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11 highest-paid NFL players in the 2023 season

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Who are the highest paid NFL players in 2023? Over this past offseason, some of the biggest contracts in NFL history were signed, leading to some changes in the highest paid NFL players in 2023 compared to last year.

That could lead to some surprises when it comes to the top NFL salaries currently. After all, the best players don’t always make the most money.

Highest paid NFL players 2023

Of course, with the highest-paid NFL players in 2023, teams usually don’t have to worry about using the franchise tag. On the other hand, if these players don’t work out, it could result in one of the largest NFL cap hits ever.

But putting all of that aside for a minute, let’s countdown the players who are set to make the most money in the NFL during the 2023 season.

T9. Matthew Stafford, $40 Million

The Rams giving Matthew Stafford a four-year, $160 million extension before last season might be the perfect example of a team paying a player for his past accomplishments rather than his future promise. Stafford surely deserves to be compensated by the Rams for winning that Super Bowl. But even before he got hurt last year, he showed that he’s not a $40 million quarterback anymore.


The Rams were just 3-6 in his games last year. Even the year they won the Super Bowl, Stafford led the league in interceptions. He might have won it all two seasons ago, but the Rams are still paying a turnover-prone quarterback a lot of money in 2023.

T9. Daniel Jones, $40 Million

A year ago, it seemed impossible that Daniel Jones would one day rank among the 10 highest-paid NFL players. Frankly, it’s still hard to understand how he can be making $40 million per season.

Even if he helped the Giants win a playoff game last year, Jones only had 15 touchdown passes. To his credit, Jones has reduced his turnovers and become a competent game manager who can make plays with his legs. But that’s not exactly the type of quarterback who warrants this kind of salary.

T9. Dak Prescott, $40 Million

If he could just stay healthy, Dak Prescott would probably be worth his $40 million salary. He missed five games last year and played in just five games during the 2020 season.

Of course, even in 12 games last year, Prescott still led the NFL with 15 interceptions. In his defense, Stafford wasn’t around to play a full season either. When he’s at his best, Prescott earns his $40 million salary. But the Cowboys know all too well that’s not always the case.


8. Josh Allen, $43 Million

With the six-year extension that Josh Allen got before the 2021 season, he’s set to make $43 million this year. For a player who was so lightly recruited out of high school, it’s probably far more than he ever expected to make as a professional athlete.

Of course, if Allen can deliver a Super Bowl win to the Bills, folks in Buffalo will look at his salary as a bargain. His contract runs through the 2028 season, although given how good Allen has been, even Bills fans are starting to get impatient.

7. Patrick Mahomes, $45 Million

It’s crazy to think that Patrick Mahomes is only the seventh-highest-paid player in the NFL this season. He’s undoubtedly the best player in the league and is a two-time MVP and two-time Super Bowl winner.

However, Mahomes is the only player on this list who got a 10-year contract. The whole contract could be worth as much as $503 million when all is said and done, so the annual salary Mahomes makes isn’t that big of a deal.

6. Deshaun Watson, $46 Million

This is probably the year we found out for sure if Cleveland’s investment in Deshaun Watson was worth it or not. Remember that the Browns gave up three first-round picks for Watson and then gave him a five-year, $230 million contract.

While it’s been surpassed several times over, it was the largest contract and most guaranteed money in league history at the time. After sitting out a year and a half and going through off-field issues brought on by himself, Watson didn’t look like he was worth $46 million in 2022. The Browns can only hope that changes in 2023 and beyond.

5. Kyler Murray, $46.1 Million

It’s safe to say that the Cardinals didn’t get their money’s worth from Kyler Murray last year, and they probably won’t get it again this year. Murray was just 3-8 before a torn ACL sidelined him for the rest of the season.

It’s now unlikely that he’ll be able to play a full season in 2023. But after signing a five-year, $230.5 million deal prior to the 2022 season, Murray is still Arizona’s long-term quarterback, which means they won’t have to rush him back from his injury, especially since the Cardinals aren’t set up for success this year, even if Murray were healthy.

4. Russell Wilson, $49 Million

He was so bad in 2022 that it’s almost easy to forget that Russell Wilson has one of the top NFL salaries currently. At this time last year, the Broncos had just signed Wilson to a five-year, $245 million contract, believing he was the last piece of the puzzle that could deliver them another Super Bowl win.

Unfortunately, Wilson’s first season in Denver was a disaster from Week 1. The silver lining of his contract is that Wilson still has a few years to turn things around and put that season behind him. But if that doesn’t happen, this could end up becoming one of the worst contracts in professional sports.

3. Aaron Rodgers, $50.27 Million

As a four-time MVP, Aaron Rodgers better be one of the highest-paid NFL players in 2023. His salary is part of a three-year, $150.8 million deal he signed prior to the 2022 season.

Just like the players ahead of him on this list, Rodgers was at one point the highest-paid player in league history in terms of annual income. Of course, it’ll be the Jets who are paying Rodgers in 2023. Between his new team, his salary, and his track record, Rodgers is arguably under more pressure than any other player in 2023.

2. Jalen Hurts, $51 Million

After a brilliant 2022 season that ended with a trip to the Super Bowl, the Eagles had little choice but to give Jalen Hurts a big-money extension. Hurts got a five-year deal worth $255 million.

At the time, it was the biggest annual salary ever given to an NFL player, although that record didn’t last long. Of course, $51 million is still a ton of money for a player who has only been in the league for three seasons and was a second-round pick. The Eagles also made Hurts the first player in franchise history to receive a no-trade clause, meaning the Eagles are committing their future to him.

1. Lamar Jackson, $52 Million

For a while, it looked like Lamar Jackson might not even play for the Ravens in 2023. After Baltimore slapped the franchise tag on him, Jackson requested a trade after long-held negotiations failed to accomplish anything.

However, the two sides finally agreed to terms in late April with Jackson receiving a five-year, $260 million deal. That means Jackson is making $52 million per season, making him the highest-paid player in league history.

Jackson had the fortune of signing his contract less than two weeks after Hurts signed his new deal, allowing the former MVP to one-up Hurts and earn a little more money. The only question is how long Jackson will remain the highest-paid player in the NFL.

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