.4 million guaranteed. This year, he stands to make a tidy $23.4 million.

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Buckner is a very exciting talent. The 26-year-old stands 6-foot-7 with a massive wingspan and has all of the physical attributes his role requires. He also played a key part in the 49ers’ exciting playoff run last year so the Colts hope that he can have the same influence this season too.

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15. Khalil Mack

The Chicago Bears are paying Khalil Mack an astounding amount of money. He will see a guaranteed $24 million this year. He has a huge deal but has to prove he deserves it.

Mandatory Credit: NBC Sports

Mack has yet to win a playoff game with the Bears. Furthermore, he was not half as dominant last season as he should be with the money he is commanding. In short, Mack needs to step it up and maximize his potential if he really is a top-five defensive player.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

14. Teddy Bridgewater

He was arguably once the best backup quarterback in the NFL but now Bridgewater will be a starter again. After departing from New Orleans, Bridgewater will replace Cam Newton for the Carolina Panthers. He will also make a lot of money this year too.

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The Panthers will pay Bridgewater $24 million this year as part of a three-year deal worth $63 million. In short, the 26-year-old has the chance to be a starter again after a frustrating time in New Orleans where he was never going to dislodge Drew Brees.

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13. Drew Brees

A veteran still playing at the highest level of the game, Brees genuinely expects to contend for the Super Bowl in what could be his final season this year. Like Tom Brady, Brees also signed a two-year $50 million deal this offseason. The New Orleans Saints offered him an extension which he gratefully accepted.

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This will make him one of the highest-paid players of 2020. The 13-time Pro Bowler won the Lombardi Trophy in 2009. The Saints have come close to replicating their victory since then, but have narrowly missed out on several occasions in the playoffs. Will this be their year?

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12. Philip Rivers

Rivers’ departure from the LA Chargers didn’t get the same attention as Tom Brady leaving the Patriots, but it was the end of an era in its own right. After 17 seasons, Rivers and the Chargers decided to part ways. Now the 38-year-old will lead the Indianapolis Colts.

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They offered him a one-year deal worth a guaranteed $25 million. Some believe that this is a big risk because the Chargers and Rivers were awful last year. But the veteran wants to prove that he has gas left in the tank as he pursues a new challenge.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

11. Tom Brady

Anybody who wanted to sign Brady had to pay him well. In short, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were willing to do that, offering him a two-year deal worth $50 million. He’ll earn $25 million alone this year, while there is a no-trade clause in the fine print.

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This is all great news for Brady, who enters the twilight of his career on a high. After a staggering 20 seasons with the Patriots, he has a fresh challenge at the age of 42. The Bucs wanted him for his brand as much as for his abilities on the playing field.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

10. Jimmy Garoppolo

The San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback will bring home over 25 million dollars this year alone in guaranteed pay. He will enter his third season of a lucrative five-year contract worth $137 million. It’s a staggering amount of money but some analysts have criticized it.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

To sum up, Garoppolo needs to prove that he deserves an elite quarterback’s salary. His passing and decision-making under pressure must improve because it was off at various key moments of the season. We saw that in the Super Bowl’s final quarter. This is a big year for the former Patriot.

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9. Byron Jones

The Miami Dolphins cornerback will have a very lucrative year. They signed the star defensive back to a five-year, $82.5 million pact with $54.4 million guaranteed. Furthermore, he will earn a cool $26 million this year alone. That puts him as one of 2020’s highest earners.

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Jones is a highly effective cornerback who is also a capable safety. It’s even possible that he could play in the latter position this year. In 2019 quarterbacks only threw at Jones 62 times, or 3.8 times per game. Meanwhile, they just completed 29, resulting in a feeble three touchdowns.

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8. Frank Clark

Clark is a true outlier on this list because he doesn’t play one of the most fashionable positions. However, the defensive end played a massive role in Kansas City’s Super Bowl success. First of all, he had the second-most tackles by any player in the playoffs.

Mandatory Credit: Bleacher Report

Then he became one of only six players ever to have five sacks in the postseason. In short, that’s why the Chiefs rewarded him. Clark will take home a staggering $27 million in 2020. But Chiefs fans will definitely think those numbers are good value after their first Lombardi Trophy in 50 years.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

7. Dak Prescott

One man who will benefit from Mahomes’s new mega-deal is Prescott. The Dallas Cowboys guarantee him almost $29 million on the franchise tag this year, but contract negotiations rumble on. Now that Mahomes has changed the game, Prescott may push for even more money than before. Prescott will certainly be seeking one of the biggest salaries in the NFL.

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Only time will tell what effect the Kansas City star’s new contract will have on the sport, but you can guarantee every elite QB in the NFL will point to it. Prescott is definitely a very good player, however, he isn’t at Mahomes’s level just yet. This will be interesting.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

6. Jared Goff

The Los Angeles Rams quarterback scored a massive extension last offseason. It’s worth a total of $134 million. Furthermore, it includes a $21 million roster bonus in 2020. If you add that to the guaranteed $31 million that he will bring home, you can see this is a lucrative deal.

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At the age of just 25, there is still room for Goff to improve. Furthermore, he says that his close work with head coach Sean McVey has helped him to improve as a player. In sum, the hope is that they will emerge as the next Belichick-Brady duo, but they have a lot to prove before that.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

5. Ryan Tannehill

Some people think that the Tennessee Titans are taking a big risk with Tannehill. He is undoubtedly a very good quarterback, but the question begs, is he an elite player?  They did reward him for a brilliant season, where the NFL awarded him Comeback Player of the Year. Still many aren’t sure he deserves one of the top salaries in the NFL in terms of quarterbacks.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

In short, they offered him a very lucrative deal which will see him make a tidy $37.5 million in 2020. This comes after he signed a four-year, $118 million extension in March. However, some critics think they should have waited a year to see if he can do it again and prioritized Derrick Henry instead.

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

4. Carson Wentz

After Mahomes’s new deal, Wentz’s contract suddenly looks like a bargain. He has entered the second season of a four-year, $128 million extension with the Philadelphia Eagles. It will guarantee him just shy of $40 million this year, a ton of money.

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His lucrative deal is one of the biggest in the league but maybe he’ll wish he waited before signing. After Mahomes’s record contract, the NFL will never be the same again. In sum, this was a watershed moment for football’s elite players and the amount of money they can command.

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3. Kirk Cousins

The Minnesota Vikings guarantee Cousins one of the highest salaries of 2020. This will probably come as a surprise to NFL fans, but he is incredibly well-paid in the short-term. He signed a two-year, $66 million extension with Minnesota in the offseason.

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Some feel the salaries Cousins has demanded are a bit overstated. He’ll take home about $40 million this year. This just goes to show how highly the Vikings think of him, with many fans ranking above Packers QB Aaron Rodgers at the moment. If he can have the same influence as his Packers’ compatriot on the Vikings, it will be money well spent.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

2. Patrick Mahomes

The Kansas City Chiefs QB is a generational talent. In short, that’s why the Chiefs rewarded him with the biggest contract in the history of the NFL. In sum, Mahomes signed a 10-year deal worth up to $503 million, with $477 million in guarantees. Meanwhile, Mahomes also has an exit option.

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

However, if you look at the figures, Mahomes will not be the highest-earner in 2020, at least not where guaranteed take-home pay is concerned. While he will definitely make about $48 million without bonuses, it’s not enough for him to top this list.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

1. Russell Wilson

Wilson remains the highest-paid player in the NFL on an annual basis. Mahomes obviously has a much bigger overall contract, but Wilson will take home more money in the short-term. His contract guarantees him a massive $53 million this year.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks QB signed a four-year extension in 2019 worth $140 million with $107 million guaranteed. This will make him one of the most motivated players in the league as he hopes to lead Seattle to another Super Bowl. What a staggering amount of money that is.

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