Highest-paid NFL players: Hurts leaps to the top, but who’s No. 2 now?

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

It pays to break out.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts on Monday agreed to a five-year contract extension, worth up to $255 million, with a staggering $179.3 million in fully guaranteed money. The deal includes a no-trade clause and makes Hurts, 24, the highest paid player in NFL history.

Hurts, a second-round selection in the 2020 NFL draft, completed his third season in the league, which earned him his first career Pro Bowl nomination. He played himself into the Most Valuable Player conversation and led the Eagles to a 14-3 record, the No. 1 seed in the NFC and a trip to Super Bowl 57, where Philadelphia eventually lost to the Chiefs.

Hurts’ contract knocked Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the subject of trade rumors to the Jets, from the top spot as the league’s highest-paid player after Rodgers signed a massive contract extension in March 2022.

Hurts’ deal continues to reinforce the trend that has dictated the salary cap in the modern-day NFL: as league revenues soar, the game’s best passers are negotiating record-setting deals seemingly every offseason. According to Over The Cap, the 14-richest contracts currently in the NFL go to quarterbacks.

NFL Draft Hub: Latest NFL Draft mock drafts, news, live picks, grades and analysis

Who is the highest-paid NFL player in 2023?

Here is Over The Cap’s full list of the top 12 earners in the league by annual average salary: 

1. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles: $51 million2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers: $50.2 million3. Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos: $49 million4. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals: $46.1 million5. Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns: $46 million6. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs; $45 million7. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills: $43 million 8T. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams: $40 million8T. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys: $40 million8T. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams: $40 million8T. Daniel Jones; New York Giants: $40 million12. Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints: $37.5 million

Hurts’ position as the highest-paid player may not last long. Current Raven quarterback Lamar Jackson has made his displeasure with Baltimore’s negotiating public. Whenever he does agree to terms on a contract — whether with Baltimore or another squad — the average annual salary should come close to Hurts’, or surpass it.

Then there are Joe Burrow, 26, of the Cincinnati Bengals and Justin Herbert, 25, of the Los Angeles Chargers, who were both draft selections in 2020, as Hurts was. The difference in their rookie contracts is that, because Burrow and Herbert were first rounders, their teams can exercise fifth-year options that retain their rights for an additional season. 

NFL’s highest-paid players by position in 2022

All playersQuarterbackRunning backWide receiver Tight end TackleGuardCenterKickersEdge rusherSafetyCornerbackLinebackerInterior defensive linemen

This post appeared first on USA TODAY