Minkah Fitzpatrick, Richest Player Contracts at Every NFL Position

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 15, 2022

Pittsburgh Steelers free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (39) celebrates a fumble recovery during an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021. The Steelers won 19-13.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Pittsburgh Steelers star Minkah Fitzpatrick probably made some of his peers happy Wednesday as he reset the market for the safety position.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Fitzpatrick agreed to a four-year extension with the Steelers worth around $74 million that includes $36 million guaranteed. That eclipses the four-year, $70.6 million extension Jamal Adams got from the Seattle Seahawks.

Across the rest of the field, though, Fitzpatrick still has some ways to go approach the biggest deals handed out.

Biggest Contracts By Position

  • QB: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs; 10 years, $450 million ($141.5 million guaranteed)
  • RB: Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys; six years, $90 million ($50.1 million guaranteed)
  • WR: Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders; five years, $140 million ($65.7 million guaranteed) 
  • TE: George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers; five years, $75 million ($40 million guaranteed)
  • OT: Trent Williams, San Francisco 49ers; six years, $138.1 million ($55.1 million guaranteed)
  • OG: Zack Martin, Dallas Cowboys; six years, $84 million ($40 million guaranteed)
  • C: Corey Linsley, Los Angeles Chargers; five years, $62.5 million ($26 million guaranteed)
  • DE: Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns; five years, $125 million ($100 million guaranteed)
  • DT: Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams; three years, $95 million ($95 million guaranteed)
  • OLB: Khalil Mack, Los Angeles Chargers; six years, $141 million ($90 million guaranteed)
  • MLB: Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts; five years, $98.5 million ($52.5 million guaranteed)
  • CB: Denzel Ward, Cleveland Browns; $100.5 million ($71.3 million guaranteed)
  • FS: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Pittsburgh Steelers; reportedly four years, $73.6 million ($36 million guaranteed)
  • SS: Jamal Adams, Seattle Seahawks; four years, $70.6 million ($38 million guaranteed)
  • K: Younghoe Koo, Atlanta Falcons; five years, $24.3 million ($11.5 million guaranteed) 
  • P: Michael Dickson, Seattle Seahawks; four years, $14.7 million ($7.5 million guaranteed)

Contract info via Spotrac

Adams' trade to Seattle and subsequent extension raised the question as to how much the NFL's best safeties are worth. As has become the case with running backs, perhaps it's better to invest in a younger replacement when the time comes to reward an elite safety.

That discussion is likely to return in the wake of Fitzpatrick's deal.

Chris Trapasso @ChrisTrapasso

Minkah Fitzpatrick is good -- esp. vs run -- and young (only 25), but he's gotten a little overrated since joining the Steelers<br><br>PIT almost *had* to pay him but -- if legit -- $36M fully gtd at signing is more than I'd pay. Might just be the cost of doing business for Steelers

But there's no question the 25-year-old made an immediate impact in Pittsburgh and has been an indispensable piece of the defense. He has 203 tackles, 11 interceptions, 27 pass breakups and three forced fumbles in 46 games with the Steelers.

Josh Carney @ByJoshCarney

Minkah Fitzpatrick legitimately changed the Steelers' defense as soon as he stepped onto the field. He's an eraser on the back end. Despite being highest-paid S, still seemingly underrated.

Brian Batko @BrianBatko

If you’ve ever heard Mike Tomlin or Teryl Austin or really anybody in the Steelers organization talk about Minkah Fitzpatrick, this should come as no surprise. It’s not the usual plaudits for him, it’s on a different level. <a href="https://t.co/34g3K99NzP">https://t.co/34g3K99NzP</a>

The Steelers are in a bit of a transition as they try to find a long-term successor to Ben Roethlisberger, but they aren't totally rebuilding. Letting Fitzpatrick walk as a free agent in 2023, and applying the franchise tag would've been a costly short-term endeavor.

Re-signing the two-time All-Pro to a record-setting contract sends a message not just to him but to the rest of the team as well. The best players on the roster will continue to be rewarded with first-year general manager Omar Khan running the front office.

Andrew Brandt @AndrewBrandt

The Steelers are like the Packers:<br>Two of the highest spending teams in NFL, and no one knows it because they spend primarily on their own players, not ones from other teams. <a href="https://t.co/D6i5fEHXP8">https://t.co/D6i5fEHXP8</a>

Whether intended or not, Pittsburgh might indirectly hurt one of its rivals in the AFC with this move.

USA Today's Tyler Dragon reported in May that Jessie Bates isn't planning to sign his one-year franchise tender and wants a long-term extension. The Steelers now provided Bates and the Cincinnati Bengals with a clear framework for what he can command on the open market.

Maybe that will help the two sides strike a bargain, or it could have the opposite effect and make the Bengals even less likely to pay top dollar given how the cost just went up.