The Top 20 Highest Paid NFL Players in 2023

Discover the top 20 highest-paid NFL players of 2023, dominated by star quarterbacks and elite talents, their contracts, and career highlights.
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When it comes to salaries in professional football, not all players are equal. The NFL is home to some of the most skilled and well-paid athletes globally. In this article, we’ll examine the top 20 highest-earning NFL players in 2023, as reported by Spotrac, and delve into what sets them apart in the league.

The Mobile Quarterback

Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennessee Titans: $36.6 million average annual salary

20. Ryan Tannehill – Tennessee Titans

Ryan Tannehill, quarterback for the Tennessee Titans, is celebrated for his mobility. He secured a Pro Bowl selection in 2020 and enjoys an average annual salary of $36.6 million.

The Arm Strength Specialist

Matthew Stafford, QB, Los Angeles Rams: $33.5 million average annual salary

 19. Matthew Stafford – Los Angeles Rams

Matthew Stafford, who plays as the quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams, has gone to the Pro Bowl three times and makes an average of $33.5 million each year because he has a really strong throwing arm.

The Consistent Performer

Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings: $35 million average annual salary

18. Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings

Kirk Cousins is a consistent quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. He has been selected to the Pro Bowl twice and earns an average annual salary of $35 million.

The Defensive Standout

T.J. Watt, EDGE, Pittsburgh Steelers: $29.368 million average annual salary

17. T.J. Watt – Pittsburgh Steelers

T.J. Watt, a defensive end for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is a pass-rushing sensation. In 2022, he was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year, earning an average annual salary of $29.368 million.

Jared Goff, QB, Detroit Lions: $30.975 million average annual salary

16. Jared Goff – Detroit Lions

Jared Goff, quarterback for the Detroit Lions, possesses remarkable accuracy. He made his Pro Bowl debut in 2017 and boasts an average annual salary of $30.975 million.

Russell Wilson, QB, Denver Broncos: $35 million average annual salary

15. Russell Wilson – Denver Broncos

Russell Wilson, the Denver Broncos’ quarterback, is known for his playmaking abilities. He’s a frequent Pro Bowl selection, having been chosen eight times, and has an average annual salary of $35 million.

Deshaun Watson - $39 Million Average Annual Salary

14. Deshaun Watson – Cleveland Browns

Deshaun Watson, now with the Cleveland Browns, combines mobility with quarterback finesse. He’s secured three Pro Bowl selections and has an average annual salary of $39 million.

Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys: $40 million average annual salary

13. Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott, the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback, is renowned for his accuracy. He’s been a Pro Bowl selection in 2016 and 2018 and enjoys an impressive $40 million average annual salary.

Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills: $56.25 million guaranteed

12. Josh Allen – Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen, another talented quarterback, represents the Buffalo Bills. His mobility has earned him Pro Bowl selections in 2020 and 2021, with $56.25 million guaranteed in his contract.

Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs: $61.5 million guaranteed

11. Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes, the Kansas City Chiefs’ star quarterback, is known for his incredible arm talent. He’s a two-time NFL Most Valuable Player (2018 and 2020) and secured $61.5 million in guaranteed money.

Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers: $65.5 million guaranteed

10. Justin Herbert – Los Angeles Chargers

Justin Herbert, also a quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers, has a formidable arm. He earned his Pro Bowl debut in 2021 and has a guaranteed sum of $65.5 million.

Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens: $82 million guaranteed

9. Lamar Jackson – Baltimore Ravens

Lamar Jackson, the quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens, is renowned for his agility and was awarded the 2019 NFL Most Valuable Player title. He has a total guaranteed sum of $82 million.

The High-Earning Receivers and Defensive Tackles

While quarterbacks lead the pack, there are other positions making their mark with substantial earnings. Wide receivers and defensive tackles are among them:

Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams: $23.5 million average annual salary

8. Aaron Donald – Los Angeles Rams

Aaron Donald, a Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle, has won the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award three times and earns an average annual salary of $23.5 million.

Davante Adams, WR, Las Vegas Raiders: $28.5 million average annual salary

7. Davante Adams – Las Vegas Raiders

Davante Adams, now a wide receiver for the Las Vegas Raiders, has a stellar reputation for his catching abilities. With six Pro Bowl selections, he enjoys an average annual salary of $28.5 million.

Tyreek Hill, WR, Miami Dolphins: $25 million average annual salary

6. Tyreek Hill – Miami Dolphins

Tyreek Hill, another wide receiver, is making waves with the Miami Dolphins. He boasts a $25 million average annual salary and was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 2023.

Stefon Diggs, WR, Buffalo Bills: $26.2 million average annual salary

5. Stefon Diggs – Buffalo Bills

Stefon Diggs, a Buffalo Bills wide receiver, has been selected for two Pro Bowls and earns an average yearly salary of $26.2 million due to his exceptional speed.

Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams: $26.7 million average annual salary

4. Cooper Kupp – Los Angeles Rams

With an average annual salary of $26.7 million, Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp earned the Super Bowl MVP title in 2022 thanks to his precise route running skills.

The Quarterbacks’ Dominance

Unsurprisingly, quarterbacks dominate the list, with a total of nine out of the top 20 spots. This dominance reflects their pivotal role in the game and their ability to influence the outcome. Let’s delve into some of the key figures in this elite group:

Myles Garrett, EDGE, Cleveland Browns: $100 million guaranteed

3. Myles Garrett – Cleveland Browns

Myles Garrett, a versatile defensive end for the Cleveland Browns, isn’t far behind. With $100 million guaranteed, he’s a force to be reckoned with on the field and has secured three Pro Bowl selections.

Joey Bosa, EDGE, Los Angeles Chargers: $102 million guaranteed

2. Joey Bosa – Los Angeles Chargers

Did you know that Joey Bosa, who plays as an EDGE for the Los Angeles Chargers, has an impressive contract that guarantees him $102 million? He’s also been selected to the Pro Bowl twice. Interestingly, he happens to be the younger brother of Nick Bosa.

Nick Bosa, EDGE, San Francisco 49ers: $122.5 million guaranteed

 1. Nick Bosa – San Francisco 49ers

Nick Bosa, an EDGE player for the San Francisco 49ers, secured the top spot with an astonishing $122.5 million guaranteed in his contract. Bosa is renowned for his exceptional pass-rushing skills, which have earned him three Pro Bowl selections.

In conclusion, the top 20 highest-paid NFL players in 2023 represent a diverse range of positions, but quarterbacks undoubtedly dominate the earnings chart. These players have secured their places in NFL history through their exceptional skills and consistent performances on the field.


No, these earnings include a combination of player salaries and guaranteed money from their contracts.

Players negotiate their salaries based on their performance, market value, and the team’s budget.

Yes, many NFL contracts include performance-based incentives that can significantly increase a player’s earnings.

The player’s agent negotiates with the team’s management to determine the player’s salary.

No, these earnings are primarily from their contracts with NFL teams and do not include income from endorsements and sponsorships.

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