Most Underpaid Quarterbacks in the NFL

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Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert walks across the field during practice at the NFL football team's practice facility Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Costa Mesa, Calif.
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Colton Pool @CPoolReporter Aug 10, 2022, 1:37 PM

There are many ways to compile a championship roster. Having an above-average quarterback with a below-average salary certainly helps, as teams can use that cap space in other ways.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have the second-best Super Bowl odds at +750, are scheduled to pay the position group a below-average $17.1 million. Of course, that’s with legendary quarterback Tom Brady on the roster.

Rookie contracts are incredibly beneficial, as the rookie wage scale limits how much new pro players can make. So if a franchise drafts a quarterback who excels immediately, it can help that team for years down the road.

Here are some of the most underpaid quarterback groups, all of which have a starter still on a rookie deal.

NFL Quarterback Spending

The Atlanta Falcons, who have the second-lowest NFL odds to win the Super Bowl at +25000, spend the least amount of money on quarterbacks at $5.1 million in 2022. They are among a few teams where QB is the position they spend the least on, including specialists.

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

Most Underpaid and Overpaid NFL Players

Overpaid 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 Underpaid Quarterback Groups

Los Angeles Chargers

Justin Herbert has quickly become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. And he’s been paid significantly less than others behind center.

Herbert, who’s 24 years old and is entering his third year in the league, will have a cap hit of $7.2 million in 2022. That’s just over 3% of the team’s cap. He signed a four-year, $26.6 million deal when he was drafted sixth overall out of Oregon, which is all guaranteed.

Thanks to that, the Chargers are 24th in quarterback spending in the NFL with just $11 million.

He was the rookie of the year in 2020. In his second year in the NFL, he was fifth in DYAR and sixth in DVOA, value metrics from Football Outsiders.

Philadelphia Eagles

In terms of talent, Jalen Hurts is arguably among the top half of starting quarterbacks in the league, and he doesn’t even make the most money among passers on his team.

The Eagles are 30th in QB spending among NFL teams at $5.7 million. Hurts’ cap hit is $1.6 million, less than 1% of the team’s cap. Gardner Minshew’s cap hit is $2.5 million.

Hurts was drafted in the second round out of Oklahoma in 2020. He signed a four-year, $6 million deal with $2.8 million guaranteed. He’s making $1.1 million in base salary this year and $1.3 million next year.

Hurts was 17th in both DYAR and DVOA last season. His mobility also brings an added element to help Philadelphia’s offense. With receivers like AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith, Hurts will be expected to take a substantial step in his development.

The question remains if the Eagles are ready to commit to Hurts in the long term. But until then, they’re in a beneficial situation.

New England Patriots

To the surprise of many, Mac Jones was one of the top rookie quarterbacks in 2021. His rookie deal will be much more team-friendly if he doesn’t endure a sophomore slide.

The Patriots will use the 28th-most money on quarterbacks in 2022 with $6.2 million. Jones’ cap hit will be $3.5 million of that.

Jones, who was drafted 15th overall in 2021, is in the second of a four-year contract worth $15.6 million, all of which is guaranteed.

In his first year, Jones was 12th by DYAR and 13th in DVOA last season. The Patriots hope he can be even better in 2022.

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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.