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Here’s the Highest-Paid NFL Player in Every Position

·7 min read
Khalil Mack biggest NFL contract
Khalil Mack biggest NFL contract

Anyone who tuned into the NFL season opener back in September might think quarterback is the only position that matters after watching Patrick Mahomes lead the Kansas City Chiefs to victory over the Houston Texans while becoming the first player to throw three touchdowns and no interceptions in three straight season openers — the first three of his career.

They would be wrong. Unless all the athletes on offense who aren’t quarterbacks work in concert, victory will remain elusive no matter who handles the snaps — and the same goes for the defense.

See: Mahomes’ $500 Million Extension and the Biggest NFL Contracts of 2020

In this roller coaster of a year, where many were unsure if football would even be happening, the league’s stars are still making plays worthy of highlight reels and raking in the dough. Take a look at the top-earning athlete at each position in the NFL.

Last updated: Dec. 3, 2020

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Nick Wass/AP/Shutterstock (10775612b)Baltimore Ravens long snapper Morgan Cox (46), warms up before and NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, in Baltimore, MDBrowns Ravens Football, Baltimore, United States - 13 Sep 2020.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Nick Wass/AP/Shutterstock (10775612b)Baltimore Ravens long snapper Morgan Cox (46), warms up before and NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, in Baltimore, MDBrowns Ravens Football, Baltimore, United States - 13 Sep 2020.

Long Snapper

  • Player: Morgan Cox

  • Team: Baltimore Ravens

  • Age: 34

  • 2020 cap hit: $1,240,000

  • Base salary for 2020: $1,100,000

  • Signing bonus for 2020: $140,000

  • Roster bonus for 2020: N/A

  • Misc. bonuses/incentives for 2020: N/A

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Brian van der Brug/Shutterstock (10756098r)Rams punter Johnny Hekker, No.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Brian van der Brug/Shutterstock (10756098r)Rams punter Johnny Hekker, No.

Punter

  • Player: Johnny Hekker

  • Team: Los Angeles Rams

  • Age: 30

  • 2020 cap hit: $4,687,000

  • Base salary for 2020: $3,500,000

  • Signing bonus for 2020: $495,000

  • Roster bonus for 2020: N/A

  • Misc. bonuses/incentives for 2020: $692,000

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mario Houben/CSM/Shutterstock (10546666cf)San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould (9) goes for the field goal with the ball held by punter Mitch Wishnowsky (6) during the Super Bowl LIV at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FloridaNFL - Super Bowl 54: 49ers vs Chiefs, Miami Gardens, USA - 02 Feb 2020.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mario Houben/CSM/Shutterstock (10546666cf)San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould (9) goes for the field goal with the ball held by punter Mitch Wishnowsky (6) during the Super Bowl LIV at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FloridaNFL - Super Bowl 54: 49ers vs Chiefs, Miami Gardens, USA - 02 Feb 2020.

Kicker

  • Player: Robbie Gould

  • Team: San Francisco 49ers

  • Age: 37

  • 2020 cap hit: $5,100,000

  • Base salary for 2020: $4,350,000

  • Signing bonus for 2020: $750,000

  • Roster bonus for 2020: N/A

  • Misc. bonuses/incentives for 2020: N/A

Did You Know? These 11 High-Profile NFL Players Opted Out of the 2020 Season

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Xavier Mascare?as/AP/Shutterstock (10751592f)San Francisco 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk (44) takes a break between drills during NFL football training camp, in Santa Clara, Calif49ers Football, Santa Clara, United States - 20 Aug 2020.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Xavier Mascare?as/AP/Shutterstock (10751592f)San Francisco 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk (44) takes a break between drills during NFL football training camp, in Santa Clara, Calif49ers Football, Santa Clara, United States - 20 Aug 2020.

Fullback

  • Player: Kyle Juszczyk

  • Team: San Francisco 49ers

  • Age: 29

  • 2020 cap hit: $6,700,000

  • Base salary for 2020: $5,050,000

  • Signing bonus for 2020: $1,250,000

  • Roster bonus for 2020: $300,000

  • Misc. bonuses/incentives for 2020: $100,000

Not Making the Real Big Money: NFL Players Whose Paychecks Aren’t As Big As You Think

Editorial Use OnlyMandatory Credit: Photo by Dave Shopland/BPI/Shutterstock (10516573t)Zach Ertz, Tight End of the Philadelphia Eagles (86), warms up before kick-offSeattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles, NFL, American Football, Wild Card Playoff, Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - 05 Jan 2020.
Editorial Use OnlyMandatory Credit: Photo by Dave Shopland/BPI/Shutterstock (10516573t)Zach Ertz, Tight End of the Philadelphia Eagles (86), warms up before kick-offSeattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles, NFL, American Football, Wild Card Playoff, Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - 05 Jan 2020.

Tight End

  • Player: Zach Ertz

  • Team: Philadelphia Eagles

  • Age: 29

  • 2020 cap hit: $12,481,500

  • Base salary for 2020: $6,660,000

  • Signing bonus for 2020: $1,600,000

  • Roster bonus for 2020: $4,221,500

  • Misc. bonuses/incentives for 2020: N/A

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mark Tenally/AP/Shutterstock (10511612jj)Washington Redskins strong safety Landon Collins talks with teammates on the bench during an NFL football game against the New York Giants, in Landover, MdGiants Redskins Football, Landover, USA - 22 Dec 2019.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mark Tenally/AP/Shutterstock (10511612jj)Washington Redskins strong safety Landon Collins talks with teammates on the bench during an NFL football game against the New York Giants, in Landover, MdGiants Redskins Football, Landover, USA - 22 Dec 2019.

Strong Safety

  • Player: Landon Collins

  • Team: Washington Football Team

  • Age: 26

  • 2020 cap hit: $14,200,000

  • Base salary for 2020: $10,000,000

  • Signing bonus for 2020: $3,000,000

  • Roster bonus for 2020: N/A

  • Misc. bonuses/incentives for 2020: $1,200,000

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mark Tenally/AP/Shutterstock (9960284ck)Washington Redskins offensive guard Brandon Scherff warms up prior to an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, in Landover, MdFalcons Redskins Football, Landover, USA - 04 Nov 2018.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mark Tenally/AP/Shutterstock (9960284ck)Washington Redskins offensive guard Brandon Scherff warms up prior to an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, in Landover, MdFalcons Redskins Football, Landover, USA - 04 Nov 2018.

Guard

  • Player: Brandon Scherff

  • Team: Washington Football Team

  • Age: 28

  • 2020 cap hit: $15,030,000

  • Base salary for 2020: $15,030,000

  • Signing bonus for 2020: N/A

  • Roster bonus for 2020: N/A

  • Misc. bonuses/incentives for 2020: N/A

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Phelan M Ebenhack/AP/Shutterstock (10514569ao)Indianapolis Colts center Ryan Kelly prepares to block during the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, in Jacksonville, FlaColts Jaguars Football, Jacksonville, USA - 29 Dec 2019.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Phelan M Ebenhack/AP/Shutterstock (10514569ao)Indianapolis Colts center Ryan Kelly prepares to block during the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, in Jacksonville, FlaColts Jaguars Football, Jacksonville, USA - 29 Dec 2019.

Center

  • Player: Ryan Kelly

  • Team: Indianapolis Colts

  • Age: 27

  • 2020 cap hit: $15,355,640

  • Base salary for 2020: $5,350,000

  • Signing bonus for 2020: N/A

  • Roster bonus for 2020: $10,000,000

  • Misc. bonuses/incentives for 2020: $5,640

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Romeo Guzman/CSM/Shutterstock (10775737x)Jacksonville, FL, U.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Romeo Guzman/CSM/Shutterstock (10775737x)Jacksonville, FL, U.

Inside Linebacker

  • Player: Myles Jack

  • Team: Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Age: 25

  • 2020 cap hit: $15,400,000

  • Base salary for 2020: $12,750,000

  • Signing bonus for 2020: $2,400,000

  • Roster bonus for 2020: N/A

  • Misc. bonuses/incentives for 2020: $250,000

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Brett Carlsen/AP/Shutterstock (10775640ac)New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) watches from the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, in Orchard Park, N.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Brett Carlsen/AP/Shutterstock (10775640ac)New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) watches from the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, in Orchard Park, N.

Running Back

  • Player: Le’Veon Bell

  • Team: New York Jets

  • Age: 28

  • 2020 cap hit: $15,468,750

  • Base salary for 2020: $8,500,000

  • Signing bonus for 2020: $2,000,000

  • Roster bonus for 2020: $4,968,750

  • Misc. bonuses/incentives for 2020: N/A

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Steve Luciano/AP/Shutterstock (10547376o)Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) looks out while on stage after the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Steve Luciano/AP/Shutterstock (10547376o)Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) looks out while on stage after the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Free Safety

  • Player: Tyrann Mathieu

  • Team: Kansas City Chiefs

  • Age: 28

  • 2020 cap hit: $16,333,333

  • Base salary for 2020: $11,150,000

  • Signing bonus for 2020: $4,933,333

  • Roster bonus for 2020: N/A

  • Misc. bonuses/incentives for 2020: $250,000

Mandatory Credit: Photo by James Kenney/AP/Shutterstock (10506096hc)Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Taylor Lewan runs to the sideline in the second half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, in Nashville, TennTexans Titans Football, Nashville, USA - 15 Dec 2019.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by James Kenney/AP/Shutterstock (10506096hc)Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Taylor Lewan runs to the sideline in the second half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, in Nashville, TennTexans Titans Football, Nashville, USA - 15 Dec 2019.

Left Tackle

  • Player: Taylor Lewan

  • Team: Tennessee Titans

  • Age: 29

  • 2020 cap hit: $18,096,471

  • Base salary for 2020: $16,000,000

  • Signing bonus for 2020: $2,096,471

  • Roster bonus for 2020: N/A

  • Misc. bonuses/incentives for 2020: N/A

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Steven Senne/AP/Shutterstock (10775607bf)New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, in Foxborough, MassDolphins Patriots Football, Foxborough, United States - 13 Sep 2020.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Steven Senne/AP/Shutterstock (10775607bf)New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, in Foxborough, MassDolphins Patriots Football, Foxborough, United States - 13 Sep 2020.

Cornerback

  • Player: Stephon Gilmore

  • Team: New England Patriots

  • Age: 29

  • 2020 cap hit: $18,670,833

  • Base salary for 2020: $10,500,000

  • Signing bonus for 2020: $3,600,000

  • Roster bonus for 2020: $500,000

  • Misc. bonuses/incentives for 2020: $4,070,833

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Brynn Anderson/AP/Shutterstock (10775627aj)Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) leaves the field at half after the first half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, in AtlantaSeahawks Falcons Football, Atlanta, United States - 13 Sep 2020.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Brynn Anderson/AP/Shutterstock (10775627aj)Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) leaves the field at half after the first half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, in AtlantaSeahawks Falcons Football, Atlanta, United States - 13 Sep 2020.

Wide Receiver

  • Player: Julio Jones

  • Team: Atlanta Falcons

  • Age: 31

  • 2020 cap hit: $20,416,668

  • Base salary for 2020: $11,200,000

  • Signing bonus for 2020: $5,000,000

  • Roster bonus for 2020: $2,750,000

  • Misc. bonuses/incentives for 2020: $1,466,668

Find Out: How Much Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Other QBs Make Per Career TD Thrown

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Paul Sancya/AP/Shutterstock (10477654ql)Dallas Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence plays against the Detroit Lions during an NFL football game in DetroitCowboys Lions Football, Detroit, USA - 17 Nov 2019.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Paul Sancya/AP/Shutterstock (10477654ql)Dallas Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence plays against the Detroit Lions during an NFL football game in DetroitCowboys Lions Football, Detroit, USA - 17 Nov 2019.

Defensive End

  • Player: Demarcus Lawrence

  • Team: Dallas Cowboys

  • Age: 28

  • 2020 cap hit: $21,500,000

  • Base salary for 2020: $21,250,000

  • Signing bonus for 2020: N/A

  • Roster bonus for 2020: N/A

  • Misc. bonuses/incentives for 2020: $250,000

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Peter Joneleit/AP/Shutterstock (10447751a)Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Trent Brown (77) protects a gap in the offensive line during an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, in Oakland, Calif.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Peter Joneleit/AP/Shutterstock (10447751a)Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Trent Brown (77) protects a gap in the offensive line during an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, in Oakland, Calif.

Right Tackle

  • Player: Trenton Brown

  • Team: Las Vegas Raiders

  • Age: 27

  • 2020 cap hit: $21,900,000

  • Base salary for 2020: $16,900,000

  • Signing bonus for 2020: $5,000,000

  • Roster bonus for 2020: N/A

  • Misc. bonuses/incentives for 2020: N/A

Mandatory Credit: Photo by AP/Shutterstock (9137359fs)Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (99) waits for a play during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, in Jacksonville, Fla.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by AP/Shutterstock (9137359fs)Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (99) waits for a play during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, in Jacksonville, Fla.

Defensive Tackle

  • Player: Aaron Donald

  • Team: Los Angeles Rams

  • Age: 29

  • 2020 cap hit: $25,000,000

  • Base salary for 2020: $17,000,000

  • Signing bonus for 2020: $8,000,000

  • Roster bonus for 2020: N/A

  • Misc. bonuses/incentives for 2020: N/A

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Rick Osentoski/AP/Shutterstock (10775620ga)Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack (52) in action against Detroit Lions during an NFL football game, in DetroitBears Lions Football, Detroit, United States - 13 Sep 2020.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Rick Osentoski/AP/Shutterstock (10775620ga)Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack (52) in action against Detroit Lions during an NFL football game, in DetroitBears Lions Football, Detroit, United States - 13 Sep 2020.

Outside Linebacker

  • Player: Khalil Mack

  • Team: Chicago Bears

  • Age: 29

  • 2020 cap hit: $26,600,000

  • Base salary for 2020: $13,300,000

  • Signing bonus for 2020: $6,800,000

  • Roster bonus for 2020: $3,900,000

  • Misc. bonuses/incentives for 2020: $2,600,000

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ashley Landis/AP/Shutterstock (10775837bh)Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) warms up before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, in Inglewood, CalifCowboys Rams Football, Inglewood, United States - 13 Sep 2020.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ashley Landis/AP/Shutterstock (10775837bh)Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) warms up before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, in Inglewood, CalifCowboys Rams Football, Inglewood, United States - 13 Sep 2020.

Quarterback

  • Player: Dak Prescott

  • Team: Dallas Cowboys

  • Age: 27

  • 2020 cap hit: $31,409,000

  • Base salary for 2020: $31,409,000

  • Signing bonus for 2020: N/A

  • Roster bonus for 2020: N/A

  • Misc. bonuses/incentives for 2020: N/A

Atlanta Falcons fans
Atlanta Falcons fans

A Season Full of Uncertainties -- but a Season Nonetheless

From the Olympics and March Madness to the big four North American sports, not a single major athletic league or tournament avoided disruption during the pandemic — and the return to sports has been a mixed bag.

The NBA and NHL put on a clinic, canceling their seasons early, engaging their players and union representatives in frequent negotiations, pioneering the quarantine “bubble” concept, successfully crafting new ranking structures based on shortened seasons, returning to play with exciting and fair formats and, most importantly, avoiding even a single positive case of COVID-19 among any of their combined athletes.

In baseball, the MLB stumbled through it with much greater difficulty. Positive cases were common, and each one triggered a clumsy string of postponements, restarts and shuffling of schedules.

The NFL’s season hasn’t stalled or showed any signs of slowing down as teams compete for a spot in the playoffs…but that’s not to say it hasn’t had its problems. There’s no cohesive league-wide policy on fans attending games — that’s up to the individual teams — and dozens of players have tested positive for COVID-19. However, if enough players on a given team test positive, the league has responded by moving games, resulting in some Tuesday and Wednesday broadcasts; and they’ve cracked down hard (in the form of fines) on coaches and players who skirt the mask rule.

One thing, however, has not changed — the league’s highest-paid players are still taking home giant paychecks.

More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: For this piece, GOBankingRates used Spotrac data to find the highest-paid NFL player in every position. Using Spotrac’s positional data, GOBankingRates found the highest-paid player for all 20 positions in terms of (1) overall 2020 cap hit. GOBankingRates also found: (2) base salary for 2020; (3) signing bonus for 2020; (4) roster bonuses for 2020; and (5) workout/miscellaneous bonuses for 2020 (which included any restructuring). GOBankingRates also noted the current age and team for each of the highest-paid players. All data was collected and is up to date as of Sept. 10, 2020.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Here’s the Highest-Paid NFL Player in Every Position