NFL LB Cap Hits 2022: T.J. Watt Tops Rankings

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(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Ryan Hannable @RyanHannable Mar 30, 2022, 9:15 AM

While NFL offensive players get all the attention with fantasy stats, etc., defense is still part of the game, and those players get paid, too. 

Many of these players changed teams in free agency, which impacted NFL playoff odds and NFL odds in general for the 2022 season. 

A few of the positions on that side of the ball carry some high cap numbers, including linebacker.

T.J. Watt Has Highest LB Cap Hit in NFL For 2022

Watt won the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2021, so it’s not all that surprising he has the highest cap hit at the linebacker position for 2022 at $31.1 million. 

The 27-year-old signed a four-year contract extension early last year that will begin in 2022 and go through the 2025 season. This year is the highest cap hit he will have throughout the deal, as it will go down to between $27-28 million for the final three years of the contract. 

The Steelers outside linebacker finished last season with 22.5 sacks, which tied Michael Strahan’s record for most in one year. He also led the league in QB hits with 39.

What is Chargers Linebacker Joey Bosa’s Cap Hit For 2022?

In July of 2020, the Chargers and Bosa agreed to a massive contract extension worth $135 million over five years. He has a cap hit of $28.3 million for 2022, which is the third-highest at his position, and that will rise to $31 million in 2023. 

The Ohio State product has been in the league for six seasons and has recorded double-digit sacks in four of them, including 10.5 last season. Bosa has been named to four Pro Bowls, including in each of the last three seasons.

Playing in such a competitive division with a ton of offensive talent, it will be up to Bosa and the Chargers’ defense to raise their play and force some turnovers to swing a game or two in the coming seasons. 

What is Chargers LB Khalil Mack’s Cap Hit After Trade?

Mack was traded to the Chargers from the Bears, which will lower his cap hit for 2022.

His cap hit is now $8.8 million, down from close to $30 million before the trade.

The 31-year-old only played in seven games last season due to a season-ending foot injury, but going to the Chargers should help him as he can play on the opposite side of Bosa and not be depended on as much as he was in Chicago.

Full Rankings of 2022 NFL LB Cap Hits

LinebackerTeamCap Hit
T.J. WattSteelers$31.1 million
Joey BosaChargers$28.3 million
Deion JonesFalcons$20 million
Bud DupreeTitans$19.2 million
C.J. MosleyJets$17.5 million
Robert QuinnBears$17.1 million
Matt JudonPatriots$16.5 million
Cory LittletonRaiders$15.8 million
Lavonte DavidBuccaneers$14.8 million
Romeo OkwaraLions$14.5 million
Bradley ChubbBroncos$13.9 million
Eric KendricksVikings$13.5 million
Shaq ThompsonPanthers$13.1 million
Tremaine EdmundsBills$12.7 million
Preston SmithPackers$11.5 million
Darius LeonardColts$11.2 million
Roquan SmithBears$9.7 million
Jerome BakerDolphins $9.7 million
Devin WhiteBuccaneers$9.5 million
Khalil MackChargers$8.8 million

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About the Author

Ryan Hannable

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Ryan Hannable is a copy editor on the Web Content Team for BetMGM. Previously, he was a New England Patriots beat writer for WEEI in Boston. He also has published a golf book, “The Ultimate Book of Golf Trivia: 600 Questions and Answers.”

Ryan Hannable is a copy editor on the Web Content Team for BetMGM. Previously, he was a New England Patriots beat writer for WEEI in Boston. He also has published a golf book, “The Ultimate Book of Golf Trivia: 600 Questions and Answers.”