Most Underpaid Defensive Backs in the NFL

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Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward (21) plays
(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Colton Pool @CPoolReporter Aug 09, 2022, 3:13 PM
  • The Falcons have an NFL-low $23 million cap hit for defensive backs in 2022.
  • The Bucs, Browns and Cowboys found great value with their secondary spending.

As passing games have become larger focal points in NFL offenses, the importance of defensive backfields has heightened.

Here’s a look at the most underpaid defensive backs, which may help you out with NFL parlays.

NFL Defensive Back Spending

TeamDB Cap Money
Broncos$51.2 million
Bills$51.2 million
Bengals$50.4 million
Jaguars$49.8 million
Ravens$48.8 million
Patriots$43.6 million
Rams$43.2 million
Dolphins$42.0 million
Chargers$41.0 million
Commanders$40.0 million
Seahawks$36.7 million
49ers$35.9 million
Texans$35.3 million
Jets$34.5 million
Bears$33.9 million
Lions$33.3 million
Steelers$33.0 million
Eagles$32.9 million
Colts$32.8 million
Packers$32.8 million
Cardinals$31.7 million
Saints$31.4 million
Cowboys$31.0 million
Browns$29.1 million
Panthers$29.0 million
Buccaneers$28.6 million
Raiders$27.8 million
Titans$26.6 million
Giants$26.3 million
Vikings$26.1 million
Chiefs$24.2 million
Falcons$23.0 million
Average$35.5 million

Most Underpaid and Overpaid NFL Players

Overpaid Quarterbacks | 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

Most Underpaid Defensive Back Groups

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs, who have Super Bowl odds of +750, will have a cap hit of $28.6 million for their secondary, which is the seventh-lowest in the NFL. Yet they were 10th in the NFL in pass defense DVOA, according to Football Outsiders.

Carlton Davis will have the highest cap hit among defensive backs on the team at $8.3 million. Among cornerbacks who played at least 50% of the most snaps in the league, Davis was 18th in Pro Football Focus’ grades at the position.

As far as other cornerbacks, Sean Bunting has the second-highest cap hit for Tampa Bay DBs at $3.4 million. Jamel Dean, who was 17th in PFF’s grades of corners, will have a cap hit of $2.8 million. 

Antoine Winfield Jr. was second in PFF’s grades among safeties and will have a cap hit of $2 million while still on his rookie deal. Mike Edwards has the highest cap hit among safeties on the team at $2.7 million. Keanu Neal, an accomplished safety, is third at the position at $1 million.

Cleveland Browns

The Browns had the seventh-best pass defense DVOA last season. And their defensive back cap hit is the ninth-lowest.

Just $29.1 million of their cap spending will go toward their secondary. John Johnson III, 29th in PFF’s grades of safeties a year ago, has the highest cap hit for Cleveland’s defensive backfield at $7.8 million.

But the Browns have found the most value with their cornerbacks. Denzel Ward was a Pro Bowler last season and was 10th in PFF’s grades at the position. He has a cap hit of $5 million this season.

Greg Newsome has the next-highest DB cap hit on the team at $2.9 million and was 26th in PFF’s grades. Safety Grant Delpit and cornerback Greedy Williams are the only other defensive backs with cap hits of $2 million or more.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys were among the best teams in the NFL in shutting down air attacks, as they were second in pass defense DVOA. Yet they have the 10th-lowest cap hit among defensive backs at $31 million.

Some of Dallas’ best DBs aren’t paid like it, though. Trevon Diggs, for example, was an All-Pro last season and has a cap hit of $1.7 million. 

Anthony Brown was 30th in PFF’s cornerback grades and will have the highest cap hit among defensive backs on the team at $6.5 million. Jourdan Lewis ($4.6 million) was 50th in those grades.

Jayron Kearse will have a cap hit of $3.7 million, and he was 11th in PFF’s grades of safeties. Malik Hooker, another experienced safety on the team, will have a cap hit of $2.6 million.

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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.