NFL's Highest-Paid Quarterbacks After Russell Wilson's Mega-Contract

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2019

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 27: Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks gets introduced before the 2019 NFL Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium on January 27, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Mark Brown/Getty Images

Quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks reportedly came to terms on a four-year, $140 million contract early Tuesday morning, making him the NFL's highest-paid player.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Wilson's contract includes a $65 million signing bonus.

Wilson took to Twitter at 3:44 a.m. ET on Tuesday morning to reveal that he had struck a deal to remain with the Seahawks:

Per Schefter, Wilson is now under contract with the Seahawks through 2023 and his deal includes a no-trade clause. The two sides came to terms ahead of the Tuesday deadline Wilson had set for a deal to be reached.

So where does the new deal put him among the league's quarterbacks?

That depends on how you break down the deals. Here are the top five quarterbacks ranked in terms of average annual salary, per Spotrac.com:

In terms of total money over the length of the contract, Spotrac broke it down as follows:

  • 1. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons: $150.0 million
  • 2. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks: $140.0 million
  • 3. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers: $137.5 million
  • 4. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions: $135.0 million
  • 5. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers: $134.0 million

No, the New England Patriots' Tom Brady doesn't crack the top five in any of these categories. The six-time champion is in the second term of a two-year, $30 million contract and will make $14 million in base salary and $1 million in a roster bonus in 2019 (which also includes non-guaranteed incentives). 

Brady and the Patriots will probably rework his deal to reduce his $27 million cap hit while giving him more guaranteed money. But for now, the GOAT is making modest money for an elite NFL quarterback.

Given that quarterback is the most important position on the football field, it isn't surprising to see the financial commitments teams are willing to make. 

You can win without a great quarterback, but it's generally the exception, not the rule. Wilson's enormous new contract is just further proof of that fact.

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