No NFL edge rusher is scheduled to make at least $40 million in 2022, as Joey Bosa did in 2020. Nor is an edge rusher scheduled to make at least $30 million, as T.J. Watt did in 2021.
There are, however, six edge rushers scheduled to make at least $20 million for the first time in NFL history, all of whom sit among the highest-paid NFL players for 2022. (Interestingly, only one of those six players, Joey Bosa, is on a team with better than +3000 Super Bowl odds in NFL betting.)
By total cash, here are the highest-paid NFL edge rushers for 2022:
Highest-Paid NFL Edge Rushers: Salary Rankings, 2022
|1||Travon Walker||Jaguars||$25.1 million|
|2||T.J. Watt||Steelers||$24 million|
|3||Aidan Hutchinson||Lions||$23.9 million|
|4||Joey Bosa||Chargers||$21.3 million|
|5||Kayvon Thibodeaux||Giants||$20.7 million|
|6||Harold Landry||Titans||$20.3 million|
|7||Von Miller||Bills||$19.9 million|
|8||Danielle Hunter||Vikings||$19.7 million|
|9(t)||Myles Garrett||Browns||$19 million|
|9(t)||Leonard Williams||Giants||$19 million|
1. Travon Walker, Jacksonville Jaguars
Travon Walker signed a four-year, $37.4-million contract before playing one NFL snap.
Approximately two-thirds of his fully guaranteed deal ($24.4 million) is a signing bonus contributing to nearly all of his $25.1-million total cash for his rookie season. The remainder is $705,000 in base salary.
Travon Walker career earnings: $0
2. T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers
Watt’s four-year, $112-million deal pays him at least $20 million annually from 2022-25.
His annual cash numbers come exclusively from base salary as follows: $24 million in 2022, $20 million in 2023, $21.1 million in 2024, and $21.1 million in 2025.
T.J. Watt career earnings: $45,852,038
3. Aidan Hutchinson, Detroit Lions
Aidan Hutchinson might’ve lost approximately $1.7 million in falling from No. 1 to No. 2 in the 2022 NFL Draft, but the highest-drafted defensive player in Michigan history will remain above the poverty line thanks to a fully guaranteed four-year, $35.7-million deal.
Aidan Hutchinson career earnings: $0
4. Joey Bosa, Los Angeles Chargers
Joey Bosa’s five-year, $135-million deal included a fat cash number for 2020 ($43 million), the final year of his rookie deal (fifth-year option year) before the five-year deal officially began in 2021.
That sum in 2020 accounts for more than half of his career earnings over six seasons.
Joey Bosa career earnings: $82,644,417
5. Kayvon Thibodeaux, New York Giants
Despite a modest fall to No. 5 in the 2022 draft, Kayvon Thibodeaux is still one of the highest-paid NFL defensive linemen after signing a fully guaranteed $31.4-million contract.
He doesn’t have a base salary of at least $1 million until 2025.
Kayvon Thibodeaux career earnings: $0
6. Harold Landry, Tennessee Titans
The last of six $20-million edge rushers this season, Harold Landry landed a five-year, $87.5-million contract after registering a career-best 12 sacks in 2021.
Only Ryan Tannehill is scheduled to make more cash ($29 million) for the Titans in 2022.
Harold Landry career earnings: $7,768,458
7. Von Miller, Buffalo Bills
If 33-year-old Von Miller earns $120 million over six years with the Buffalo Bills, I’ll eat my socks.
His deal includes just $51.4-million guaranteed and reasonable dead salary cap hits in both 2025 ($7.4 million) and 2026 ($3.7 million).
Von Miller career earnings: $17,277,777
8. Danielle Hunter, Minnesota Vikings
Danielle Hunter was spectacular in the two seasons (2018-19) after signing a four-year, $72-million extension in June 2018. Since then, the former third-round pick has played in seven total games.
Hunter’s dead cap hit plummets to $5.4 million in 2023, the final year of the deal.
Danielle Hunter career earnings: $54,864,477
9(t). Leonard Williams, New York Giants
Leonard Williams had a modest cap hit ($9.4 million) in 2021, the first year of a three-year, $63-million contract he signed after his first full season with the Giants.
That won’t be the case in 2022 or 2023; his cap hit is $27.3 million this year and $26.3 million next year.
Leonard Williams career earnings: $75,008,445
9(t). Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns
More than two years after signing the five-year, $125-million deal, Myles Garrett will finally enter the five-year, $125-million deal.
If he plays out his deal through 2026, he’ll make at least $17 million each year from 2020-26.
Myles Garrett career earnings: $68,274,426
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