NFL quarterbacks make a lot of money. The 2021 season comes as a record year for the position, as far as salary and endorsements go.
The top ten highest-paid QBs in NFL history combine to earn more than $1 billion for their long-term deals.
Let’s take a look at some of the largest contracts in the NFL this season.
The average NFL salary for quarterbacks revolved around a $100 million contract. Last year, the highest-paid NFL player signed an extension worth four times that.
When you break it down annually for the average NFL salary, it depends on the position. Franchises have different salary caps. But major endorsements come for the NFL’s top players—especially quarterbacks.
Tom Brady boosted his income via off-field earnings from $12 million to $45 million this year. (Winning the Super Bowl for the seventh time helped.) Last year, Brady won the big game in his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
His various partnerships include companies like Under Armour, Fanatics, and T-Mobile. Also, Brady became a brand ambassador for FTX, a cryptocurrency trading platform.
He’s become an all-American elite mogul. He is branching out by creating his line of supplements, a media company, and an NFT platform.
The minimum salary for the NFL sits at $660,000. In 2021, Brady’s reported earnings hover around $72 million. (A third of that comes from his salary.)
To put that in perspective, Brady makes almost 38 times more than the NFL’s most minor salary. Add $45 million from his partnerships and endorsements, and Brady is the king.
League sponsorships come from almost 1,500 partnerships totalling more than $1 billion. Some of the top paid players even own equity in other sports teams and restaurants.
These companies have merged with top paid NFL players:
*State Farm (insurance)
Major NFL sponsors also include:
Aside from that, one of the biggest trends comes from sports betting. Partnerships exist between professional teams, betting companies, and broadcast media. That forms a centerpiece of the booming gambling industry.
Check out Safest Betting Sites for analysis on some of the top online sportsbooks for NFL games. Don’t miss their online betting guide.
5 Highest-Paid QBs in NFL History
Who makes the most money in the NFL? Quarterbacks who won or have a chance to win the Super Bowl.
Here are the top five highest-paid quarterbacks in NFL history.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
For the highest NFL contract, quarterback Patrick Mahomes ranks number one. With a total value of $450 million, his ten-year extension dwarfs the number two spot by almost $200 million.
Mahomes should receive $45 million for the 2021 NFL season. Almost half of that comes from endorsements.
Back in 2017, he’d clocked some of the fastest throws at the NFL Scouting Combine. In the NFL Draft, he went in the first round as a 10th pick to the Chiefs. His initial contact, valued at almost $16.5 million, included a $10 million signing bonus.
In his first season as a starter, he led the Chiefs to the AFC Championship game. Mahomes then lost to Brady and the New England Patriots, 37-31. But he’d earn the league’s MVP award.
Next season, Mahomes got past the Tennessee Titans in the AFC title game. In the Super Bowl, he sparked a spectacular comeback to beat the San Francisco 49ers, 35-24. Mahomes received the Super Bowl MVP for his outstanding performance.
He became the youngest quarterback ever to win a Super Bowl MVP.
At the start of the 2020 season, Mahomes signed the biggest sports contract in U.S. history. It was worth $503 million (a deal restructured in 2021).
Last year, the Chiefs made it to their third-straight AFC Championship game. They lost in the Super Bowl to Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 31-9.
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills made it to the AFC Championship last season. They lost to Mahomes and the Chiefs. At the start of the 2021 season, Allen possessed the second-highest NFL contract.
While Mahomes had the largest guarantee in his contract, Allen broke the record. He was guaranteed $150 million. That came in his six-year extension worth a whopping $258 million.
He’ll be earning $43 million this season. The Bills sit atop the AFC East with a record of 5-3.
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott comes in at number three. He’ll get $40 million for the 2021 season. His four-year deal signed in March 2021 guaranteed $126 million.
The entire contract came with a $160 million price tag. It included an NFL record-breaking $66 million signing bonus.
After endorsements, he’s set to earn $87 this year.
Although Prescott suffered an injury during the season, the Cowboys hold the top spot in the NFC East. Their current record is 6-2.
Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
For the 2021 season, Brady’s endorsements total more than Mahomes’ entire earnings. His $25 million salary doesn’t include $3.4 million in contract incentives from last year, either.
As far as career earnings go, Brady is number one. This year, his salary pushes him past the $300 million mark.
Most of the $72.5 million he’ll earn for the 2021 season is from endorsements.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers began his NFL career with controversy. In the 2005 NFL Draft, everyone believed he’d be the number one pick. Instead, Rodgers fell to 24th.
In his first three seasons, Rodgers played as a backup to Brett Favre. His initial contract had been worth less than $10 million.
In 2008, he began his first season as the Packers starting quarterback. He then signed a six-year extension worth $65 million.
In 2010, Rodgers led the Packers past the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship. The Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl, 31-25. Rogers also won the Super Bowl MVP.
In the 2011 season, Rodgers led the Packers to a 15-1 record. Although they didn’t win a playoff game, he earned his first NFL MVP.
Before the 2013 season, Rodgers signed a five-year contract extension worth $110 million. That made him the highest-paid player in NFL history.
In 2014, he won the MVP again. In 2018, he signed a four-year extension worth $134 million with a $57.5 million signing bonus.
He won his third MVP award last season, losing to Brady in the NFC Championship.
In 2021, Rodgers is set to earn $33.5 million, including salary, bonuses, and endorsements.
Quarterbacks continue to earn the most money in the NFL. It’s a make-or-break position for almost every team. To win the Super Bowl, you need an elite quarterback.
Most of the largest contracts for sports players come from Major League Baseball. (Although nobody’s contact compares to FC Barcelona’s star, Lionel Messi.)
Over a dozen top basketball players in the NBA earn more than $40 million per year.
Still, NFL quarterbacks might be entering a new era where they’re among the top paid athletes in any sport all around the world.