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NFL Salaries Quarterback Salary List

Updated on January 26, 2014

NFL Salaries are Whacky and Unfair!

While reading a story a couple weeks ago about retired athletes and bankruptcy. I was astounded to read that (according to the article) 78% of retired NFL players were bankrupt within 2 years of retirement. Then I read that the average player only lasts 3 years in the league and makes a gross income of $1.2 million during that period. Still seems like a lot of money to me. However when you consider that an agent will take 5-10% and the Government another 25-35% the average take home pay for each year they play is closer to $250-$300,000. That’s still a lot of money to me, but certainly not going to make them instant millionaires.

The story went on to talk about how these young men believe they will sign huge lucrative contracts in a few years an go on buying sprees, make terrible investments, and simple can not handle all the pressure of the finances thrust upon them. So they end up burning through it all very quickly. Then they are out of the league with little real world job experience and have become accustomed to living the “good life”.

So I decided to dig a bit and see if there was substance behind the story. And what I found out surprised me actually.

Disparity of Player Incomes on National Football League Teams

I was shocked at how much difference there was in the pay of players. Players on the same teams playing the exact same position can have salaries millions of dollars apart. Could you imagine what kind of moral crusher this would be in the everyday workplace. Think about 2 guys in accounting both working the same hours, doing the same work. Sure one may not be quite as efficient. But what kind of office moral would be created if one guy made $125,000 a year and the other $15,000 a year. The income disparity in the National Football League is even greater!

  • Joseph Addai 5’11”, 214lbs, 26 years old, in his 4th season in the NFL, and is a starting running back for the Indianapolis Colts. He earned a place in NFL history as a member of the Super Bowl Champions in February 2007. Joseph Addai is earning $673,280.
  • Marion Barber is 6’0”, 222lbs, 26 years old, in his 5th season in the NFL, and is a starting running back for the Dallas Cowboys. Marion has not earned an NFL Super Bowl Championship. Marion Barber is earning $12,522,400.

Is Marion Barber 18.5 times better than Joeseph Addai? Barber has a career average of 4.3 yards per carry and has never had a 1,000 yard season. Joseph Addai has a career average of 4.1 yards per carry and in 2007 rushed for 1,072 yards. These guys are very similar backs, with similar numbers, both very important to the success of their teams.

So why the disparity? Is Barber’s agent that much better? Is the Indianapolis owner that much smarter than Dallas Owner Jerry Jones? The simple answer is I don’t know, do you? One thing for sure though if the league folded tomorrow, Joseph Addai would probably need to look for a job whereas Marion Barber if he has his financial head on straight would not ever have to work again.

NFL Salaries that Might Surprise You

NY York Giants

  • Eli Manning Quarterback $15,300,000
  • Chris Snee Right Guard $14,890,000
  • Justin Tuck Defensive End $9,770,000

Yep, being Quarterback may get you the glory, and maybe even more money from endorsements, but it doesn’t make you the highest paid player on the team!

Tennessee Titans

  • Kerry Collins Quarterback $2,051,800
  • Vince Young Quarterback $7,227,540

Who is the starting Quarterback for the Titans? That’s right it’s Kerry Collins!

San Francisco 49ers

  • Shaun Hill Quarterback $4,800,000
  • Alex Smith Quarterback $11,800,000

Same story. Wow! Once guy works, the other guy watches and makes $7 million more per year! Payton Manning, widely considered to be the best Quarterback in the NFL today (Apologies to Tom Brady Fans) earns $11,504,340 which is less than the 49ers Alex Smith who doesn’t even play!

Do you know who LaDainian Tomlinson is? He is the Star Running Back for the San Diego Chargers and earns $5,750,720. How about Luis Castillo? Ever heard of him? He plays Defensive End for the Chargers? Care to take a stab at his income? Yes you guessed it, it’s more than Tomlinson… it’s $11,205,880!!! And Randy Moss makes $6 million a year more than his Quarterback Teammate Tom Brady.

So there you have it… next time you feel bad that someone in your office, store, warehouse, or wherever you are working is earning more than you just remember life isn’t fair! And when you are in your next performance review ready to ask for a raise you might want to throw what you now know about Alex Smith and Eli Manning at your boss. Hey as it turns out salary and performance might just be mutually exclusive! Just let them know you need it to buy your NFL Season Tickets… I’m sure they will understand.

Comments Welcome

NFL Players Not as Rich as You Might Think

National Football League Salary Disparity
National Football League Salary Disparity


Submit a Comment

  • rsmallory profile image

    Rebecca Sue Mallory 

    9 years ago from Central Texas

    Interesting facts. I think they all should have to take some sort of course to help them manage their finances.


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