Most Overpaid Quarterbacks in the NFL

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(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Colton Pool @CPoolReporter Jul 11, 2022, 5:47 PM

Patrick Mahomes will be among the highest-paid players in the NFL this year. But the Chiefs quarterback and former MVP has earned it by leading his team to Super Bowl appearances.

Other quarterbacks, meanwhile, haven’t been worth the price. The season is just a few months away, NFL betting lines are already available, and some teams are spending too much on below-average play behind center.

Here’s a look at the teams that overspend for quarterbacks.

NFL Quarterback Spending

The Chiefs lead the league in quarterback spending at $40.6 million, according to Spotrac. Mahomes, whose NFL odds to win Offensive Player of the Year are +2000, has a cap hit of $35.8 million.

TeamQuarterback spendingTotal spending
Kansas City Chiefs40.6M218.7M
Tennessee Titans39.5M212.4M
San Francisco 49ers37.4M231.8M
Minnesota Vikings34.3M205.1M
Detroit Lions34.3M217.3M
Washington Commanders33.4M225.1M
Green Bay Packers32.6M200.4M
Baltimore Ravens26.2M212.8M
Denver Broncos26.0M223.4M
Carolina Panthers25.3M198.5M
Las Vegas Raiders23.0M187.0M
Indianapolis Colts22.9M222.3M
Dallas Cowboys22.6M203.2M
Buffalo Bills20.8M216.3M
Tampa Bay Buccaneers17.1M199.9M
Cleveland Browns15.6M167.1M
Arizona Cardinals15.6M217.1M
Miami Dolphins15.5M216.6M
Los Angeles Rams15.2M205.1M
New York Jets13.9M232.8M
Jacksonville Jaguars12.7M232.8M
Cincinnati Bengals12.1M214.9M
New York Giants12.0M195.5M
Los Angeles Chargers11.0M225.8M
Pittsburgh Steelers11.0M201.0M
New Orleans Saints8.0M192.1M
Chicago Bears6.8M158.9M
New England Patriots6.2M227.7M
Seattle Seahawks5.8M181.3M
Philadelphia Eagles5.7M196.6M
Houston Texans5.7M186.3M
Atlanta Falcons5.1M159.4M
Average19.2M205.8M

Most Underpaid and Overpaid NFL Players

Underpaid Quarterbacks | Overpaid Running Backs | Underpaid Running Backs | Overpaid Wide Receivers | Underpaid Wide Receivers | Overpaid Offensive Linemen | Underpaid Offensive Linemen | Overpaid Defensive Linemen | Underpaid Defensive Linemen | Overpaid Linebackers | Underpaid Linebackers | Overpaid Defensive Backs | Underpaid Defensive Backs

Most Overpaid Quarterback Groups

Tennessee Titans

While the Chiefs lead the way in paying for signal callers, the Titans are second with much less production.

Ryan Tannehill has the largest cap hit for any player at any position in 2022 at $38.6 million. That’s almost $3 million more than Mahomes, who’s among the best quarterbacks in the league.

Tannehill’s four-year deal with a total of $118 million, $91 million guaranteed, runs through 2023. He has a dead cap hit of $57.4 million this year and $18.8 million next year.

Tannehill was impressive to begin his Titans tenure, which prompted Tennessee to offer the contract it did. 

In 2019, he passed for 2,742 yards, 22 touchdowns and six picks, while completing 70.3% of his passes in 10 starts. He was named the Comeback Player of the Year.

But since then, his contributions have dwindled. In 2021, he was 27th in DYAR and DVOA, Football Outsiders metrics that measure value.

Tannehill will be 34 years old by the time the 2022 season begins. And while solid positional players surround him, putting together another career resurgence may be tough.

San Francisco 49ers

If the 49ers don’t make any moves, a quarterback who might not even be their starter might take up nearly 13% of their cap. But this is a situation they could more easily get out of than other teams.

Jimmy Garoppolo is set to take up almost $27 million in cap space in 2022. His five-year, $137.5 million deal with $74 million guaranteed ends after the 2022 season.

If the 49ers want to hang on to Garoppolo, they will maintain their position as the third-highest team in QB spending. But he only has $1.4 million in dead cap, so they might not want to.

San Francisco traded up to take Trey Lance third overall in last year’s draft. Plenty of signs point to him being ready to take on that starting job.

The 49ers seemed like they were headed toward trading Garoppolo. But with Baker Mayfield going to the Panthers — who are 10th in QB spending at $25.3 million with $18.9 million going to Sam Darnold — potential suitors for a trade have dwindled.

The 49ers could keep Garoppolo on the roster, simply as a veteran backup, but doing so would eat up a lot of cash.

Detroit Lions

The Lions are fifth in the league in quarterback spending at $34.3 million. And their starter is arguably in the lower third among others in the NFL.

Jared Goff has a $31.2 million cap hit in 2022. That’s 14.3% of Detroit’s cap.

Something to keep in mind: Goff didn’t sign this contract with the Lions. He made this deal with the Los Angeles Rams, the team that drafted him first overall in 2016 and traded him, two first-round picks and a third-rounder away for Matthew Stafford last offseason.

Goff’s four-year, $134 million deal included $110 million guaranteed. So while the Lions didn’t construct the contract, they’re still on the hook for paying Goff.

While he was surrounded by subpar talent in his first year in Detroit, Goff threw for 3,245 yards, 19 touchdowns and eight picks with a 67% completion rate in 2021.

He was 20th by DYAR and DVOA and 28th by Pro Football Focus in 2021. Since 2019, he hasn’t been higher than 15th in any of those categories.

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About the Author

Colton Pool

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Colton Pool is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM living in Bozeman, Montana, focusing on the NFL and NBA. Previously, he covered Montana State football at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and worked at newspapers in his home state of North Dakota. He graduated from North Dakota State in 2015.

Colton Pool is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM living in Bozeman, Montana, focusing on the NFL and NBA. Previously, he covered Montana State football at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and worked at newspapers in his home state of North Dakota. He graduated from North Dakota State in 2015.