Most Underpaid Defensive Linemen in the NFL

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(AP Photo/Alex Menendez)
Colton Pool @CPoolReporter Aug 02, 2022, 1:10 PM

Some franchises with the best NFL odds each week understand the value of production up front. A few know how to find that value while paying very little compared to the rest of the league.

Here’s a look at the most underpaid defensive linemen:

NFL Defensive Linemen Salaries

The Baltimore Ravens pay the least for defensive linemen at $17 million in terms of cap spending, according to Spotrac. That’s less than half the average of $34.5 million.

Here are the total cap hits for each teams’ defensive linemen:

RankTeamSalary Cap Hit
1Jets$57.1 million
2Colts$54.9 million
3Chiefs$54.5 million
4Bengals$53.6 million
5Eagles$50.8 million
6Giants$45.9 million
7Steelers$43 million
8Rams$42.7 million
9Commanders$41 million
10Jaguars$40.1 million
1149ers$39 million
12Vikings$36.9 million
13Saints$36.8 million
14Cowboys$35.2 million
15Seahawks$34.9 million
16Raiders$33.4 million
17Dolphins$33.2 million
18Browns$30.5 million
19Patriots$28.7 million
20Packers$28.4 million
21Lions$28.3 million
22Bills$28 million
23Cardinals$27 million
24Falcons$26.6 million
25Texans$25.3 million
26Panthers$24.6 million
27Titans$23 million
28Bears$22.4 million
29Chargers$21.9 million
30Buccaneers$21.3 million
31Broncos$18.3 million
32Ravens$17 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 | Overpaid Linebackers | Underpaid Linebackers | Overpaid Defensive Backs | Underpaid Defensive Backs

Most Underpaid Defensive Lineman Groups

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers’ defensive front is fearsome. And they pay the third-least at the position with $21.3 million cap spending going toward defensive linemen, which is just 10.3% of the team’s total cap.

Last season, Tampa Bay was fifth in adjusted line yards and 16th in adjusted sack rate, metrics from Football Outsiders which examine defensive performance against the run and on passing plays.

While Ndamukong Suh and Jason Pierre-Paul are gone, both were 32 or older last season. And they have others who should keep this group performing at a high level.

Vita Vea makes the most among Tampa Bay’s D-linemen. While he’s on a four-year, $71 million deal, his cap hit will be $3.8 million in 2022. He was a Pro Bowler last season and was 10th in Pro Football Focus’ grades of D-linemen who played at least 50% of the most snaps in the league.

No defensive end has a cap hit of more than $3 million on the team. That includes newly-acquired former Pro Bowler Akiem Hicks, whose cap hit is $2.4 million.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans’ cap spending for defensive linemen is the sixth-lowest in the NFL in 2022. But it’s been a top-notch unit recently.

Tennessee was 10th in both adjusted line yards and adjusted sack rate last season. Several of their primary starters are back.

Jeffery Simmons, a Pro Bowler in 2021, will have a cap hit of just $4 million. The defensive tackle was 14th in PFF’s grades last season.

Denico Autry will have the highest cap hit for the Titans up front at $8.7 million. He was 24th in PFF’s grades among edge players.

Cleveland Browns

At $30.5 million, the Browns’ defensive line cap spending is below the league average. And yet they have two of the most prominent pass-rushing stars on their team.

Myles Garrett is scheduled to have a cap hit of $13 million, which is 6% of the team’s cap. He was third in the league with 16 sacks last year and was PFF’s top-graded edge rusher.

Jadeveon Clowney, another accomplished pass rusher, will have a cap hit of $3.5 million. No other D-lineman on the team will have a cap hit of more than $4 million.

Last season, the Browns were 14th in adjusted line yards and 13th in adjusted sack rate.

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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.