On their rookie contracts, our attention is directed towards the 12 highest-earning quarterbacks in the league at present.
1. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers — top-earning player in the NFL
Herbert’s guarantees are much, much higher. His annual earnings in the NFL surpass $500,000, barely surpassing his former contract with Jackson Lamar. Now, Herbert continues the annual one-upmanship, becoming the highest-paid QB in the NFL.
It all started with a standout performance in the NFL playoffs, followed by a well-deserved invitation to the Pro Bowl and the prestigious Rookie Offensive Player of the Year award. Throughout his three seasons in the NFL, Herbert has consistently shown growth and progress, although he has yet to achieve an All-Pro season or win the coveted MVP title.
In relation to this matter, circumstances are definitely improving. The upcoming challenge will involve surpassing the Wild Card round. Herbert is currently secured until the 2029 season with the Chargers, and he is still just 25 years old.
2. Lamar Jackson, Ravens of Baltimore
NFL players who are currently ranked fourth are now guaranteed a total of $185 million. Justin Herbert and Deshaun Watson are behind these NFL players who are among the fourth ranks. In the NFL offseason of 2023, Jalen Hurts signed a five-year extension worth $255 million with the Philadelphia Eagles, surpassing Jackson’s deal.
Jackson, who has been plagued by injuries during the 2022 campaign, is now prepared to bounce back and support his team with the best cast. That tells us what we need to know about his value to the team. The Ravens, who have been without him during this span, have a mere 13-8 record. Since being drafted as a late first-round pick in 2018, Jackson has posted a record of 45-16 as the starting quarterback in Baltimore.
3. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles
Just two months after leading the Philadelphia Eagles to a surprising Super Bowl appearance, Hurts became the highest-paid player in the NFL, surpassing Aaron Rodgers’ deal by more than $1 million per year. His total guarantees in the contract are even more than Herbert and Jackson, making him the fourth most valuable player in the league.
It was clear that Philadelphia hurt when they paid to go past this offseason. Last season, the standout former Oklahoma player saw six interceptions and a total of 36 touchdowns with a total of 4,400 yards. He is now locked into a long-term deal with Philly.
4. Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets
In Green Bay, Rodgers, the four-time NFL MVP, would continue his career, signing a lucrative contract extension worth $150.8 million in guarantees during the eventful beginning of the previous offseason.
Following the signing of a contract extension with the team before the start of training camp, it seems evident that Rodgers is fully committed at the moment. Whether or not this materializes remains uncertain, however, he is joining a New York Jets team that is prepared to contend. This is not the situation anymore after Rodgers and the Packers concluded a season without making it to the playoffs. The quarterback is now bringing his skills to the bustling city of New York.
5. Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos
Wilson’s career took a downturn with his worst statistical performance, especially in his role. Nathaniel Hackett, the head coach, was fired after less than a full season. The team only managed to win four out of his 15 starts. Things didn’t go as planned for the Seattle Seahawks after the blockbuster trade with Denver in Wilson’s first season.
In the next three years, that includes $49.5 million, $85 million, and $107 million respectively, the salary cap hits include dead money. They still have a ton committed to future Hall of Famer, Sean Payton, who is the new head coach in Denver, hoping to turn around the fortunes for Broncos and Wilson.
6. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals’ Quarterback
The contract that Watson Deshaun received was for less than half of what he was guaranteed, just $103 million. The details for the No. 1 overall pick were not friendly to him. The Murray contract, signed last offseason, made him one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL.
The 2023 season’s initial half might be skipped by Murray, who is presently recuperating from a torn ACL. He additionally encountered a disagreement with the now-former head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Murray faced significant challenges, resulting in only 14 touchdowns thrown and seven interceptions, if his performance in 2022 is any indication. Arizona may have avoided a potentially disastrous situation.
7. Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns
Where does Watson start with? Prior to Week 13, Pro Bowler Watson, who had not seen action in nearly two calendar years, opted to send multiple first-round picks to Cleveland after facing allegations of sexual misconduct from more than 20 women. This came after he was not criminally charged and his fully guaranteed contract, which included a first in NFL history, with the Houston Texans, the former team of Watson.
Following a contract reorganization, Watson is set to receive a fundamental income of $46 million per year starting from 2024 until 2026. Although he appeared significantly diminished, it is reasonable to attribute some of his struggles to rustiness. Throughout six starting appearances, Watson encountered difficulties, resulting in a mere seven passing touchdowns and five interceptions.
8. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs of Kansas City
In only five seasons as a starter, he has guided Kansas City to five consecutive AFC Championship Game showings, three appearances in the Super Bowl, and two Lombardi Trophies. Mahomes, who is 27 years old, has truly fulfilled the expectations placed on him as a top-10 selection in the 2017 NFL Draft.
In 2021, he followed up his contract by throwing for 4,839 yards and 39 touchdowns. The contract, known as the “141 million dollar contract,” guarantees more than $141 million. Mahomes’ signing with the Chiefs in July 2020 led to a record-breaking NFL deal worth $450 million, making him an early success in Kansas City. This past regular season was just as good as the route to winning Super Bowl LVII for Kansas City.
It is expected that Mahomes will once again receive another contract from Kansas City Chiefs, making him the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL for Week 1.
9. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills quarterback
It was somewhat of a surprise to see Allen sign a massive extension with the Bills in August 2021. The contract, called for an annual average salary of $150 million and total guarantees in second place behind Mahomes. This came after his real breakout campaign in the NFL.
Josh Allen’s figures for the year 2020 are as stated: a completion percentage of 69%, 4,544 yards thrown, 421 yards scrambled, a cumulative of 43 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, and a rating of 107.2.
In 2022, Allen guided Buffalo to the playoffs for a third straight season. In the AFC Divisional Playoffs, that endeavor concluded with a disappointing defeat against the Cincinnati Bengals. Allen was responsible for a staggering 17 turnovers throughout his last 12 starts, including the postseason.
10. Daniel Jones, New York Giants quarterback
The Giants made a surprising playoff appearance, leading the way with 22 touchdowns and only five interceptions. They accumulated almost 4,000 total yards. Jones, a former top-six pick, earned this contract by performing exceptionally well in 2022 as a fourth-year player.
The largest market in North America, he had high expectations to live a better life. He started his career with 37 interceptions and accounted for 29 touchdowns against 45 passes. Prior to 2022, Jones had fully guaranteed $81 million. The question here is whether Jones will have guarantees for a one-year wonder.
11. Matthew Stafford, Rams of Los Angeles
It appeared that everyone associated with the organization was aiming for a win-win situation when the Rams signed Stafford, leading them to the Super Bowl title in his first season after just a few months.
The season came to a close for Mayfield Baker, who started for himself in Los Angeles. Stafford, who missed the end of last season due to a spinal cord injury, found himself on the sidelines. There are questions on all fronts, and several months are moving forward quickly.
We know what could be the season finale in 2023. We’re wondering whether Los Angeles is considering a second thought about extending Stafford and if they’re concerned about the combined $100 million hit on the cap in 2025 and 2024, along with his age of 34. Despite all of this, Stafford will return for the 2023 season. After the trade, the Rams looked to have Stafford as their quarterback during the spring season in Los Angeles.
12. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys quarterback
In March 2021, the Dallas Cowboys engaged in prolonged discussions with Prescott regarding an extension before his signing of a lucrative fourth-round pick contract. Since then, we have witnessed the 49ers of San Francisco handing consecutive losses to Prescott’s team in the NFL playoffs.
Prior to Week 1, the Cowboys’ management hinted at their willingness to offer him a contract extension. Additionally, in Dallas’ playoff defeat against the 49ers, he also threw two additional interceptions. Despite being absent for five games due to injury, Prescott led the league with 15 interceptions during the previous season.
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Quarterbacks with the highest salaries on their rookie contracts
Many teams have taken advantage of this competitive advantage, as rookie contracts in the NFL would not be completed without looking at those deals.
This serves as an illustration of Patrick Mahomes guiding the Kansas City Chiefs to the Lombardi Trophy during his initial contract after the 2019 season. Another instance involves Joe Burrow assisting the emerging Cincinnati Bengals to Super Bowl LVI in his second year.
Burrow is poised to receive a substantial contract extension before the start of the 2023 NFL season.
Here’s a glimpse at NFL quarterbacks on their first-year agreements and how they are ranked based on their average yearly earnings.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Top-Earning Quarterbacks
Who is the highest-paid quarterback of all time, coming in at No. 1 with a career earnings of $332.96 million, recently concluding his career with the New York Jets, Aaron Rodgers overtake that spot once the 2023 season comes to a conclusion, surpassing Tom Brady, the seven-time Super Bowl champion?
Who was the highest-paid quarterback in 2022, playing under the franchise tag for the Tennessee Titans, with a base salary of $29 million? Jackson Lamar earned $23.02 million in 2022.