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Highest Paid QBs in NFL

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 05: Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks gestures before a play in the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys during the Wild Card Round at AT&T Stadium on January 05, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The recent era of quarterback protection and endless offense through the air has led to some serious money being doled out at the position in the last decade, with quarterback contracts ballooning to new heights virtually every season. The hot topic these days is how much guaranteed money players should receive, as NFL contracts pale in comparison to those in the NBA and MLB, especially when it comes to money guaranteed at signing. With that in mind, let's check out the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL by guaranteed money, as well as simply by average annual value.

Highest Paid QBs in Guaranteed Money

Matt Ryan: $94.5 million

Kirk Cousins: $84 million

Aaron Rodgers: $79.2 million

Russell Wilson: $70 million

Carson Wentz: $66.47 million

Matthew Stafford: $60.5 million

Alex Smith: $55 million

Eli Manning: $54 million

Nick Foles: $45.12 million

Andrew Luck: $44 million

Highest Paid QBs with Incentives

These are the quarterbacks with the highest average yearly salary (including incentives):

Russell Wilson: $35 million

Ben Roethlisberger: $34 million

Aaron Rodgers: $33.5 million

Carson Wentz: $32 million

Matt Ryan: $30 million

Kirk Cousins: $28 million

Jimmy Garoppolo: $27.5 million

Ben Roethlisberger: $27 million

Derek Carr: $25 million

Drew Brees: $25 million

As you can see, the quarterbacks with the highest contract values are almost exclusively those who have recently signed new deals. Almost every player on both lists signed their contracts between 2017 and 2019 (with the only exceptions being Eli Manning and Andrew Luck). On the other hand, quarterbacks like Phillip Rivers and Cam Newton are missing on each list despite holding (arguably) elite status at the position, as they each began their extensions in 2015.

Tom Brady is another notable absence on the lists, as he perpetually takes team-friendly deals in pursuit of Super Bowl titles.

As long as quarterback remains the most important position in sports, QB contracts will continue to skyrocket. For now, be glad if your team is one of the lucky few with a good quarterback on his rookie contract.