Top 10 Highest Paid NFL Players

Russell Wilson

Every year, two teams face off for the biggest prize in football, the Super Bowl. However, once the new champions have been crowned, everybody looks forward to the new season, and that’s where the big contracts are signed.

Each season, fresh faces jump up the list of the highest-paid NFL players. This year was no different, as players across the league signed contract extensions, moved franchises, or were part of an illustrious trade. Some deals in the NFL are worth over $200 million, such as the Browns contract for Deshaun Watson.

However, is Watson the highest-paid NFL player in the league? If you look around, you will see a variety of different lists of NFL players based on their positions, signing bonuses, and the total amount guaranteed. There is no consensus for an NFL salary as there are add-ons and performance-based incentives in every deal.

To help make things crystal clear, we are looking at several aspects. Most importantly, we are examining the contract value for each player. That is the magic number that includes all salaries, bonuses, and other additions that will make up a player’s salary in the NFL. Below are the ten highest-paid NFL players in the league this season.

10. Nick Bosa


Nick Bosa was the second overall pick in the 2019 draft by San Francisco. Originally signed to a four-year contract worth $33.55 million, he signed a new deal in September 2023 worth $170 million. The new five-year contract will keep him with the 49ers until 2029. His deal included a $50 million signing bonus and 488 million guaranteed at signing. He will have an average salary of $34 million, and total guarantees are over 120 million for his entire contract.

Contract Length5 years
Contract Value$170,000,000
Total Guaranteed$122,500,000
Average Salary$34,000,000

9. Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson is the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns. The Browns offered Watson a $230 million five-year deal in March 2022. Since then, they suspended him for 11 games for conduct detrimental to the league. He paid over five million in fines and only made six appearances for the team in 2022. Of course, his behavior was a problem again, receiving over $35,000 worth of fines two games into the 2023 season.

Watson’s deal includes an average salary of $46 million per year. The contract guaranteed him $230 million at the time of signing and will expire in 2027. 2023 will be his last year with a reduced base salary. From the next season onwards, Watson will make $46 million from his base salary alone.

Contract Length5 years
Contract Value$230,000,000
Total Guaranteed$230,000,000
Average Salary$46,000,000

8. Kyler Murray

The Arizona Cardinals made Kyler Murray the eighth highest-paid NFL player in the league this year. In 2022, Murray signed a five-year contract worth over $230 million to stay in Arizona until 2029. This year, his deal includes a signing bonus of 36 million and a workout bonus of one million dollars. Next season his base salary will rise from two million up to 37, and his deal still includes a workout bonus.

Contract Length5 years
Contract Value$230,500,000
Total Guaranteed$159,797,000
Average Salary$46,100,000

7. Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson signed a five-year contract with the Denver Broncos after a trade from Seattle in 2022. The deal is worth $242.5 million and will last until 2029. Looking at the figures, Wilson had over 160 million guaranteed with an average salary of just under $49 million a year. NFL contracts are complex, but Wilson has a potential out in 2026. If the Broncos don’t exercise the out, his base salary will rise to 50 million for the 2028 season.

Contract Length5 years
Contract Value$242,588,236
Total Guaranteed$161,000,000
Average Salary$48,517,647

6. Jalen Hurts


The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Jalen Hurts in 2020 as the 53rd overall pick in round two of the NFL draft. In 2023, he earned a five-year contract with the Eagles worth over 250 million. The deal lasts until 2029 when he will become a free agent. There is a potential out before the 2028 season, which could be the perfect time for an extension if Hurts continues his fine form.

Contract Length5 Years
Contract Value$255,000,000
Total Guaranteed$179,399,000
Average Salary$51,000,000

5. Josh Allen

The Bills drafted Josh Allen in 2018, and he has remained with the franchise ever since. In 2021, he earned a six-year contract extension, taking him to 2029 with the Buffalo Bills. The new contract is worth over $250 million and includes an average salary of $43 million. In 2023, Allen restructured his deal to clear over 20 million from the Buffalo cap. 

Contract Length6 years
Contract Value$258,034,000
Total Guaranteed$150,000,000
Average Salary$43,005,667

4. Lamar Jackson


The fourth highest-paid NFL player this season is Lamar Jackson. Baltimore Ravens tied their star quarterback to a five-year extension worth $260 million. The deal includes $185 million guaranteed and an average salary of $52 million a year. The contract has a signing bonus worth over 72 million and he will become a free agent in 2028.

Contract Length5 Years
Contract Value$260,000,000
Total Guaranteed$185,000,000
Average Salary$52,000,000

3. Justin Herbert


Justin Herbert is the quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers and is now the third-highest-paid NFL player in the league this season. The five-year deal signed in 2023 is worth $262.5 million, including over 200 million guaranteed. Herbert has a potential out after the 2028 season. However, his current deal runs out in 2030, when he will become a free agent.

Contract Length5 Years
Contract Value$262,500,000
Total Guaranteed$218,738,376
Average Salary$52,500,000

2. Joe Burrow


Joe Burrow signed an extension in September 2023, sending the Bengals quarterback up to the second spot on our list. Burrow's five-year deal is worth over $275 million, including nearly 220 million guaranteed. He has a $40 million signing bonus and an average salary of $55 million a season. By the time his contract expires in 2030, Burrow could be one of the highest-paid NFL players of all time.

Contract Length5 Years
Contract Value$275,000,000
Total Guaranteed$219,010,000
Average Salary$55,000,000

1. Patrick Mahomes


The number one highest-paid NFL player this season is Patrick Mahomes. His ten-year extension with Kansas City, signed in 2020, is worth $450 million. The Chiefs deal has over $200 million in guarantees and an average salary of 45 million. Since signing the biggest NFL contract of all time, Mahomes has converted or restructured the deal on three occasions.

Mahomes has a contract with the Chiefs until 2032, but the deal will probably change over the next few seasons. Mahomes seems committed to the franchise, having already converted his roster bonus on two occasions to clear over 25 million in the team’s cap. When his contract expires, Mahomes will be the highest-paid NFL star ever. 

Contract Length10 years
Contract Value$450,000,000
Total Guaranteed$208,100,000
Average Salary$45,000,000


The highest-paid NFL player this season is Patrick Mahomes when you account for the total value of his contract. If you just want to know which players will make the most money this season, on average, they are as follows:

  1. Joe Burrow - $55 million
  2. Justin Herbert - $52.5 million
  3. Lamar Jackson - $52 million
  4. Jalen Hurts - $51 million
  5. Russell Wilson - $48.5 million
  6. Kyler Murray - $46.1 million
  7. Deshaun Watson - $46 million
  8. Patrick Mahomes - $45 million
  9. Josn Allen - $43 million
  10. Dak Prescott, Matthew Stafford, Daniel Jones - $40 million