The financial rewards of playing in the NFL are substantial, and the recognition of being one of the highest-paid players is gratifying. Many players in the NFL indeed sign big contracts that have made them wealthy. However, unlike other sports, nobody has a guarantee of getting a handsome deal in the league. Thus, only a few players get all the money. But who is the richest NFL player in 2022?
Generally, salaries alone are not enough to make a person wealthy. That is why many players in the NFL have used their vast salaries to diversify their portfolios and invest in other business ventures. For example, some have invested in commercial real estate, and others have ownership stakes in sports franchises. When looking at the richest NFL player, past players also come into the fold.
Who is the richest NFL player?
Who is the highest-paid player? How much does he make? Here is everything you need to know about the ranking of the NFL’s biggest contracts:
1. Roger Staubach - $600 million
Roger Staubach's net worth in 2022 is $600 million. Staubach played for 11 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys between 1969 and 1979. Although he made a lot of money from the salaries he received in the NFL, he created his wealth through other business ventures.
2. Fran Tarkenton - $300 million
Fran Tarkenton played in the NFL for 18 seasons between 1961 and 1978. He is the second-wealthiest NFL player with an estimated net worth of $300 million. Tarkenton earned $1.2 million throughout his NFL career, but his wealth has come from being a businessman.
3. Peyton Manning - $250 million
Peyton Manning retired from the NFL in 2015 after spending 18 seasons in the league. His salary peaked at $18 million during his career, which was on the list of the highest NFL quarterback salaries. Today, Peyton Manning has a net worth of $250 million.
4. Tom Brady - $250 million
Tom Brady retired as a professional footballer in 2019 after spending 22 seasons in the NFL. Before his retirement, Brady received over $400 million from salary and endorsements. Currently, his net worth in 2022 is $250 million.
5. John Madden - $200 million
John Madden was a former NFL player, sportscaster, and entrepreneur who had a net worth of $200 million at his death on 28 December 2021. Madden did not have a long career as a player in the NFL. Instead, he created his wealth from business ventures and endorsements.
6. Steve Young - $200 million
Steve Young played for three teams as a quarterback in the NFL for 15 seasons. Young made a name for himself as an athlete, receiving millions of dollars in salaries. However, his net worth of $200 million has come from his business interests.
7. Drew Brees - $160 million
Drew Brees played as a quarterback for 20 seasons in the NFL. As an NFL player, he received over $45 million in salaries and bonuses in his final year. However, he grew his net worth of $160 million through real estate investments.
8. Eli Manning - $150 million
Eli Manning played as a quarterback for the New York Giants for 16 years. Manning received a total salary of $232 million throughout his career. He retired as the highest-paid NFL player of all time, contributing to his net worth of $150 million.
9. Joe Montana - $150 million
Joe Montana retired in 1994 after playing in the NFL for 16 seasons. Montana received career earnings of $25.5 million from salaries and endorsements. However, his net worth of $150 million has come from his work as a venture capitalist.
10. John Elway - $145 million
John Elway has a net worth of $145 million in 2022. Before retiring in 1999, he received career earnings of $45 million from salaries and endorsements. Elway then created his wealth from business investments, including car dealerships.
11. Aaron Rodgers - $140 million
Aaron Rodgers currently plays as a quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. Although he is not the highest-paid NFL player in 2022, he is the wealthiest active player with a net worth of $140 million. Rodgers has made his money through salaries, endorsements, and business ventures.
12. Russell Wilson - $135 million
Russell Wilson plays as a quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks. Although he was not the highest-paid NFL player in 2021, Russell receives a salary of $35 million every year in the NFL. His net worth of $135 million has also come from real estate investments and endorsements.
13. Ben Roethlisberger - $100 million
Ben Roethlisberger played in the NFL for 18 seasons between 2004 and 2021. As a result, he received $230 million throughout his career in the NFL. That has contributed significantly to his net worth of $100 million in 2022.
14. Brat Favre - $100 million
Brat Favre played for 20 seasons in the NFL, spending many years with the Green Bay Packers. Favre received career earnings of $140 million. His annual salary is $20 million, and his net worth in 2022 is $100 million.
15. Carson Palmer - $90 million
Carson Palmer spent 15 seasons in the NFL playing for the Cincinnati Bengals and the Arizona Cardinals. Palmer received $174 million in salary alone throughout his career in the NFL. That amount contributed to his current net worth of $90 million.
16. Joe Flacco - $85 million
Joe Flacco plays for the New York Jets as a quarterback. As of 2022, Flacco has received over $165 million in salaries alone, with the amount set to increase in the coming years. His net worth is $85 million.
17. Philip Rivers - $80 million
Philip Rivers retired from the NFL in 2020 after playing for 16 seasons. Before his retirement, Rivers received over $188 million in NFL salaries alone. As of 2022, his net worth is $80 million.
18. Cam Newton - $75 million
Cam Newton was a quarterback for the Carolina Panthers for nine years. He received career earnings of over $121 million in base salary alone from the NFL. As of 2022, Cam Network has a net worth of $75 million.
19. Kirk Cousins - $75 million
Kirk Cousins plays for the Minnesota Vikings as a quarterback. He is one of the highest-paid players in the NFL, with an annual salary of $27 million. That has made him wealthy, with an estimated net worth of $75 million.
20. Matt Ryan - $70 million
Matt Ryan is one of the highest-paid NFL players with an annual salary of $30 million. Ryan has played in the NFL for 12 seasons and has received over $171 million in salaries and bonuses. As a result, Matt Ryan has a net worth of $70 million.
21. Sam Bradford - $70 million
Sam Bradford retired from the NFL after playing for many teams between 2010 and 2018. Bradford received over $130 million in salary alone throughout his playing time. As of 2022, his net worth is $70 million.
22. Tony Romo - $70 million
Tony Romo retired from the NFL in 2017 after playing for the Dallas Cowboys for 14 seasons. Before his retirement, he was among the highest-paid NFL players with an annual salary of $17 million. As of 2022, Tony Romo’s net worth is $70 million.
23. Michael Strahan - $65 million
Michael Strahan retired from the NFL in 2007 after playing as a defensive end of the New York Giants for 14 seasons. Currently, he works as a talk show host and football analyst. Strahan has a net worth of $65 million from salaries, endorsements, and investments.
24. Frank Gifford - $60 million
Frank Gifford enjoyed a 12-year playing career in the NFL as a halfback and flanker for the New York Giants. Frank Gifford had a net worth of $60 million before his death on 9 August 2015. His money came from salaries and investments.
25. Troy Aikman - $60 million
Troy Aikman retired from the NFL in 2000 after 12 seasons. Aikman received a career total of $55.5 million in base salaries and endorsements. As of 2022, his net worth is $60 million.
The richest NFL player is Roger Staubach with a net worth of $600 million. Players with a net worth of over $200 million are Fran Tarkenton ($300 million), Payton Manning ($250 million), Tom Brady ($250 million), and John Madden and Steve Young, each with $200 million.
Yen.com.gh shared an interesting piece about the top 20 richest footballers in the world. Although weekly wages are the primary source of wealth for footballers, many of them make money from endorsements and other business interests. Many also receive wages playing for their countries.