The 8 Richest NFL Players in Football History – Ranked in Order

It’s well known in American sports circles that NFL players are amongst the best-paid sportsmen in the world. They often drive the fanciest cars and own some really expensive houses.

How rich are they and how well are they paid?

It is worth noting that the best-paid players in the world right now may not necessarily be the richest NFL players in the world. Endorsement deals, side businesses, and investments have a huge part to play in the wealth of players and ex-players alike. As such, we’ll have to track the top paid NFL players separately from the richest NFL players.

Top Paid NFL Players in the World Right Now

The table below provides an accurate overview of the best-paid players in the game at the moment. While it should come as no surprise to fans that Aaron Rodgers pockets the most from gameplay wages, you may be surprised at the other contenders on this list.

1 Aaron Rodgers $50.3 million QB Packers
2 Deshaun Watson $46 million QB Browns
3 Patrick Mahomes $45 million QB Chiefs
4 Josh Allen $43 million QB Bills
5 Derek Carr $40.5 million QB Raiders
6 Matthew Stafford $40 million QB Rams
7 Dak Prescott $40 million QB Cowboys
8 Russell Wilson $35 million QB Broncos

We’re sure that you’ll notice that quarterbacks are, on average, the highest-paid players in the league. The top-earning non-QB player is Wide Receiver, Davante Adams, who is ranked 12th overall this year with an income of $28.2 million per annum.

The highest-paid NFL player in the defensive end position is T.J Watt. He earns $28 million a year and is listed as high as 15th position on the rankings board.

8 of the Richest Past and Present NFL Players in the World Today Worth $100 Million or More

There is no reason that more of the current NFL players won’t make the $100 million club very soon. For now, here are some past and present stars that have made it to the 9-figure list.

8. Drew Brees

drew brees credit CBS
Courtesy of Christopher Hanewinckel

Drew Brees is an iconic name in football who will be well-known to fans of the 21st Century. He was signed by the San Diego Chargers in the second round of the 2001 NFL draft, where he played until the end of the 2005 season. He spent the rest of his career (2006 to 2020) playing for the New Orleans Saints. Brees is known as one of the richest NFL players of the outgoing generation with a current net worth of around $100 million.

7. Brett Favre

With a net worth of around $100 million, Brett Favre has recently made it onto the 9-figure list. This NFL hero boasts tremendous stats with a record of 299 consecutive games played, 6,300 posted completions, and 508 touchdowns in his career. While beginning his football spell in Atlanta in 1991, he spent the majority of his time playing with the Green Bay Packers.

6. John Elway

John Elway was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004 at the age of 44. The Denver Bronco veteran played from 1983 to 1999. The ex-baller held the position of the President of Football Operations for the Broncos until 2021. He now holds the role of an outside consultant. John has managed to build a net worth of about $145 million.

5. Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers
Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Aaron Rodgers currently leads our top earners’ category in the NFL playing for the Green Bay Packers. While aging in the sport, he is one of the hottest assets in the game right now. His current estimated net worth is around $150 million to $180 million, made up predominantly of salary and sponsorship deals.

4. Steve Young

15 Seasons in the NFL can set you up for life. Steve Young is certainly one of the richest NFL players ever with a current net worth of approximately $200 million. While he spent a season with the Buccaneers and a season with Los Angeles Express, he is most fondly remembered for his 13-year spell with the San Francisco 49ers.

3. Peyton Manning

This Indianapolis Colt legend spent 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and four with the Denver Broncos before his retirement. He is rated as one of the best quarterbacks to have played the game. He is worth a whopping $200 million as of early 2022.

2. Tom Brady

Tom Brady
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Tom Brady has been the GOAT of the last decade of football. He was drafted by the Patriots in 2000 and fired them to 6 Super Bowl championships (5 of which he was the MVP). He is the only player in history to win this many Super Bowl Trophies. Tom Brady currently plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is worth an approximate $400 million fortune.

1. Roger Staubach

Roger Staubach joined the Dallas Cowboys in 1969 and led his team to five Super Bowls trophies over his 11-year career (ending in 1980). Known to many as “Captain America”, Staubach is currently the richest NFL player to have played the game. His net worth is estimated to be around the $600 million mark.

Remaining Rich Is a Serious Feat

While topline sportsmen become rich very quickly when drafted into the big leagues like the NFL, many of them do not stay that way. Mass spending on luxury items is the biggest culprit and only the most successful look to investments and other business ventures to look after their futures after football.

While the top players can easily set themselves up for life, the stats show that just under 80% of retired NFL players go bust within the first few years out of the game. This just goes to show that millionaires only stay millionaires if they adopt the right type of mindset.

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This article was produced by PokCas and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock.


Robyn is a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. She has her MBA and has been studying Personal Finance on her own for as long as she can remember.

She has always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start her blog after a period of extended unemployment. She says that experience really changed the way she viewed her relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education. Read more at A Dime Saved.