If You Want To Get Rich As An NFL Player, You Need To Play One Of These Positions…

By on July 20, 2015 in ArticlesSports News

When we played football as kids with our friends, we just wanted to have fun. So when it came time to decide who did what, it was easy. Everyone did everything – block, tackle, catch passes, run the ball, and even pass. True, some did more than others, but everyone got the chance. As we got older and bigger, the game took on a whole different meaning. Fun was still important, but the game became a means to an end. Play well enough and college could be in the future. Continue to play well and there was the NFL and financial security for life to think about. That meant specializing and focusing on one task – one position – on the field.

Last year the NFL generated over $11 billion in revenue. With the windfall that is coming in the salary cap for the coming season is going to increase to $143 million. Some players are going to make an obscene amount of money, others are going to make a lot of money and some are just going to make good money (rookie minimum of $435K certainly qualifies as good).

It is all pretty much predicated off of the preserved value of the player to the team. So – what position does it pay to play the most?

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Offenses win games and the success of the offense is determined typically by how well a quarterback plays. That could explain why six of the ten highest paid players (salary, endorsements, and bonuses) are quarterbacks:

  • Ben Roethlisberger $48.9 Million ($46.4 salary, $2.5 endorsements)
  • Carson Palmer $29 million ($28.5 million salary, $500K endorsements)
  • Peyton Manning ($27 Million; $15 million salary, $12 million endorsements)
  • Eli Manning $23.7 million ($15.7 million salary, $8 million endorsements)
  • Andy Dalton $23.3 million ($22.3 million salary, $1 million endorsements)
  • Tony Romo $22 million ($17 million salary, $5 million endorsements)

Actually, nine of the top 15 highest paid players in the NFL are quarterbacks. Along with the six in the top ten there is:

  • Drew Brees $22 million ($11 million salary, $11 million endorsements)
  • Alex Smith $19.6 million ($19.1 salary, $500K endorsements)
  • Aaron Rodgers $19.1 million ($11.6 million salary, $7.5 million endorsements)

While offense wins games, defense wins championships. A quarterback is only as good as what he has the time to do or can create. A good defensive lineman can severely limit what a quarterback is able to do making him a very valuable player. That could very well be why three of the top six highest paid players in the game are on the defensive front:

  • Ndamukong Suh $38.6 million ($38.2 million salary, $400K endorsements)
  • J. Watt $27.9 million ($20.9 million salary, $7 million endorsements)
  • Gerald McCoy $26.7 million ($26.5 million salary, $150K endorsements)

This is not to say that it doesn't pay well to play any other position on the field. Protecting the quarterback can pay well. Two offensive lineman made the list of the top 16 highest paid players in the NFL—Tyron Smith $21.4 million ($21.1 million salary, $250K endorsements) and Maurkice Pouncey $18.9 million ($18.8 million salary, $100K endorsements).

It just so happens to pay better to throw the ball or tackle the guy that throws the ball.

The 16 highest paid players in the NFL are as follows:

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger $48.9 M
  2. Miami Dolphins DL Ndamukong Suh $38.6 M
  3. Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer $29 M
  4. Houston Texans DL J.J. Watt $27.9 M
  5. Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning $27 M
  6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers DL Gerald McCoy $26.7 M
  7. New York Giants QB Eli Manning $23.7 M
  8. Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton $23.3 M
  9. Buffalo Bills RB LeSean McCoy $22.1 M
  10. New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees $22 M
  11. Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo $22 M
  12. Dallas Cowboys OL Tyron Smith $21.4 M
  13. Kansas City Chiefs QB Alex Smith $19.6 M
  14. New England Patriots FS Devin McCourty $19.3 M
  15. Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers $19.1 M
  16. Pittsburgh Steelers OL Maurkice Pouncey $18.9 M
Articles Written by Travis Pulver
Travis, a native Texan, has been blogging about sports for the last seven years. His passion is bringing the best and most interesting stories to light for the enjoyment of the public. He currently lives in Indiana (loves basketball, but hates going to the Indy 500) with his wife and two adorable kids. Feel free to follow him on Twitter and check out his website FatManWriting.com.
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