Move over, Patrick Mahomes. Aaron Rodgers is now the highest-paid player in the NFL after inking a three-year, $150 million deal. The back-to-back league MVP and star quarterback returns to the Green Bay Packers after considering retirement or seeking a trade to a new team.
Rodgers now tops the list of top earners in the NFL, clearing Mahomes’ average annual value by $5 million. Rodgers will bag more than $50 million a year.
Mahomes was bumped down to second on the highest paid list after the Rodgers deal and then to third after the Cleveland Browns traded for quarterback Deshaun Watson and signed him to a fully guaranteed $230 million deal that will pay him $46 million a year despite accusations of sexual misconduct made against Watson by 22 women.
The busy offseason has reasserted a basic truth in American football: If you want to make the big bucks in the sport, play quarterback.
The top ten highest-paid NFL players are all quarterbacks. Rodgers sits atop the list earning an annual average salary of $50 million, followed by Watson and then Mahomes. Fourth is Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen who has an average salary of $43 million on a six-year contract.
Here is Spotrac.com’s full list of the top 10 earners in the league by annual average salary.
1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers: $50.2 million
2. Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns: $46 million
3. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs; $45 million
4. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills: $43 million
5. Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders: $40.5 million
6t. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys: $40 million
6t. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams: $40 million
7t.. Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos: $35 million
7t. Kirk Cousins; Minnesota Vikings: $35 million
10. Jared Goff, Detroit Lions: $33.5 million
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The highest-paid non-quarterback on the list is star wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who agreed to a four-year $120 million deal with the Miami Dolphins in a trade with the Chiefs. Hill will make $30 million a year.
Rodgers’ historic contract will also shake up the rankings for highest-paid NFL players accounting for off-the-field earnings, which Forbes tracks every season.
Last year, Cowboys QB Dak Prescott topped the list largely due to his massive $66 million signing bonus in combination with the $12 million he made from deals off the field.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, who said he is returning for another season less than two months after he announced his retirement, came in at second on the list.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NFL's highest paid player: Aaron Rodgers passes Mahomes on 2022 list