Quarterbacks own the six biggest active NFL contracts by cumulative value. They also own the 10 biggest active average annual values, as are the five biggest signing bonuses, five biggest amounts guaranteed at signing, and four biggest salary cap hits for 2022.
In the NFL, quarterbacks get paid. They occupy nine of the top 12 spots on the list of highest-paid NFL players for 2022, and each of the top five teams in Super Bowl odds at the online sportsbook are led by one of the seven highest-paid quarterbacks.
By total cash, here are the highest-paid NFL quarterbacks for 2022:
Highest-Paid NFL Quarterbacks: Salary Rankings, 2022
|1||Matthew Stafford||Rams||$61.5 million|
|2||Josh Allen||Bills||$47 million|
|3||Deshaun Watson||Browns||$46 million|
|4||Aaron Rodgers||Packers||$42 million|
|5||Kirk Cousins||Vikings||$40 million|
|6||Tom Brady||Bucs||$30 million|
|7||Patrick Mahomes||Chiefs||$29.5 million|
|8||Ryan Tannehill||Titans||$29 million|
|9||Carson Wentz||Commanders||$28.3 million|
|10||Jared Goff||Lions||$26.2 million|
1. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams
Thirteen years after signing the largest rookie deal in NFL history at the time, Matthew Stafford is still swimming in cash. He has a base salary of only $1.5 million in each of the next two seasons but will be paid $89 million in cash in 2022 and 2023.
Matthew Stafford career earnings: $239,306,037
2. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen’s six-year, $258-million deal – signed in August 2021 – doesn’t officially begin until 2023, but the fifth-year quarterback is still earning nearly $47 million in cash in 2022, nearly twice the amount of the Bills’ next highest-paid player, Stefon Diggs ($24.6 million).
Josh Allen career earnings: $38,114,794
3. Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns
Deshaun Watson’s fully guaranteed $230-million deal is straightforward; he’ll receive $46 million in cash each of the five seasons. In each of the final four seasons, his base salary is also $46 million and cap hit is approximately $55 million.
Deshaun Watson career earnings: $51,395,478
4. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers’ new deal, presumably his last of his career, includes a tiny base salary ($1.15 million) for 2022 – the 11th-highest on the Packers – but a huge roster bonus of $40.8 million if he can beat out Jordan Love and Danny Etling for a roster spot.
Aaron Rodgers career earnings: $263,608,010
5. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins is a lot better at signing massive contracts than winning postseason games. Through seven years, he’s earned nearly $162 million and will earn another $40 million in 2022. No other Vikings player has a total cash number of more than $20 million this season.
Kirk Cousins career earnings: $161,669,486
6. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady’s 40-day retirement didn’t change his two-year, $50-million contract signed in 2021 that reset the original two-year, $50-million signed in 2020. It will be just the second season of his career that he’ll earn more than $30 million in cash.
Tom Brady career earnings: $302,962,392
7. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes’ 10-year, $450-million contract includes everything in 2022; the four-time Pro Bowler has a signing bonus, roster bonus, workout bonus, restructure cash, and performance incentives, including $1.25 million if the Chiefs reach the Super Bowl.
Patrick Mahomes career earnings: $47,454,472
8. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
The Tennessee Titans saw enough from Ryan Tannehill in 10 starts in 2019 to commit $91 million in guaranteed money – as part of a four-year, $118-million contract – to the former first-round pick. His cap hit of $38.6 million ranks first in the NFL for 2022.
Ryan Tannehill career earnings: $139,975,979
9. Carson Wentz, Washington Commanders
Entering his seventh NFL season, Carson Wentz has one career completion in the playoffs and more than $100 million in career earnings. He’s now playing for a third team under the four-year, $128-million signed with the Philadelphia Eagles before the 2019 season. His post-2020 departure from Philly resulted in the biggest dead salary cap hit in NFL history at the time.
Carson Wentz career earnings: $100,365,221
10. Jared Goff, Detroit Lions
Jared Goff will earn at least $26 million for the fourth straight season. Last year’s total of $28.15 million – $2.5 million of which was paid by the Los Angeles Rams – put the former No. 1 overall pick over $100 million in career earnings.
Jared Goff career earnings: $108,891,068