There are not many NFL players who have continued season after season. Injury, burn-out and just having had enough are common among players. We know there are some NFL greats out there like Jerry Richardson who is said to be worth $2 billion. Our list tries to give a sense of active and recently retired players who have made money from their game and being in the NFL.
20. Michael Vick
Net Worth: $15 million
Drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in 2001 as a quarterback, Michael Vick signed with the Atlanta Falcons for six years on a $62 million contract with a sign-on bonus of $15 million. Upon joining the Falcons, Vick took over Atlanta’s starting quarterback job the following season, leading the Falcons to the playoffs and earning a spot in the Pro Bowl. Notwithstanding an injury who cut short his 2003 season, Vick and his teammates captured the NFC South crown in 2004 but lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship game. With that win, the Falcons were now title contenders and Vick was the quarterback the club had always wanted. That season, team officials handed Vick a lavish 10-year, $130 million contract extension.
Over the course of his career, Vick was signed on to contracts together with bonuses that paid him some $115 million in total, although as of 2021, he is estimated to have a net worth of some $15 million.
His average pay per year was circa $7 million and his highest season earnings were in 2005 when he was paid a total of $27.5 million.
19. Darrelle Revis
Net Worth:$30 million
First drafted by the New York Jets in the 2007 NFL draft, Darrelle Revis, known as “Revis Island” because he is able to shut down the opposing number one receiver. Believe it or not, Revis has actually trademarked the moniker.
Playing cornerback, Revis became one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL by 2010. Revis played seven Pro Bowls and was a four-time All-Pro during his career. He also won a Super Bowl title in Super Bowl XLIX with the Patriots. In 2020, Revis was nominated onto the NFL’s 2010s All-Decade Team.
In 2018, Revis announced his retirement from the NFL, after playing 11 seasons. Over the course of his career, Revis’ contracts have totaled over $125 million, His average pay per year was about $11 million. His highest single-season earnings were in 2011 where he was paid a total of some $25 million including $18 million option bonus.
As of 2021, Darrelle Revis is estimated to be worth $30 million.
18. Ndamukong Suh
Net Worth: $50 million
Suh is recognized as one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL. In 2015, Suh was named the 24th best player in the NFL, while being ranked the sixth-best defensive player.
He has won numerous awards and accolades, having been named the Defensive Rookie of the Year, besides being selected for four Pro Bowls in his first five seasons, and named an All Pro six times: four times named to the All Pro First team, including during his rookie year, and twice to the All Pro Second team. In 2015, Suh became the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history, having signed a six-year contract with the Miami Dolphins, for an amount of over $114 million, with nearly $60 million fully guaranteed, even though he was released after three seasons.
As of 2021, Suh is estimated to have a net worth of some $50 million, with a career total of some $153 million and an average pay per annum of some $15 million. His highest-earning year was in 2015 when he took home $26.5 million including a $25.5 million sign-on bonus.
17. Larry Fitzgerald
Net Worth: $50 million
Larry was drafted by the Cardinals being the third overall in the 2004 NFL Draft. He is widely considered by fans and peers to be one of the greatest receivers in NFL history.
Fitzgerald has been selected for the Pro Bowl eleven times during his career so far and was named First-team All-Pro in 2008 and Second-team All-Pro twice in 2009 and 2011. As of September 29, 2019, he is second in NFL career receiving yards, second in career receptions, and sixth in receiving touchdowns. Fitzgerald became a minority owner of the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association in 2020.
Fitzgerald has so far made career earnings of some $170 million with an average annual pay of over $10 million. His highest season was in 2012 when he made $26,3 million including a $15 million option bonus.
As of 2021, Larry Fitzgerald is thought to be worth some $50 million.
16. Alex Smith
Net Worth: $55 million
Smith was selected as the first overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2005 NFL Draft. During his first six seasons for them, he played for a different offensive coordinator each year, and struggled with injuries. Under head coach Jim Harbaugh in 2011 however, Smith played his strongest statistical season, leading the 49ers to their first NFC West division title and first playoff victory since 2002, as well as their first NFC Championship Game appearance since 1997. The following season, Smith suffered a concussion in the middle of the season and was replaced by Colin Kaepernick. Despite posting strong statistical numbers during the season before the injury, Smith did not regain his starting position after he had recovered.
In 2013, Smith was transferred to the Kansas City Chiefs. In his first season, he led them to a 9–0 start and their first playoff berth in three years. With the Chiefs, Smith went on to an 11-game winning streak in 2015 and the team’s first playoff win since 1993. During his time with the Chiefs, he led the league in passer rating in 2017 and was named to three Pro Bowls. In 2018, Smith transferred to the Washington Redskins and signed a four-year contract extension with them. That same season, Smith fractured his right leg during a game against the Houston Texans, which led to severe sepsis that required 17 surgeries to prevent amputation. Throughout his injuries, Smith never considered retirement and after a long and arduous recovery, he returned in 2020, where he is playing reserve quarterback.
Over his career, Alex Smith has signed on to contracts worth a total of some $94 million. In 2020, he will have an average pay per annum of some $16 million. As of 2021, his estimated net worth is thought to be about $55 million.
His highest earning year was in 2018 when he made $40 million including a sign-on bonus of $27 million.
15. Mathew Stafford
Net Worth: $60 million
Drafted by the Lions as the first overall in the 2009 NFL Draft, Stafford was the fourth quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 5,000 yards in a single season, being one of three players to do it in 2011, and was the fastest player in NFL history to reach 40,000 yards in (147 games).
Stafford also holds the NFL record for the most comeback wins in a season, recording eight in the 2016 NFL season. In 2017, he signed a US$135-million contract extension with the Lions, making him the highest-paid player in NFL history at the time.
Over the course of his career, Mathew Stafford has made career earnings of over $204 million, with an average pay per annum of some $18 million. In 2017, Mathew took home a whopping $51.1 million which included a $50 million sign-on bonus.
For this young Texan, as of 2021, he is thought to have built up a personal wealth of about $60 million.
14. Carson Palmer
Net Worth: $60 million
Played for 15 seasons, primarily with the Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals. Palmer was the first overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft, and chosen by the Bengals, for whom he played eight seasons. During his tenure in Cincinnati, he helped lead the team to its first winning season and playoff appearance in 15 years and was named to two Pro Bowls. Palmer was traded to the Oakland Raiders after his eighth season, where he played just two seasons before joining Arizona.
With the Cardinals, Palmer enjoyed his most successful year in 2015, aiding the Cardinals in reaching the NFC Championship Game and being named to his third Pro Bowl, in addition to being a second-team All-Pro. Palmer retired following the 2017 regular season after spending much of the year on injured reserve.
Palmer has had a total career earnings of a total of over $172 million with an average payout per annum of some $11 million. 2014 was his highest-earning year when he took home a total of $19 million including a $10 million sign-on bonus.
As of 2021, Palmer is estimated to have a personal fortune of some $60 million.
13. Julius Peppers
Net Worth: $60 million
Drafted by the Carolina Panthers as their second overall in the 2002 NFL Draft, Peppers also played for the Chicago Bears from 2010 through 2013 and for the Green Bay Packers from 2014 to 2016.
Peppers was named to the Pro Bowl nine times, and both the first and second All-Pro teams three times each. In his rookie season, he was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2002, where he recorded 12 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, and an interception, all of which while playing in only 12 games. He was named to the 2000s and NFL 2010s All-Decade Teams.
Peppers retired after the 2018 season and on May 8, 2019, he became the special assistant of business operations with the Carolina Panthers.
Throughout his 16 years with the NFL, he enjoyed a total career earnings of some $159 million with an average pay per annum of some $9 million.
As of 2021, Julius Peppers is estimated to have a personal fortune of some $60 million.
12. Tony Romo
Net Worth: $70 million
Romo was a quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL. He played a total of 14 seasons with the Cowboys and holds various team records, including passing touchdowns, passing yards, most games with at least 300 passing yards and games with three or more touchdown passes. He also held a higher passer rating in the fourth quarter than any other NFL quarterback from 2006 to 2013.
Since retiring after the 2016 season, he was hired by CBS Sports to become the lead color analyst for their NFL telecasts, alongside Jim Nantz.
During the course of his career, Romo reportedly made a total of $127 million, averaging about $9 million per season. His highest season earnings were in 2013 which reported totaled $26.5 million. As of 2021, Tony Romo is estimated to have a personal fortune of some $70 million. Since retirement, his work as a sports broadcaster and other work would have added to his overall net worth.
11. Sam Bradford
Net Worth: $70 million
Bradford was signed to the NFL following the 2009 season and was drafted by the St. Louis Rams with the distinction of being the first overall selection in the 2010 NFL Draft.
In his first season, Bradford set the record for most completions by a rookie in NFL history, which helped earn him the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Prior to the start of the 2015 season, the Rams traded Bradford in along with a 2015 fifth-round pick to the Eagles in exchange for quarterback Nick Foles, a 2015 fourth-round pick, and a 2016 second-round pick. Following his 2015 campaign with the Eagles, in which he set career-highs in passing yards (3,725), completion percentage (65%), and yards per attempt (7.0), the Minnesota Vikings acquired Bradford after their starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater ended up with a knee injury before the start of the new season. Bradford signed with the Arizona Cardinals in 2018 but left the team after he was beaten out by then-rookie Josh Rosen.
Over the course of his career from 2009 to 2018, Bradford had a total career earnings of some $129 million. His career average pay per year was around $16 million. His highest single-season earnings were in 2011 which made him $26.8 million which included $18 million in sign-on bonus.
As of 2021, Sam Bradford is thought to have made himself a personal fortune of some $70 million.
10. Matt Ryan
Net Worth: $70 million
Ryan was drafted by the Falcons with the third overall pick in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft. During his rookie year, Ryan started all 16 games for the Falcons and led them to the playoffs with an 11–5 season record. He earned honors as the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
In 2016, Ryan was the NFL’s Most Valuable Player and led the Falcons to Super Bowl LI, where they were defeated by the New England Patriots.
After signing a $150 million five-year extension with the Falcons in 2018, Ryan became the first $30 million per year quarterback and the highest-paid player in NFL history until being surpassed months later by Aaron Rodgers.
During his career since his rookie year, Ryan has made a total of some $245 million with an average payout per annum of some $20 million. Matt made $44.8 million in 2019 which included $42 million in various bonuses.
As of 2021, Matt Ryan is thought to command a personal wealth of about $70 million.
9. Joe Flacco
Net Worth: $75 million
First drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft, Flacco was Baltimore’s starting quarterback from 2008 until halfway through the 2018 season.
During his time with the Ravens, he helped lead them to the playoffs six times. The Ravens also won the AFC North twice, appeared in three AFC Championship Games, and defeated the San Francisco 49ers to win Super Bowl XLVII following the 2012 season.
Flacco, himself, was named Super Bowl XLVII’s MVP. That offseason, Flacco signed a six-year contract worth $120.6 million, a record high for a quarterback at the time. By the late 2010s, Flacco’s performance began to decline and he was eventually traded to the Denver Broncos following the 2018 season after a hip injury caused him to lose his starting position to Lamar Jackson. A neck injury eight games into the 2019 season ended Flacco’s year prematurely and he was released by the Broncos after the season. He subsequently joined the New York Jets to back up Sam Darnold before starting for them as well.
So far since his draft in 2008, his total career earnings have topped $166 million and his per annum pay-out has been about $14 million. In 2013, Joe took home a total of $30 million including a sign-on bonus of $29 million.
As of 2021, Joe Flacco is thought to have an estimated net worth of some $75 million.
8. Phillips Rivers
Net Worth: $80 million
Rivers was selected in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft as the fourth overall pick by the New York Giants, who traded him to the San Diego Chargers during the draft. Rivers remained with the Chargers for 16 seasons before signing with the Colts in 2020.
During his tenure with the Chargers, he was nominated to eight Pro Bowls while leading the team to four division titles and six postseason appearances. He also helped the team win their first playoff game since 1994 during the 2007 season, which resulted in a trip to the AFC Championship Game.
Rivers has so far made career earnings of a total of some $229 million with an average pay per annum of some $14 million. His highest single-season earnings were $32 million in 2015, including $17 million signing bonus.
As of 2021, Rivers is estimated to have built for himself a personal fortune of some $80 million.
7. Ben Roethlisberger
Net Worth: $100 million
Ben Roethlisberger aka Big Ben was drafted by the Steelers in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft.
Roethlisberger earned the AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award in 2004 and his first Pro Bowl selection in 2007. In 2006 he became the youngest Super Bowl-winning quarterback in NFL history, leading the Steelers, during his second season to a 21–10 victory against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL. He was only 23 at the time.
Roethlisberger led the Steelers to a second Super Bowl title in four seasons as they defeated the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLVIII, He appeared in his third Super Bowl in Super Bowl XLV, but the team lost by a score of 31–25 to the Green Bay Packers.
Over his career so far, he has made total career earnings of some $251 million with annual payout of some $15 million. Ben made $35.3 million in 2015 which included $31 million signing bonus.
As of 2021, Ben Roethlisberger is estimated to have built a total wealth of some $100 million.
6. Brett Favre
Net Worth: $100 million
Favre who was a quarterback in the NFL, spending most of his career with the Green Bay Packers. He was a 20-year veteran of the NFL, having played quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons in 1991, the Packers from 1992 to 2007, the New York Jets in 2008, and the Minnesota Vikings from 2009 to 2010.
Favre’s 11 Pro Bowl invitations is the third most among quarterbacks in NFL history. He is the only player to win the Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player Award three consecutive times, from 1995 to 1997, and is one of only six quarterbacks to have won the award as well as the Super Bowl in the same season. He led teams to eight division championships, five NFC Championship Games, and two Super Bowl appearances: Super Bowl XXXI and Super Bowl XXXII. He and the Packers won Super Bowl XXXI over the New England Patriots.
This veteran of NFL has made career earnings of over $141 million. His average pay per year was approximately $7 million. In 2010, he made a total of $16 million including a $4.4 million sign-on bonus.
As of 2021, Brett Favre is thought to have an estimated net worth of some $100 million.
5. Aaron Rodgers
Net Worth: $120 million
Aaron was selected in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Packers. After backing up Brett Favre for the first seasons, Rodgers became the Packers’ starting quarterback in 2008. In 2010, he led them to a victory in Super Bowl XLV against the Pittsburgh Steelers, becoming the Super Bowl MVP.
He was named Associated Press Athlete of the Year in 2011, and was voted league MVP by the Associated Press for the 2011 and 2014 NFL seasons.
Rodgers is considered by some sports analysts and players to be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.
So far, Rodgers has reportedly made career earnings of about $235 million with annual pay of $15 million. In 2018, Rodgers made a staggering $66.9 million which included $57.5 million as sign-on bonus.
As of 2021, Rodgers is said to have an estimated net worth of about $120 million.
4. Eli Manning
Net Worth: $150 million
Eli played for 16 seasons with the New York Giants. He was selected as the first overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers and was traded to the Giants during the draft. He is the youngest son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning and younger brother of former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning.
Manning is recognized for twice leading the Giants to underdog Super Bowl victories against the New England Patriots’ dynasty in Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI. Manning was named Most Valuable Player in both games, making him one of five players to have multiple Super Bowl MVP awards.
As the Giants’ starting quarterback from 2004 to 2019, Manning holds franchise records for most passing yards, touchdown passes and completed passes in a career. Since retiring, Manning ranks seventh in all-time in passing yards and eighth in touchdowns.
During his career, Eli made total career earnings of some $232 million with an average take-home pay each year of $14.5 million. 2015 was his best year with earnings of $37 million which included a sign-on bonus of $31 million.
As of 2021, Eli Manning is estimated to have a personal wealth of $150 million.
3. Drew Brees
Net Worth: $160 million
Brees was chosen by the San Diego Chargers as the first pick in the second round of the 2001 NFL Draft. Brees earned the starting job with the Chargers in 2002 and made the Pro Bowl in 2004. Nine months after suffering a right shoulder injury, Brees signed with the Saints as a free agent in 2006, where he has played since.
He experienced immediate success in New Orleans, leading the Saints to their first-ever Super Bowl in Super Bowl XLIV and helping the team to a 31–17 victory against the Indianapolis Colts.
Brees has made the Pro Bowl 13 times, was the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2004, was the Offensive Player of the Year in 2008 and 2011 and was the MVP of Super Bowl XLIV. Brees is regarded as one of the best pure passers in NFL history, and has been hailed as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.
So far, Brees has made a total of about $271 million and has taken home about $14 million each year. In 2012, Brees made $40 million including $37 million in signing bonus.
As of 2021, Brees is estimated to have a net worth of about $160 million.
2. Tom Brady
Net Worth: $200 million
Brady was drafted 199th overall by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. He spent his first 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, playing in nine Super Bowls and winning six of them, both of which are the most of any player in NFL history. He has won a record four Super Bowl MVP awards as well as three NFL MVP awards (2007, 2010, 2017). Owing to his numerous records and accolades, many sportswriters, commentators, and players consider Brady to be the greatest quarterback of all time.
Brady is one of only two quarterbacks to win a Super Bowl in their first season as a starter. He is also the only quarterback to reach 200 regular-season wins. Brady has never had a losing season as a starting quarterback. He has led his team to more division titles (17) than any other quarterback in NFL history.
Starting with the 2020 season, he is with Tampa Bay Buccaneers, having signed on for two years for a sum of $50 million fully guaranteed with up to $4.5 million each year in incentives. Over the course of his career though, he has made a total of over $230 million with an average pay per annum of some $11.5 million. In 2016, Tom made $28.8 million which included $28.0 million signing bonus.
1. Peyton Manning
Net Worth: $250 million
Manning was selected by the Colts as the first overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. From 1998 to 2010, Manning led the team to eight division championships, two AFC championships, and one Super Bowl title in Super Bowl XLI, the team’s first in over three decades. He was named Super Bowl MVP in the team’s victory, making him the first Colts player to receive the honor. After the 2011 season, Manning was released by the Colts and signed with the Broncos. Serving as the team’s starting quarterback from 2012 to 2015, he contributed to the Broncos clinching their division each year, led them to two more AFC championships, and concluded his career with a victory in Super Bowl 50.
He spent a total of 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and four seasons with the Denver Broncos. He is the second son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning and older brother of former NFL quarterback Eli Manning.
Over his long career, Peyton has made career earnings of a total of about $247 million with an average take home each year of about $13 million. In 2004, Peyton made his best single-season earning with $35 million including a $34.5 million sign-on bonus.
As of 2021, Peyton Manning is thought to be worth about $250 million.