NFL Teams That Are Paying Their Players the Most (And the Least)

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Decisions made by sports team management often leave fans scratching their heads. Why would they pay so much for a player that hasn’t displayed much talent? Why let an all-star leave because they want $16 million instead of %15 million? At the end of the day, the NFL is a business, and the interests of owners and fans don’t always align. 

Players also range in their demands. Some may take pay cuts to play with other excellent players in the hopes of creating a championship team while others aim to get every dollar that they’re worth. In a sport that’s as brutal as football, careers can be very short and it’s hard to blame anyone trying to cash out while they can. 

As fans we wonder why players would do anything but sacrifice everything to bring our team a championship. And while loyalty and dedication are celebrated by fans, owners and teams will trade or cut players with little to no notice.

To determine the NFL franchises paying their players the most, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data from sports business website Spotrac. Teams were ranked based on the salaries being paid to players with active contracts for the 2021 NFL season. Data is accurate as of September 15, 2021.

Player salaries are often influenced by when they’re negotiating new contracts. If a player just had a big injury in a contract year, it can really hurt their salary. However, if they’re coming off a successful season, especially a championship, they have a lot of room to negotiate. 

In 2013, Joe Flacco became the highest paid quarterback at the time, signing a $120 million deal shortly after winning the Super Bowl. He had a great performance and year but he doesn’t even make the list of 30 best quarterbacks of all time.

It can be difficult in a game as complicated as football to understand who is actually worth what and what impact they are having on the field. Technology has revolutionized sports with the introduction of analytics and advanced statistics. However, it also doesn’t hurt to look at who’s had the most success over the years. Check out the players with the most Super Bowl rings.