Super Paydays: Who'll Earn $16,167 a Minute in the Super Bowl?

Super Bowl Football

On Sunday, millions of Americans will huddle around their TVs to watch grown men crash into each other at full speed. Some call it the "Super Bowl," while others call it "that one Sunday we clog our arteries and watch funny commercials." But for many of the athletes, sponsors, vendors and others associated with the big game, it's simply called "payday."

We took a look at some of the day's top performers and broke down just how much they'll be raking in per minute of the Super Bowl. The numbers will probably make you wish you could suit up and toss around the pigskin. They'll also make you regret not being 8 inches taller with a 4.3 second 40-yard dash.

The Players

Peyton Manning (Quarterback, Denver) - $16,167 a minute
One of the perks of being the best quarterback in football is being the highest paid player in the league. Manning earns as much in a two-minute drill as many Americans make all year.

Russell Wilson (Quarterback, Seattle) - $1,414 a minute
No, that's not a typo. The Seahawks' second-year starter makes a little less than 9 percent of his counterpart's salary. And as if that doesn't sting, Russell will also earn $139 less per minute than his backup, Tarvaris Jackson.

%VIRTUAL-WSSCourseInline-597%Knowshon Moreno (Running Back, Denver) - $3,700 a minute
Regardless of Moreno's injury status on Super Sunday, his total haul of $222,000 covers the median cost of a home in both the American South and the Midwest.

Marshawn Lynch (Running Back, Seattle) - $8,273 a minute
When it comes to making Super Bowl green, Lynch's "Beast Mode" nickname applies well. At the current prices for tickets on Stubhub (starting at around $1,600 apiece), Lynch could buy five tickets a minute for his friends and family to watch him play on Sunday.

Richard Sherman (Cornerback, Seattle) - $1,343 a minute
While Sherman might be the talk of the town after his epic rant, he's the lowest-paid player on our list. And after we learned his annual salary is one-tenth as much as 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree earns, his rant made a little more sense to us.

Matt Prater (Kicker, Denver) - $3,722 a minute
The second-highest-paid kicker in the league might only be on the field for a few minutes Sunday, but for Matt Prater, it pays to put the "foot" in football.

Clint Gresham (Long snapper, Seattle) - $1,490 a minute
In case you're not familiar with the position, the long snapper's the guy who comes in four or five times a game and snaps the ball to the punter. In Gresham's case, that makes him the guy who earns around $20,000 each time he touches the ball.

The Supporting Cast

Referee - $173 a minute
For a paycheck of roughly $5,000 a half, putting up with the boos, the silly zebra outfit, and the constant fear of being bulldozed by a linebacker almost seems worth it -- almost.

%VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%Cheerleader - 60 cents a minute
I actually had to punch this one in the calculator a few times to make sure I was doing the math right. And unfortunately for the ladies on the field, the numbers don't lie. It would take a professional cheerleader 449 games over 45 seasons (10 home games per season) to make what Peyton Manning makes in a single minute of the Super Bowl.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell - $25,877 a minute
Football has treated Roger Goodell well. His $29.5 million annual salary is more than the entire Oakland Raiders' defense combined. We bet his seats for the Super Bowl won't be too shabby either.

Note: Salaries (which include base salary plus signing bonus) are based on a 19-game season at 60 minutes a game. This leaves many hours of off-the-field training, practicing, and team travel unaccounted for, but for the purpose of this story, we only captured their on-the-field value. We've factored in the $49,000 "You're in the Super Bowl" bonus that players from both teams receive, but haven't included the additional $49,000 bonus the players from the winning team will earn. Likewise, no endorsements or sponsorship salaries are included. Salary source: Spotrac.

Joanna and Johnny are the writing duo behind, a personal finance blog documenting the joys, pains and realities of living on a budget.

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