If you want top players to step on the field wearing your NFL team’s logo, then management knows they must cough up the big bucks for them to stay.
For example, the Broncos and QB Russell Wilson agreed on a five-year contract extension worth $245 million. While that may not be panning out well for the mediocre Denver squad this season, it’s looking good for Wilson’s bank account – which puts him among the top 10 richest NFL players of all time.
The most famous football players not only get paid from their contracts, but those notable faces also get extra lumps of cash from endorsements and sponsorships to add to their wallet.
Who Are The Top 10 Richest NFL Players Of All Time?
10. John Elway: $145 Million Net Worth
Retired quarterback John Elway is our poorest of the richest. The 62-year-old has revolved his whole life around the game. From 1983 to 1998, he was tossing the pigskin for the Denver Broncos, setting a handful of franchise records during his career. He must be dedicated to Denver, now serving as the team’s president of football operations.
9. Joe Montana: $150 million Net Worth
Retired quarterback Joe Montana is up next. The 66-year-old played 14 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, then stuck around with the Kansas City Chiefs for two more years before hanging it up in 1994, earning around $25 million in his career. Montana’s sharp mind has a solid income coming from investments and various businesses.
8. Drew Brees: $160 Million Net Worth
Only retiring a couple years ago, Drew Brees’ 20 seasons in the league pocketed him some serious cash. He became the face of the New Orleans Saints, leading the franchise to its first-ever Super Bowl title in 2010. Aside from that, the quarterback earned a hefty list of achievements, including Super Bowl MVP, NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2008, 2011) and Sports Illustrated Sports Person of the Year.
7. Eli Manning: $160 Million Net Worth
Another quarterback who retired a few short years ago ... are you noticing a trend here? Eli Manning spent his entire 16-season professional career throwing for the New York Giants. In 2020, the year he retired, he was the highest-earning football player in NFL history, making a generous $252 million in salary. He takes a step ahead of Brees by wearing two Super Bowl rings on his fingers, reigning as the Super Bowl MVP in both appearances.
6. Russell wilson: $165 Million Net Worth
Ah, there he is at No. 6 with his freshly signed contract. One of the few active players on the list, Russell Wilson has been a professional quarterback for over a decade, spending years with the Seattle Seahawks and taking them to the Super Bowl twice, most recently hauling home the trophy in 2014. He was traded last winter to the Denver Broncos, who bribed him to stay with cash – that would work for me too.
russell wilson when he signed his new contract with the broncos pic.twitter.com/Mnk8iFRvPv— Joe Ali (@JoeAli) October 7, 2022
5. Steve Young: $200 Million Net Worth
We’ve reached our top-five wealthiest NFL players and it’s another retired quarterback. Is there any other position in football worthy of some cash? I guess not. Pro Football Hall Of Famer Steve Young dedicated 15 seasons to the league. But the 60-year-old wears many hats. He completed a doctor of laws at BYU, is the co-founder of a billion-dollar equity firm and even dabbles in some acting every now and then. So yeah, he has a couple of streams of revenue.
4. John Madden: $200 Million Net Worth
Our video game fanatics are familiar with this name. Before his death in 2021, John Madden was an illustrious coach, sportscaster and businessman. In 1988, and perhaps his most successful business venture, Madden endorsed the coveted EA Sports’ Madden NFL game.
The former Raiders head coach, whose playing career was cut short prematurely by injury, was the first sports personality to earn over $1 million per year through endorsements. He was also the first sports broadcaster to earn a $1-million salary, paving the way for your favorite media personalities.
3. Tom Brady: $250 Million Net Worth
You may know him better as The GOAT – Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady needs two hands to showcase his seven Super Bowl rings. The 45-year-old, who was selected in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, is one of the most decorated athletes in league history. He earned about $230 million in his first 20 seasons in the NFL.
Brady and his pretty face are the perfect combination for endorsements, which have brought home an additional $150 million. He’s had his face plastered on advertisements for wealthy companies like Aston Martin, UGG and Subway – though he’s publicly said he doesn’t eat flour or gluten.
Would put the over/under on actual Subway sandwiches consumed by Tom Brady in the last 10 years at 1.5— Kevin Van Valkenburg (@KVanValkenburg) October 4, 2021
Oh, and don’t worry. His wife Gisele Bundchen was the bread-winner with her $400-million fortune, so I doubt she’ll need his petty cash. Maybe prenups are a good idea after all.
2. Peyton Manning: $300 Million Net Worth
Depending on who you ask, the better half of the Manning duo breaks the top two for the richest NFL players of all time. With two Super Bowl championships under his belt, the 46-year-old was one of the highest-paid celebrities during the height of his playing career. Though his salary is listed as only $18 million, the University of Tennessee product also endorses a list of major corporations, including ESPN, MasterCard and Gatorade.
It is suggested that Manning earns over $25 million a year courtesy of his endorsements. He’s all over our screens even years after his 2015 retirement. He’s hosted Saturday Night Live a few times, guest-voiced in an episode of The Simpsons and does commentary on Monday Night Football with Eli, the less successful but better-looking brother – again, depends on who you ask.
1. Roger Staubach: $600 Million Net Worth
Making these other guys look broke, Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach spent his decade-long playing career taking snaps for America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys. Aside from his Heisman Trophy from 1963, the 80-year-old also has two Super Bowl titles decorating his trophy case.
Earning his nickname Captain America, Staubach fulfilled a four-year military commitment before debuting as an NFL rookie at 27 years old. Obviously, his 1972 contract of $75,000 a year didn’t turn him into the richest NFL player of all time.
After his retirement, the Navy Midshipmen product started his own commercial real estate business that partnered with massive companies like AT&T, Kmart and the crowd favorite – McDonald’s. The business was eventually sold for $600 million in 2008.
So, there are a few ways to become one of the richest NFL players of all time. The wealthiest invest their money, the prettiest endorse products and they all must be quarterbacks.
10 Richest NFL Players FAQ
What Is Net Worth?
Net worth is determined by adding the value of an individual’s assets (investments, real estate, cars, etc.) minus the liabilities the individual has. Liabilities are basically any financial obligations owed to a person, business or the government.
How Much Do NFL Players Make?
Though the internet will suggest the average NFL player earns about $2.7 million per year, that is an average that combines rookie salaries with some of the highest-paid ones so, it’s a bit inflated.
The NFL introduced the Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2020, it inducts a one-year contract for rookies to earn $705,000, which increases each year they are active. Quarterbacks earn an average salary of $5 million per year, the highest of any player position.
What Is The Wealthiest NFL Team As Of 2022?
The Dallas Cowboys are the most valuable team in the National Football League. The franchise is estimated to be worth about $7.64 billion.