List of Highest-Paid NFL Players by Position Will Have You Practicing Punts

Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterDecember 4, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 15:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos celebrates a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 15, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Denver Broncos defeated the New York Giants 41-23. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Ever wanted to know who the highest-paid punter in the NFL is? 

Similar answers and more follow as Business insider's Cork Gaines rummaged through some numbers over at Spotrac and compiled a list of the highest-paid player at every position. 

We encourage you to head over to Business Insider's page and find out once and for all who owns the best contract among all linebackers, something that would prove useful in random trivia moments. 

This follows a similar article the site produced in early October, ranking NFL positions from highest to lowest paid. Hint: It pays to be the guy throwing the ball. 

Sep 15, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) celebrates a touchdown against the New York Giants during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chris Faytok/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports
The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

Gaines' latest list is certainly an intriguing one. Now, I don't think there would be many who would whine and moan about seeing Peyton Manning at the top of the quarterback heap with an annual salary of $15 million. 

The 37-year-old Broncos quarterback has thrown 41 touchdowns and over 4,000 yards while leading Denver to a 10-2 record and sole possession of the AFC West. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers punter Michael Koenen is one entry that might have you scratching your head. Past performance aside, 2013 sees him No. 14 in yards and No. 26 in average per attempt

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 17: Punter Michael Koenen #9 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks to pass after faking a punt against the Atlanta Falcons November 17, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Bucs won 41 - 28. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Gett
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

It's enough to remind you of the flummoxed reaction to when the Buccaneers signed him to a six-year, $19.5 million contract. 

Apparently, we should have practiced our punting more in high school. 

Adrian Peterson ($11.3 million) and Brandon Marshall ($9.1 million) take the cake for running backs and wide receivers, respectively. 

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 1:  Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings carries the ball for ten thousand career rushing yards against Chris Conte #47 of the Chicago Bears on December 1, 2013 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert Humphrey Metrodome i
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

The one thing that struck me is how reasonable players' salaries are compared to other sports. Oh, it's a tad silly to call $15 million reasonable, but then you consider the NBA sees players like LeBron James ($19 million) and Kobe Bryant ($30.4 million) surpass Manning by mounds of dough, via Spotrac

Hell, we would love to remind you that even Carmelo Anthony, in a cap-restricted sport, is still getting $21.3 million for the 2013-2014 season. 

It's something we already knew, but considered astonishing anew when it's compiled in a list like this. 

We know it's not an apples-to-apples comparison. Roster size and cap restrictions aside, it boggles the mind to know that Jacoby Ellsbury, heading to the New York Yankees for seven years, $153 million, will be getting roughly $21 million a year. 

It kind of puts things into perspective and also brings into call the cash garnered from endorsing Papa John's pizzas. 

All of this is to say there are some guys out there who make millions to do something they love, despite the knocks, bruises and injuries. 

And then there are punters who apparently figured things out years ago. 


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