I stumbled across a list of the 25 Highest Paid Players In The NFL today, which I found a bit surprising. Granted because this is based on 2013 salaries and not overall cap figures – i.e., signing bonuses are not factored into the rankings – it’s a bit misleading.

A free agent who signed a long term deal will get a big signing bonus but relatively small salary in the first year of his contract; conversely another free agent who did not work out an extension may play for one year under the franchise tag, which is all salary and no bonus.

The net result is that players who signed big deals this off-season are not listed. For example Joe Flacco will be paid an average of more than $20 million over the next six years and will make a whopping $30 million this year – however only one million of that is salary, so he is not included in these rankings.

  1. QB Peyton Manning: $15.0 million ($17.5 million cap number)
  2. DE Jared Allen: $14.3 million ($17.1 million cap)
  3. QB Eli Manning: $13.0 million ($20.9 million cap)
  4. CB Darrelle Revis: $13.0 million ($16.0 million cap)
  5. LB Tamba Hali: $12.3 million ($15.5 million cap)
  6. QB Philip Rivers: $12.0 million ($17.1 million cap)
  7. RB Adrian Peterson: $11.3 million ($13.9 million cap)
  8. DE Michael Johnson: $11.2 million ($11.2 million cap)
  9. LB David Harris: $10.9 million ($13.0 million cap)
  10. DE Anthony Spencer: $10.6 million ($10.6 million cap)
  11. LT Jason Peters: $10.4 million ($11.0 million cap)
  12. RB Chris Johnson: $10.0 million ($12.0 million cap)
  13. LT Joe Thomas: $10.0 million ($11.4 million cap)
  14. DE Julius Peppers: $9.9 million ($14.2 million cap)
  15. LT Brandon Albert: $9.8 million ($9.8 million cap)
  16. QB Drew Brees: $9.8 million ($17.4 million cap)
  17. CB Champ Bailey: $9.5 million ($10.8 million cap)
  18. WR Brandon Marshall: $9.1 million ($9.3 million cap)
  19. QB Sam Bradford: $9.0 million ($12.6 million cap)
  20. CB Cortland Finnegan: $9.0 million ($15.0 million cap)
  21. WR Sidney Rice: $8.5 million ($9.7 million cap)
  22. QB Jay Cutler: $8.5 million ($10.4 million cap)
  23. DT Henry Melton: $8.5 million ($8.5 million cap)
  24. DT Randy Starks: $8.5 million ($8.5 million cap)
  25. QB Josh Freeman: $8.4 million ($9.8 million cap)


– Philip Rivers at number six is a surprise and obviously not a good value, but don’t forget that for about five years he was one of the best quarterbacks in the game. Rivers got roughed up badly in a game against the Patriots in 2010 and he has never been the same since; I think he suffered a debilitating injury then that was never been made public.

– With all the money the Manning brothers are making, why do they seemingly accept every endorsement offer that comes their way?

– The legacy of Sam Bradford will always remain that he is the prime example of why the NFL needed to put a rookie wage scale into place.

– David Harris is a good player, but his being ranked ninth speaks more to the ineptitude of the Jets front office than to his abilities as a football player.

– The Rams are committing over $27 million in cap space to two players. With that kind of budgeting it’s no wonder that they so often fall apart when an injury occurs; there’s nothing left over for any quality depth.

– ‘Josh Freeman is #25’ sounds more appropriate to a ranking of best NFL quarterbacks than to a ranking of all NFL player salaries.



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