American football is one of the biggest sports in the world both in financial value and viewing numbers. With great popularity comes great profit, which in turn leads to massive salaries for the players who make the sport possible. The best players enjoy outstanding wages and bonuses which does some wonders for their net worth. Here is a list of top 10 richest NFL footballers actively playing the sport right now.
Richest NFL Footballers In The World
10. Ndamukong Suh – Net Worth: $70 Million
Suh is a defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Rams. After playing college football, he was selected by Detroit Lions in the 2010 NFL draught as the third overall pick. He is one of the most decorated college football players of all time, winning several awards and recognition including the prestigious All-American honours. He has been named to Pro Bowl 4 times, All-Pro 6 times, All-Pro first team 4 times, and All-Pro second team twice. Following his lucrative $114 million contract with the Miami Dolphins, he became the all-time highest-paid defensive player.
Away from the field, Suh has endorsement deals running into millions with big brands such as Chrysler, Gallagher Designs, Beats By Dre, Hush Lifestyle Boutique, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. On the football end of things, Suh takes home $13.6 million by way of salaries annually.
9. Aaron Rodgers – Net Worth: $70 Million
Unsurprisingly, Aaron is one of the richest NFL footballers. This Green Bay Packers quarterback is currently among the highest-paid NFL players and this has no doubt influenced his overall net worth impressively. Since he began his collegiate career, the superstar has been setting and breaking records, so it came as no surprise when he was picked up by the Packers in the first round of the NFL Draft of 2005. He went from playing backup for Brett Favre to become the choice starting quarterback, leading his team in the Super Bowl. Aaron has the all-time leading career passing rate in the NFL for a regular season and is one of only two quarterbacks to have a rate above 100. He also holds the records for lowest career interception percentage and the best touchdown to interception ratio.
Aaron is easily one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. He pulls in a whopping $33.5 million average annual salary. He also earned $57.5 million signing bonus on his contract and enjoys major commercial success, thanks to lucrative sponsorship deals with State Farm, Adidas, IZOD, Bergstrom Automotive, Sharpie, and Prevea Healthcare worth over $9 million annually.
8. Ben Roethlisberger – Net Worth: $80 Million
Big Ben as he is fondly called by his teammates and fans became one of the youngest quarterbacks to make it to the NFL and win the Super Bowl after he was selected by the Steelers as the eleventh overall pick in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft. He went on to lead his team to another title in Super Bowl XLIII and Super Bowl XLV final which they, unfortunately, lost to the Packers. He has some of the best career statistics in the history of the NFL. He has received high praise and recognition for most wins as a quarterback, most regular season wins, highest completion percentage amongst others. He has defeated 31 of the current NFL teams, one of only three quarterbacks in history to do so.
Ben rakes in money bags by way of wages, amounting to an average annual salary of $21.85 million. This high earning power makes him one of the richest NFL footballers in the world.
7. Larry Fitzgerald – Net Worth: $97 Million
For reasons that are not far fetched, Larry deserves to be named among the richest NFL footballers. Fitzgerald began his career as a college player at Pittsburgh, earning the All-American honours, after which he was picked by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2004 NFL Draft as the third overall pick. He has the second highest career receiving yards, third highest career receptions, and seventh most receiving touchdowns in the NFL at the moment. The wide receiver has been named to the Pro Bowl 11 times. Although he has not won any championships, this football player is still very well compensated for his rare and phenomenal abilities, so he has carved out a rightful spot on the list of richest NFL footballers.
The seasoned pro player takes home $17 million in paychecks annually. Off the field, the pitchman is still in demand and has effortlessly brokered sponsorship deals with Nokia, Nike, EAS, Powercube, Lenovo, and the University of Phoenix.
6. Alex Smith – Net Worth: $108 Million
Smith was selected by the San Francisco 49ers as the first overall pick in the NFL draft of 2005. He spent some time there before being traded to Kansas City Chiefs in 2012 where he spent five years, after which he was traded again to the Washington Redskins in 2017. He was given a very lucrative four-year contract valued at $94 million. He made history in the NFL for the most passes at the start of a season without an interception, coming top in the ranking with an impressive 104.7 passer rating. He finished the 2017 season in a most spectacular fashion, garnering 26 touchdowns and over 4000 passing yards.
Without a doubt, Smith is one of the most talented players the league has seen, and despite being injury prone, he has proven his value time and time again over the course of his 14-year career. He received a $27 million bonus for signing with the red skins, as well as an annual $23.5 million salary. Off the pitch, he earns over $1 million each year from sponsorship deals with Nike, AdvoCare, and sales from memorabilia.
5. Drew Brees – Net Worth: $130 Million
Like most professional footballers today, Drew kicked off his career playing at the college level, which led to him being drafted by the San Diego Chargers during the second round of the NFL Draft. By this time, he was already an established player with several awards to his name such as Big Ten Conference Records, NCAA, and much more. Drew is currently signed to the New Orleans Saints; the deal is worth $50 million, with a $13.5 million bonus. He has the third highest career passing ratings in the NFL history and is one of the most successful pitchers the league has seen.
The player is actively involved in charity work and organizations working to cater for children rendered homeless by hurricanes. Drew boasts numerous endorsement contracts with leading brands such as Nike, Pepsi, Verizon, Procter & Gamble, Wrangler, Microsoft, and AdvoCare. These deals give a great boost to the $27 million annual salary his club pays him. Surely, this fella didn’t know he would become one of the richest NFL footballers in the world when he started playing in the gridiron in high school.
4. Eli Manning – Net Worth: $145 Million
Most people probably recognize the Manning name. Eli is the latest in line to the Manning football legacy which was started by his father and propagated by his older brother. He has played 13 seasons since he was drafted by the New York Giants in the 2004 NFL Draft. He has led his team to two championship victories so far and shows no signs of slowing down. The Giants showed how much they believed in the spectacular player after they let Davis Webb go, despite the widely held belief that he was being groomed to replace the veteran footballer. He receives a huge $21 million paycheck from his club.
Thanks to his family name and personal talent, Eli has managed to score well-paying endorsement contracts with multinational organizations like Nike, Toyota, Gatorade, Visa, Hublot, and DirecTV. With two years left on his contract, he is expected to climb even higher on the list of highest paid NFL footballers in the world, with an increased on and off-field value.
3. Philip Rivers – Net Worth: $160 Million
Rivers is a quarterback in the NFL for Los Angeles Chargers. After his college career ended, he was drafted by the New York Giants during the 2004 draft as the fourth overall pick. The Giants later traded him to Chargers in exchange for first pick quarterback, Eli Manning. Rivers has the eight best career passer rating in NFL history and third consecutive starts by a quarterback of all time. He has been to eight Pro Bowl championship and has won numerous awards for his achievements and footballing abilities on both individual and club level. He is one of the leading players active in the NFL at the moment.
Over the span of his 15-year carer, Rivers has worked his way up to an impressive $20.81 million annual salary. He also enjoys sponsorship contracts from leading brands which consider him a marketing goldmine.
2. Julius Peppers – Net Worth: $165 Million
Peppers is one of the most recognized faces in the NFL despite the fact that he hasn’t won any championship titles. However, he is regarded as one of the best defensive ends in the league and has received a number of awards and recognition for his defensive abilities. He was drafted by the Carolina Panthers during the 2002 NFL draft. Peppers has taken his talents to the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, before returning to the Panthers in 2017. Peppers has been selected for the Pro Bowl nine times and won NFL Best Defensive Player award seven consecutive times.
He bagged a $7.5 million signing bonus when he rejoined the Panthers, as well as an annual $20.4 million salary. Although the spotlight weary player stays away from commercial deals off the pitch, he still earns around $500,000 in endorsement contracts, this handed him his spot among the richest NFL footballers.
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1. Tom Brady – Net Worth: $180 Million
Whether you accept it or not, Tom Brady is indubitably one of the most successful football players active right now, and perhaps, the greatest quarterback the NFL has ever seen. After leaving college, he was immediately picked up by the New England Patriots in the 2000 NFL Draft. The quarterback went on to ensure the Patriots hasn’t suffered a single losing season under his watch. He has set many records in the league including becoming the only player of all time to lead his club to 14 division titles, and more wins than any quarterback in regular and post-season. Brady has brought home five Super Bowl titles and has made the Pro Bowl cut 13 times. He has been voted MVP three times.
All of Brady’s exploits have rightfully earned him the number one spot on the list of richest active players in the league. The iconic athlete earns $15 million as compensation for using his abilities for the club, plus an additional $5 million in bonuses. He has really profitable endorsement deals with brands like Molecule, UGG Boots, and Under Armour which bring in an extra $14 million. It’d be mischievous to ignore Tom in any list of richest NFL footballers in the world.