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Highest-paid NFL Players of 2022

Boardroom highlights the top 20 most expensive NFL players of the upcoming season by both total salaries and overall salary cap hits.

In 2021, Dak Prescott made more in athletic salary than any sports figure on planet earth. This is a fact — more than Lionel Messi, more than Cristiano Ronaldo. More than Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.More than LeBron and Steph and KD. All told, the signing bonus specifics of Dak’s contract extension with the Dallas Cowboys afforded him an incredible $97.5 million (per Forbes) last year in on-field compensation alone.

This year? Prescott’s salary remains a mighty healthy $20 million. But instead of being No. 1 in the world, the Dallas signal-caller is tied for No. 33 in theNFL as of this writing.

So, who gets the distinction this time around? Check out Boardroom’s list of the highest-paid NFL players for the 2022 season — both by total compensation and overall salary cap hit.

(Spoiler alert: you’re going to meet a few quarterbacks, but stay tuned for some defensive players you might not have expected.)

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Highest-paid NFL Players of 2022 by Total Compensation

All salary figures via Spotrac.

1. Rams QB Matthew Stafford: $61,500,000

2. Broncos QB Russell Wilson: $57,000,000

  • Contract: 4 years, $140,000,000
  • Total guaranteed: $107,000,000

3. Bills QB Josh Allen: $46,961,405

  • Contract: 6 years, $258,034,000
  • Total guaranteed: $150,000,000

4. Browns QB Deshaun Watson: $46,000,000

5. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers: $42,000,000

6. Vikings QB Kirk Cousins: $40,000,000

  • Contract: 1 year, $35,000,000 (extension thru 2023 season)
  • Total guaranteed: $35,000,000

NOTE: Including the existing terms from Cousins’ previous two-year, $66,000,000 contract, his extension effectively puts him on a two-year, $70,000,000 deal with the Vikings before hitting free agency.

7. Rams DT Aaron Donald: $31,500,000

8. Packers QB Jaire Alexander: $31,076,000

  • Contract: 4 years, $84,000,000
  • Total guaranteed: $30,000,000

9. Seahawks WR D.K. Metcalf: $31,000,000

  • Contract: 3 years, $72,000,000
  • Total guaranteed: $58,200,000

t-10. Buccaneers QB Tom Brady: $30,000,000

NOTE: Brady’s one-year contract is technically a restructure of the salary he already had on the books for 2022 when he retired. The $30,000,000 number takes into account his guaranteed money this season plus a deferred $15,000,000 bonus from 2021.

t-10. Cardinals QB Kyler Murray: $30,000,000

t-10. Rams WR Cooper Kupp: $30,000,000

13. Commanders WR Terry McLaurin: $29,479,000

  • Contract: 3 years, $68,364,000
  • Total guaranteed: $53,154,000

14. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes: $29,450,000

15. Titans QB Ryan Tannehill: $29,000,000

  • Contract: 4 years, $118,000,000
  • Total guaranteed: $91,000,000

16. Commanders QB Carson Wentz: $28,294,119

t-17. Chargers WR Mike Williams:$28,000,000

  • Contract: 3 years, $60,000,000
  • Total guaranteed: $40,000,000

t-17. Chargers CB J.C. Jackson: $28,000,000

  • Contract: 5 years, $82,500,000
  • Total guaranteed: $40,000,000

19. Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill: $26,635,000

20. Lions QB Jared Goff: $26,150,000

  • Contract: 4 years, $134,000,000
  • Total guaranteed: $110,042,682

Most Expensive NFL Players by 2022 Salary Cap Hit

NOTE: “Dead cap” refers to the total amount a team would owe against the salary cap even if it releases a player immediately.

Players whose 2022 cap numbers are not currently known will not be listed.

1. Titans QB Ryan Tannehill: $38,600,000

  • Contract: 4 years, $118,000,000
  • 2022 dead cap: $57,400,000

2. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes: $35,793,381

  • Contract: 10 years, $450,000,000
  • 2022 dead cap: $92,173,524

3. Vikings QB Kirk Cousins: $31,416,668

  • Contract: 1 year, $35,000,000 (extension thru 2023 season)
  • 2022 dead cap: $80,166,668

4. Lions QB Jared Goff: $31,150,000

  • Contract: 4 years, $134,000,000
  • Total guaranteed: $30,500,000

5. Steelers EDGE TJ Watt: $31,118,694

  • Contract: 4 years, $112,011,000
  • 2022 dead cap: $72,474,776

6. Chiefs DT Chris Jones: $29,415,667

  • Contract: 4 years, $80,000,000
  • 2022 dead cap: $32,207,333

7. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers: $28,533,569

  • Contract: 3 years, $150,815,000
  • 2022 dead cap: $150,997,137

8. Commanders QB Carson Wentz: $28,294,119

  • Contract: 4 years, $128,000,000
  • 2022 dead cap: $15,000,000

9. Chargers EDGE Joey Bosa: $28,250,000

  • Contract: 5 years, $135,000,000
  • 2022 dead cap: $42,250,000

10. Giants EDGE Leonard Williams: $27,300,000

  • Contract: 3 years, $63,000,000
  • 2022 dead cap: $35,600,000

11. Rams DT Aaron Donald: $24,000,000

12. Rams CB Jalen Ramsey: $23,200,000

  • Contract: 5 years, $100,000,000
  • 2022 dead cap: $47,800,000

13. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson: $23,016,000

  • Contract: 5 years, $32,774,549
  • 2022 dead cap: $23,016,000

14. Giants WR Kenny Golladay: $21,150,000

  • Contract: 4 years, $72,000,000
  • 2022 dead cap: $31,100,000

15. Broncos OT Garett Bolles: $21,000,000

  • Contract: 4 year, $68,000,000
  • 2022 dead cap: $29,000,000

16. Falcons LB Deion Jones: $20,017,431

  • Contract: 4 years, $57,000,000
  • 2022 dead cap: $24,321,569

17. Cowboys QB Dak Prescott: $19,730,000

  • Contract: 4 years, $160,000,000
  • 2022 dead cap: $108,800,000

18. Raiders QB Derek Carr: $19,352,519

  • Contract: 3 years, $121,500,000
  • 2022 dead cap: $24,877,519

t-19. Chargers WR Keenan Allen: $19,200,000

  • Contract: 4 years, $80,100,000
  • 2022 dead cap: $26,100,000

t-19. Titans OLB Bud Dupree: $19,200,000

  • Contract: 5 years: $82,500,000
  • 2022 dead cap: $30,050,000
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