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Highest-paid NFL players: Tracking most money guaranteed, per year at every position

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Who are the NFL's highest-paid players at every position? Many stars have scored big paydays in 2022 and reset the market, but there are a few whose deals from previous years have carried over as the peak for their positions.

New Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson signed on Sept. 1 a massive extension with the team, getting $165 million in guaranteed money. In July, Kyler Murray inked a five-year, $230.5 million extension with the Arizona Cardinals, putting him on the list of highest-paid quarterbacks.

Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James Jr. ended a brief training camp "hold in" and signed a four-year extension worth $76.4 million, making him the highest-paid safety in the NFL.

Baltimore Ravens' kicker Justin Tucker received a four-year extension -- with 17.5 million guaranteed -- while Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald obliterated the market, getting $31.6 million over the next three years. The Rams also gave Cooper Kupp a contract extension, which included $75 million guaranteed, edging out the guarantees on the deal Tyreek Hill got when he was traded to the Miami Dolphins in May ($72.2 million).

We tracked the best-paid players at 16 different positions -- including long-snapper -- and will keep the numbers updated as more records get broken. To get the full picture on the top earners in this league, we sorted positions by two categories, which in a few cases has the same player at No. 1:

  • Three-year average (APY)

  • Total guaranteed money

Salary information courtesy of Roster Management System.

Let's start with the highest-paid quarterbacks, including two massive contracts signed this offseason:

Jump to:
QB | RB | WR | TE
OL | EDGE | DT | LB
CB | S | K | LS | P

Quarterback

Highest three-year APY:

1. Aaron Rodgers, $50.2 million

Signed: March 2022 (contract ends in 2026)

2. Russell Wilson (DEN), $49 million
3. Kyler Murray (ARI), $46.1 million
4. Deshaun Watson (CLE), $46 million
5. Patrick Mahomes (KC), $45 million


Total guaranteed money:

1. Deshaun Watson, $230 million

Signed: March 2022 (contract ends in 2026)

2. Russell Wilson (DEN), $165 million
3. Kyler Murray (ARI), $160 million
4. Aaron Rodgers (GB), $150.6 million
5. Josh Allen (BUF), $150 million

Running back

Highest three-year APY:

1. Christian McCaffrey, $17.2 million

Signed: April 2020 (contract ends in 2025)

2. Ezekiel Elliott (DAL), $16 million
3. Alvin Kamara (NO), $12.7 million


Total guaranteed money:

1. Ezekiel Elliott, $50.05 million

Signed: September 2019 (contract ends in 2026)

2. Christian McCaffrey (CAR), $36.3 million
3. Alvin Kamara (NO), $34.3 million

Wide receiver

Highest three-year APY:

1. Cooper Kupp, $26.7 million

Signed: June 2022 (contract ends in 2026)

2. Stefon Diggs (BUF), 26.2 million
3. Tyreek Hill (MIA), $25 million


Total guaranteed money:

1. Cooper Kupp, $75 million

Signed: June 2022 (contract ends in 2026)

2. Tyreek Hill (MIA), $72.2 million
3. Stefon Diggs (BUF), $70 million

Tight end

Highest three-year APY:

1. Darren Waller, $17 million

Signed: September 2022 (contract ends in 2026)

2. George Kittle (SF), $15.3 million
3. Mark Andrews (BAL), $15.06 million


Total guaranteed money:

1. George Kittle, $40 million

Signed: August 2020 (contract ends in 2026)

2. Mark Andrews (BAL), $37.6 million
3. Dallas Goedert (PHI), $34.8 million

Offensive line

Highest three-year APY:

1. David Bakhtiari, $23.5 million

Signed: November 2020 (contract ends in 2024)

2. Laremy Tunsil (HOU), $22 million
3. Ronnie Stanley (BAL), $21.2 million


Total guaranteed money:

1. Ronnie Stanley, $64.1 million

Signed: October 2020 (contract ends in 2025)

2. Ryan Ramczyk (NO), $60.2 million
3. Quenton Nelson (IND), $60 million

Cornerback

Highest three-year APY:

1. Jaire Alexander, $21.7 million

Signed: May 2022 (contract ends in 2026)

2. Jalen Ramsey (LAR), $20.6 million
3. Denzel Ward (CLE), $20.2 million


Total guaranteed money:

1. Denzel Ward, $71.25 million

Signed: April 2022 (contract ends in 2027)

2. Jalen Ramsey (LAR), $71.2 million
3. Marlon Humphrey (BAL), $66.9 million

Edge rusher

Highest three-year APY:

1. T.J. Watt, $30.5 million

Signed: September 2021 (contract ends in 2025)

2. Joey Bosa (LAC), $29.2 million
3. Myles Garrett (CLE), $26.7 million


Total guaranteed money:

1. Joey Bosa, $102 million

Signed: July 2020 (contract ends in 2025)

2. Myles Garrett (CLE), $100 million
3. Khalil Mack (LAC), $90 million

Defensive tackle

Highest three-year APY:

1. Aaron Donald, $31.6 million

Signed: June 2022 (contract ends in 2025)

2. DeForest Buckner (IND), $21.2 million
3. Chris Jones (KC), $20 million


Total guaranteed money:

1. Aaron Donald, $60 million

Signed: June 2022 (contract ends in 2025)

T1. Chris Jones (KC), $60 million
3.DeForest Buckner (IND), $56.3 million

Off-ball linebacker

Highest three-year APY:

1. Fred Warner, $19.5 million

Signed: July 2021 (contract ends in 2026)

2. Darius Leonard (IND), $18.7 million
3. C.J. Mosley (NYJ), $17 million


Total guaranteed money:

1. Darius Leonard, $52.5 million

Signed: August 2021 (contract ends in 2026)

2. C.J. Mosley (NYJ), $51 million
3. Fred Warner (SF), $40.5 million

Safety

Highest three-year APY:

1. Derwin James Jr., $19.6 million

Signed: August 2022 (contract ends in 2027)

2. Minkah Fitzpatrick, $18.6 million
3. Jamal Adams (SEA), $17.9 million


Total guaranteed money:

1. Derwin James Jr., $42 million

Signed: August 2022 (contract ends in 2027)

T2. Jamal Adams (SEA), $36 million
T2. Minkah Fitzpatrick, $36 million

Kicker

Highest three-year APY:

1. Justin Tucker, $6 million

Signed: August 2022 (contract ends in 2027)

2. Chris Boswell (PIT), $5.6 million
3. Younghoe Koo (ATL), $5.16 million


Total guaranteed money:

1. Justin Tucker, $17.5 million

Signed: August 2022 (contract ends in 2027)

2. Chris Boswell (PIT), $12.5 million
3. Younghoe Koo (ATL), $11.5 million

Long-snapper

Highest three-year APY:

1. Josh Harris, $1.4 million

Signed: March 2022 (contract ends in 2025)

2. Luke Rhodes (IND), $1.21 million
3. Zach Wood (NO), $1.20 million


Total guaranteed money:

1. Josh Harris, $1.9 million

Signed: March 2022 (contract ends in 2025)

2. Zach Wood (NO), $1.3 million
3. Tyler Ott (SEA), $1.2 million

Punter

Highest three-year APY:

1. Michael Dickson, $3.9 million

Signed: June 2021 (contract ends in 2025)

2. Tress Way (WSH), $3.3 million
3. Jake Bailey (NE), $3.04 million


Total guaranteed money:

1. Michael Dickson, $8.5 million

Signed: June 2021 (contract ends in 2025)

2. Tress Way (WSH), $6.4 million
3. Jake Bailey (NE), $6.2 million