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NFL’s Highest-paid Backup QBs of 2023: Dalton, Brissett, Mariota & More

Last Updated: September 11, 2023
It pays to have a great backup arm, but what does it pay to be one? Check out who wins the NFL’s backup QB salary race for the 2023 season.

Trey Lance, Jimmy Garoppolo, Brock Purdy. Remember them? The San Francisco 49ers entered the 2022 NFL season absolutely buzzing about their quarterback room led by the former, who was a tantalizing prospect, and that middle guy, known as a steady-handed veteran. Well, they both got hurt. In stepped Purdy, the very last pick in the 2022 draft.

All the guy did was guide the Niners to the NFC West title and two playoff victories. Suddenly, entering the 2023 season, Lance is backing up Dak Prescott in Dallas, Gucci Garopp is a Las Vegas Raider, and Purdy is THE guy in the Bay.

Yep, it pays to have an able backup quarterback or two. That got us thinking: What does it pay to be a backup quarterback?

Folks, no spoiler alerts or snarky dissembling, even though that’s incredibly fun to do. Let’s get right into the numbers — behold the race for the title of highest-paid backup QB in the NFL for 2023!

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The Highest-paid Backup QB in the NFL: Who’s No. 1 in 2023?

Based on total cash salary as noted by Spotrac. Players as determined by NFL depth charts entering Week 1 of the 2023 regular season.

t-1. Jacoby BrissettCommanders$8M
t-1. Mitchell TrubiskySteelers$8M
3. Taylor HeinickeFalcons$7.7M
4. Andy DaltonPanthers$6M
5. Tyrod TaylorGiants$5.5M
6. Marcus MariotaEagles$5M
7. Will LevisTitans$4.69M
t-8. Mike WhiteDolphins$4.5M
t-8. Sam Darnold49ers$4.5M
t-10. Jameis WinstonSaints$4M
t-10. Jarett StidhamBroncos$4M
t-10. Drew LockSeahawks$4M
13. Zach WilsonJets$3.85M
14. Gardner MinshewColts$3.5M
15. Case KeenumTexans$3.25M
16. Teddy BridgewaterLions$3M
17. Cooper RushCowboys$2.75M
18. Tyler HuntleyRavens$2.67M
19. CJ BeathardJaguars$2.58M
20. Brian HoyerRaiders$2.17M

Top Backup QB Contracts by Total Value

1Z. WilsonNYJ$35.15M$8.79M
2T. LanceDAL$34.1M$8.52M
3T. HeinickeATL$14M$7M
4M. TrubiskyPIT$11.25M$5.62M
5T. TaylorNYG$11M$5.5M
t-6A. DaltonCAR$10M$5M
t-6J. StidhamDEN$10M$5M
8W. LevisTEN$9.45M$2.38M
9M. WhiteMIA$8M$4M
10C. KeenumHOU$6.25M$3.12M

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