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Joe Burrow and the 50 Best Rookie Deals in NFL History

·11 min read
Joe Robbins / Getty Images
Joe Robbins / Getty Images

Cincinnati Bengals rookie Joe Burrow, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft out of LSU, signed the top contract for this year’s class. But his deal – worth $36,190,137 – doesn’t even rank in the top 50 rookie contracts in NFL history, even with a $23 million signing bonus.

Money: 27 Richest No. 1 NFL Draft Picks

That’s not because NFL owners are suddenly cheap and thrifty. In 2011, the NFL players’ union and owners agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement that set a wage scale for rookies. That means each team gets a certain amount of money for signing rookies and undrafted free agents each year, so franchises won’t break the bank on first-round picks anymore.

Read on to see which rookies landed the biggest contracts in NFL history.

Last updated: April 8, 2021

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ben Margot/AP/Shutterstock (10019821z)Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (88) warms up before an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, CalifSteelers Raiders Football, Oakland, USA - 09 Dec 2018.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ben Margot/AP/Shutterstock (10019821z)Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (88) warms up before an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, CalifSteelers Raiders Football, Oakland, USA - 09 Dec 2018.

50. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Wide Receiver

  • Year of draft: 2009

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Oakland Raiders

  • Total value of rookie contract: $38,250,000

  • Signing bonus: None

  • Average contract value: $7,650,000

Read: The 25 Richest NFL Team Owners

Mandatory Credit: Photo by AP/Shutterstock (9229065aw)Former Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson, who is being inducted into the Texans Ring of Honor, runs on to the field before an NFL football game between the Houston Texans and the Arizona Cardinals, in HoustonCardinals Texans Football, Houston, USA - 19 Nov 2017.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by AP/Shutterstock (9229065aw)Former Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson, who is being inducted into the Texans Ring of Honor, runs on to the field before an NFL football game between the Houston Texans and the Arizona Cardinals, in HoustonCardinals Texans Football, Houston, USA - 19 Nov 2017.

49. Andre Johnson, Wide Receiver

  • Year of draft: 2003

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Houston Texans

  • Total value of rookie contract: $39,000,000

  • Signing bonus: $9,000,000

  • Average contract value: $6,500,000

In the Game: How Much Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Other QBs Make Per Career TD Thrown

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mark Lennihan/AP/Shutterstock (6032802a)WILLIAMS Mike Williams, an offensive tackle from Texas, is joined on stage by family after being selected as the fourth pick overall in the first round by the Buffalo Bills of the 2002 NFL Draft in New York .
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mark Lennihan/AP/Shutterstock (6032802a)WILLIAMS Mike Williams, an offensive tackle from Texas, is joined on stage by family after being selected as the fourth pick overall in the first round by the Buffalo Bills of the 2002 NFL Draft in New York .

48. Mike Williams, Tackle

  • Year of draft: 2002

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Buffalo Bills

  • Total value of rookie contract: $39,256,875

  • Signing bonus: $7,275,000

  • Average contract value: $6,542,813

Rosters: The Biggest Bargain on Every NFL Roster

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Carlos Osorio/AP/Shutterstock (6425580a)ROGERS Detroit Lions first round draft pick Charles Rogers (80) of Michigan State runs a pass pattern during mini-camp at the Lions' training facility in Allen Park, MichLIONS MINI CAMP, ALLEN PARK, USA.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Carlos Osorio/AP/Shutterstock (6425580a)ROGERS Detroit Lions first round draft pick Charles Rogers (80) of Michigan State runs a pass pattern during mini-camp at the Lions' training facility in Allen Park, MichLIONS MINI CAMP, ALLEN PARK, USA.

47. Charles Rogers, Wide Receiver

  • Year of draft: 2003

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Detroit Lions

  • Total value of rookie contract: $39,400,000

  • Signing bonus: $9,100,000

  • Average contract value: $6,566,667

Teamwork: What NFL Teams Are Making With Limited Fan Capacity

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP/Shutterstock (6022679d)Rolando McClain Oakland Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain goes through drills during NFL football practice in Alameda, CalifRaiders Football, Alameda, USA.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP/Shutterstock (6022679d)Rolando McClain Oakland Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain goes through drills during NFL football practice in Alameda, CalifRaiders Football, Alameda, USA.

46. Rolando McClain, Inside Linebacker

  • Year of draft: 2010

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Oakland Raiders

  • Total value of rookie contract: $40,000,000

  • Signing bonus: None

  • Average contract value: $8,000,000

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ron Schwane/AP/Shutterstock (10483588ac)Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden (23) stands on the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, in ClevelandSteelers Browns Football, Cleveland, USA - 14 Nov 2019.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ron Schwane/AP/Shutterstock (10483588ac)Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden (23) stands on the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, in ClevelandSteelers Browns Football, Cleveland, USA - 14 Nov 2019.

45. Joe Haden, Cornerback

  • Year of draft: 2010

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Cleveland Browns

  • Total value of rookie contract: $40,056,742

  • Signing bonus: $12,000,000

  • Average contract value: $8,011,348

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 11:  Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers throws a pass during pregame warm ups against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on December 11, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 11: Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers throws a pass during pregame warm ups against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on December 11, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

44. Philip Rivers, Quarterback

  • Year of draft: 2004

  • Team signed rookie contract with: New York Giants

  • Total value of rookie contract: $40,500,000

  • Signing bonus: $7,650,000

  • Average contract value: $6,750,000

Note: Rivers was immediately traded to the Chargers.

GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 03:  Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on during the second half against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on January 3, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 03: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on during the second half against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on January 3, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

43. Adrian Peterson, Running Back

  • Year of draft: 2007

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Minnesota Vikings

  • Total value of rookie contract: $40,500,000

  • Signing bonus: $3,000,000

  • Average contract value: $8,100,000

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Tom Uhlman/AP/Shutterstock (9273341k)Indianapolis Colts strong safety LaRon Landry watches from the sidelines in the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, in CincinnatiColts Bengals Football, Cincinnati, USA - 28 Aug 2014.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Tom Uhlman/AP/Shutterstock (9273341k)Indianapolis Colts strong safety LaRon Landry watches from the sidelines in the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, in CincinnatiColts Bengals Football, Cincinnati, USA - 28 Aug 2014.

42. LaRon Landry, Safety

  • Year of draft: 2007

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Minnesota Vikings

  • Total value of rookie contract: $40,500,000

  • Signing bonus: $3,000,000

  • Average contract value: $8,100,000

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Bryan Woolston/AP/Shutterstock (10349254p)Cincinnati Bengals offensive guard Andre Smith (71) watches practice during NFL football training camp, in CincinnatiBengals Football, Cincinnati, USA - 28 Jul 2019.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Bryan Woolston/AP/Shutterstock (10349254p)Cincinnati Bengals offensive guard Andre Smith (71) watches practice during NFL football training camp, in CincinnatiBengals Football, Cincinnati, USA - 28 Jul 2019.

41. Andre Smith, Right Tackle

  • Year of draft: 2009

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Cincinnati Bengals

  • Total value of rookie contract: $42,000,000

  • Signing bonus: None

  • Average contract value: $7,000,000

Read More: What Playing in Empty Stadiums Will Cost Every NFL Franchise

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ben Margot/AP/Shutterstock (6017003ba)Darren McFadden Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden (20) runs against the Denver Broncos during the second quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, CalifBroncos Raiders Football, Oakland, USA.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ben Margot/AP/Shutterstock (6017003ba)Darren McFadden Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden (20) runs against the Denver Broncos during the second quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, CalifBroncos Raiders Football, Oakland, USA.

40. Darren McFadden, Running Back

  • Year of draft: 2008

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Oakland Raiders

  • Total value of rookie contract: $42,043,750

  • Signing bonus: None

  • Average contract value: $7,007,292

Mandatory Credit: Photo by AP/Shutterstock (9174567ba)Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas (73) walks on the sideline during an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, in Cleveland.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by AP/Shutterstock (9174567ba)Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas (73) walks on the sideline during an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, in Cleveland.

39. Joe Thomas, Left Tackle

  • Year of draft: 2007

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Cleveland Browns

  • Total value of rookie contract: $42,500,000

  • Signing bonus: $6,360,000

  • Average contract value: $8,500,000

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 15:  Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals throws an incomplete pass during the second half against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on November 15, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.
SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 15: Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals throws an incomplete pass during the second half against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on November 15, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.

38. Carson Palmer, Quarterback

  • Year of draft: 2003

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Cincinnati Bengals

  • Total value of rookie contract: $42,697,500

  • Signing bonus: $15,000,000

  • Average contract value: $7,116,250

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Nam Y Huh/AP/Shutterstock (6014989a)Antrel Rolle Chicago Bears defensive back Antrel Rolle walks on the field before an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns in in Chicago.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Nam Y Huh/AP/Shutterstock (6014989a)Antrel Rolle Chicago Bears defensive back Antrel Rolle walks on the field before an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns in in Chicago.

37. Antrel Rolle, Safety

  • Year of draft: 2005

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Arizona Cardinals

  • Total value of rookie contract: $43,000,000

  • Signing bonus: None

  • Average contract value: $7,116,667

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Eric Risberg/AP/Shutterstock (6025348aj)Michael Huff Oakland Raiders safety Michael Huff during their NFL football training camp in Napa, CalifRaiders Camp Football, Napa, USA.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Eric Risberg/AP/Shutterstock (6025348aj)Michael Huff Oakland Raiders safety Michael Huff during their NFL football training camp in Napa, CalifRaiders Camp Football, Napa, USA.

36. Michael Huff, Safety

  • Year of draft: 2006

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Oakland Raiders

  • Total value of rookie contract: $43,200,000

  • Signing bonus: None

  • Average contract value: $8,640,000

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 14:   Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants throws a pass in the first half against the Washington Redskins during their game at MetLife Stadium on December 14, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 14: Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants throws a pass in the first half against the Washington Redskins during their game at MetLife Stadium on December 14, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

35. Eli Manning, Quarterback

  • Year of draft: 2004

  • Team signed rookie contract with: San Diego Chargers

  • Total value of rookie contract: $45,000,000

  • Signing bonus: $3,000,000

  • Average contract value: $7,500,000

Note: Manning was immediately traded to the Giants.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Steve Nesius/AP/Shutterstock (9272033ad)Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Gaines Adams takes a knee during a preseason NFL football game against the Houston Texans at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FlaTexans Buccaneers Football, Tampa, USA - 4 Sep 2009.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Steve Nesius/AP/Shutterstock (9272033ad)Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Gaines Adams takes a knee during a preseason NFL football game against the Houston Texans at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FlaTexans Buccaneers Football, Tampa, USA - 4 Sep 2009.

34. Gaines Adams, Defensive End

  • Year of draft: 2007

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Total value of rookie contract: $45,325,000

  • Signing bonus: None

  • Average contract value: $7,554,167

SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 10:  Julius Peppers #90 of the Carolina Panthers smiles during their game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on September 10, 2017 in Santa Clara, California.
SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Julius Peppers #90 of the Carolina Panthers smiles during their game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on September 10, 2017 in Santa Clara, California.

33. Julius Peppers, Defensive End

  • Year of draft: 2002

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Carolina Panthers

  • Total value of rookie contract: $46,000,000

  • Signing bonus: $9,100,000

  • Average contract value: $6,571,429

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mark Lyons/EPA/Shutterstock (7916659b)David Carr of the Houston Texans Passes Against the Cincinnati Bengals During Their Game Sunday 02 October 2005 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati OhioUsa Nfl Bengals Vs Texans - Oct 2005.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mark Lyons/EPA/Shutterstock (7916659b)David Carr of the Houston Texans Passes Against the Cincinnati Bengals During Their Game Sunday 02 October 2005 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati OhioUsa Nfl Bengals Vs Texans - Oct 2005.

32. David Carr, Quarterback

  • Year of draft: 2002

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Houston Texans

  • Total value of rookie contract: $46,200,000

  • Signing bonus: $10,920,000

  • Average contract value: $6,600,000

Read More: Biggest Contract Busts in the NFL

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Bill Kostroun/AP/Shutterstock (6433239a)COUCH Cleveland Browns quarterback Tim Couch throws during the game against the New York Jets, in East Rutherford, N.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Bill Kostroun/AP/Shutterstock (6433239a)COUCH Cleveland Browns quarterback Tim Couch throws during the game against the New York Jets, in East Rutherford, N.

31. Tim Couch, Quarterback

  • Year of draft: 1999

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Cleveland Browns

  • Total value of rookie contract: $47,950,000

  • Signing bonus: $12,250,000

  • Average contract value: $6,850,000

Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning

30. Peyton Manning, Quarterback

  • Year of draft: 1998

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Indianapolis Colts

  • Total value of rookie contract: $48,000,000

  • Signing bonus: $11,600,000

  • Average contract value: $8,000,000

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 24: Jay Cutler #6 of the Miami Dolphins throws a pass in the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles in the preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field on August 24, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 24: Jay Cutler #6 of the Miami Dolphins throws a pass in the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles in the preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field on August 24, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

29. Jay Cutler, Quarterback

  • Year of draft: 2006

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Denver Broncos

  • Total value of rookie contract: $48,000,000

  • Signing bonus: None

  • Average contract value: $8,000,000

Mandatory Credit: Photo by John Bazemore/AP/Shutterstock (10949919ef)Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Russell Okung (76) works against the Atlanta Falcons during the second half of an NFL football game, in AtlantaPanthers Falcons Football, Atlanta, United States - 11 Oct 2020.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by John Bazemore/AP/Shutterstock (10949919ef)Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Russell Okung (76) works against the Atlanta Falcons during the second half of an NFL football game, in AtlantaPanthers Falcons Football, Atlanta, United States - 11 Oct 2020.

28. Russell Okung, Left Tackle

  • Year of draft: 2010

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Seattle Seahawks

  • Total value of rookie contract: $48,500,000

  • Signing bonus: $1,680,000

  • Average contract value: $8,083,333

Mandatory Credit: Photo by AP/Shutterstock (9175832ht)Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) points at the line of scrimmage during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Kansas City, Mo49ers Chiefs Football, Kansas City, USA - 11 Aug 2017.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by AP/Shutterstock (9175832ht)Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) points at the line of scrimmage during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Kansas City, Mo49ers Chiefs Football, Kansas City, USA - 11 Aug 2017.

27. Alex Smith, Quarterback

  • Year of draft: 2005

  • Team signed rookie contract with: San Francisco 49ers

  • Total value of rookie contract: $49,500,000

  • Signing bonus: $1,000,000

  • Average contract value: $8,250,000

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Edouard H R Gluck/AP/Shutterstock (9275403an)New York Jets defensive end Vernon Gholston is shown during the second half of an NFL football game, in Miami.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Edouard H R Gluck/AP/Shutterstock (9275403an)New York Jets defensive end Vernon Gholston is shown during the second half of an NFL football game, in Miami.

26. Vernon Gholston, Linebacker

  • Year of draft: 2008

  • Team signed rookie contract with: New York Jets

  • Total value of rookie contract: $50,000,000

  • Signing bonus: None

  • Average contract value: $10,000,000

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ed Zurga/AP/Shutterstock (10033577gj)Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Eric Berry (29) is seen on the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Kansas City, MoChargers Chiefs Football, Kansas City, USA - 13 Dec 2018.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ed Zurga/AP/Shutterstock (10033577gj)Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Eric Berry (29) is seen on the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Kansas City, MoChargers Chiefs Football, Kansas City, USA - 13 Dec 2018.

25. Eric Berry, Safety

  • Year of draft: 2010

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Kansas City Chiefs

  • Total value of rookie contract: $50,044,300

  • Signing bonus: None

  • Average contract value: $10,008,860

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ed Zurga/AP/Shutterstock (9269814w)Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Glenn Dorsey before an NFL football game, in Kansas City, MoCardinals Chiefs Football, Kansas City, USA - 21 Nov 2010.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ed Zurga/AP/Shutterstock (9269814w)Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Glenn Dorsey before an NFL football game, in Kansas City, MoCardinals Chiefs Football, Kansas City, USA - 21 Nov 2010.

24. Glenn Dorsey, Defensive End

  • Year of draft: 2008

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Kansas City Chiefs

  • Total value of rookie contract: $50,425,000

  • Signing bonus: None

  • Average contract value: $10,085,000

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ross Franklin/AP/Shutterstock (6027429ba)Matt Leinart Arizona Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart (7) throws during warmups prior to a football game against the Washington Redskins, in Glendale, ArizRedskins Cardinals Football, Glendale, USA.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ross Franklin/AP/Shutterstock (6027429ba)Matt Leinart Arizona Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart (7) throws during warmups prior to a football game against the Washington Redskins, in Glendale, ArizRedskins Cardinals Football, Glendale, USA.

23. Matt Leinart, Quarterback

  • Year of draft: 2006

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Arizona Cardinals

  • Total value of rookie contract: $50,460,000

  • Signing bonus: None

  • Average contract value: $8,410,000

Read More: Which NFL Hall of Famer Has the Highest Net Worth?

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Bill Kostroun/AP/Shutterstock (9268094bu)New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez looks on during warm ups before an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, in East Rutherford, N.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Bill Kostroun/AP/Shutterstock (9268094bu)New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez looks on during warm ups before an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, in East Rutherford, N.

22. Mark Sanchez, Quarterback

  • Year of draft: 2009

  • Team signed rookie contract with: New York Jets

  • Total value of rookie contract: $50,500,000

  • Signing bonus: None

  • Average contract value: $10,100,000

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Elaine Thompson/AP/Shutterstock (6027509bo)Reggie Bush New Orleans Saints' Reggie Bush in action against the Seattle Seahawks in an NFL NFC wild card playoff football game, in Seattle.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Elaine Thompson/AP/Shutterstock (6027509bo)Reggie Bush New Orleans Saints' Reggie Bush in action against the Seattle Seahawks in an NFL NFC wild card playoff football game, in Seattle.

21. Reggie Bush, Running Back

  • Year of draft: 2006

  • Team signed rookie contract with: New Orleans Saints

  • Total value of rookie contract: $52,500,000

  • Signing bonus: None

  • Average contract value: $8,750,000

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Michael Perez/AP/Shutterstock (9287766af)Former Philadelphia Eagles player quarterback Donovan McNabb is seen on the field prior to an NFL football game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles, in PhiladelphiaGiants Eagles Football, Philadelphia, USA - 19 Oct 2015.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Michael Perez/AP/Shutterstock (9287766af)Former Philadelphia Eagles player quarterback Donovan McNabb is seen on the field prior to an NFL football game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles, in PhiladelphiaGiants Eagles Football, Philadelphia, USA - 19 Oct 2015.

20. Donovan McNabb, Quarterback

  • Year of draft: 1999

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Philadelphia Eagles

  • Total value of rookie contract: $53,700,000

  • Signing bonus: $11,300,000

  • Average contract value: $7,671,429

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Dave Einsel/AP/Shutterstock (9271372au)Houston Texans outside linebacker Mario Williams in the first quarter of an NFL football against the Oakland Raiders game, in HoustonRaiders Texans Football, Houston, USA - 9 Oct 2011.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Dave Einsel/AP/Shutterstock (9271372au)Houston Texans outside linebacker Mario Williams in the first quarter of an NFL football against the Oakland Raiders game, in HoustonRaiders Texans Football, Houston, USA - 9 Oct 2011.

19. Mario Williams, Defensive End

  • Year of draft: 2006

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Houston Texans

  • Total value of rookie contract: $54,000,000

  • Signing bonus: None

  • Average contract value: $9,000,000

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 26: Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy #93 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stands on the field during a timeout against the Minnesota Vikings in the third quarter at Raymond James Stadium on October 26, 2014 in Tampa, Florida.
TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 26: Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy #93 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stands on the field during a timeout against the Minnesota Vikings in the third quarter at Raymond James Stadium on October 26, 2014 in Tampa, Florida.

18. Gerald McCoy, Defensive Tackle

  • Year of draft: 2010

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Total value of rookie contract: $55,000,000

  • Signing bonus: $3,600,000

  • Average contract value: $11,000,000

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Weston Kenney/AP/Shutterstock (6016139z)Chris Long St.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Weston Kenney/AP/Shutterstock (6016139z)Chris Long St.

17. Chris Long, Defensive End

  • Year of draft: 2008

  • Team signed rookie contract with: St. Louis Rams

  • Total value of rookie contract: $55,025,000

  • Signing bonus: None

  • Average contract value: $11,005,000

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Rick Osentoski/AP/Shutterstock (9272825dt)Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) during warm ups before an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers at Ford Field in Detroit49ers Lions Football, Detroit, USA - 27 Dec 2015.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Rick Osentoski/AP/Shutterstock (9272825dt)Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) during warm ups before an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers at Ford Field in Detroit49ers Lions Football, Detroit, USA - 27 Dec 2015.

16. Calvin Johnson, Wide Receiver

  • Year of draft: 2007

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Detroit Lions

  • Total value of rookie contract: $55,500,000

  • Signing bonus: $14,000,000

  • Average contract value: $9,250,000

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Al Behrman/AP/Shutterstock (6478693a)SMITH Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Akili Smith throws a pass during practice in this photo from, in Cincinnati.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Al Behrman/AP/Shutterstock (6478693a)SMITH Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Akili Smith throws a pass during practice in this photo from, in Cincinnati.

15. Akili Smith, Quarterback

  • Year of draft: 1999

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Cincinnati Bengals

  • Total value of rookie contract: $56,000,000

  • Signing bonus: $10,800,000

  • Average contract value: $8,000,000

Read More: The Highest-Paid Player on Every NFL, MLB & NBA Team

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Reed Hoffmann/AP/Shutterstock (9269917ab)Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Tyson Jackson (94) during warm-ups before an NFL football game in Kansas City, MoChargers Chiefs Football, Kansas City, USA - 24 Nov 2013.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Reed Hoffmann/AP/Shutterstock (9269917ab)Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Tyson Jackson (94) during warm-ups before an NFL football game in Kansas City, MoChargers Chiefs Football, Kansas City, USA - 24 Nov 2013.

14. Tyson Jackson, Defensive End

  • Year of draft: 2009

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Kansas City Chiefs

  • Total value of rookie contract: $57,000,000

  • Signing bonus: None

  • Average contract value: $11,400,000

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Wilfredo Lee/AP/Shutterstock (6022953f)Jake Long Miami Dolphins tackle Jake Long (77) on the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, in MiamiSeahawks Dolphins Football, Miami, USA.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Wilfredo Lee/AP/Shutterstock (6022953f)Jake Long Miami Dolphins tackle Jake Long (77) on the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, in MiamiSeahawks Dolphins Football, Miami, USA.

13. Jake Long, Left Tackle

  • Year of draft: 2008

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Miami Dolphins

  • Total value of rookie contract: $57,750,000

  • Signing bonus: None

  • Average contract value: $11,550,000

Vince Young Tennessee Titans qb Vince Young (10) points to a teammate on the sidelines against the New Orleans Saints in the first half of their football game in New OrleansTitans Saints Football, New Orleans, USA.
Vince Young Tennessee Titans qb Vince Young (10) points to a teammate on the sidelines against the New Orleans Saints in the first half of their football game in New OrleansTitans Saints Football, New Orleans, USA.

12. Vince Young, Quarterback

  • Year of draft: 2006

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Tennessee Titans

  • Total value of rookie contract: $58,000,000

  • Signing bonus: None

  • Average contract value: $9,666,667

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Rick Scuteri/AP/Shutterstock (10740330a)Washington Redskins offensive tackle Trent Williams (71) crouches during an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Rick Scuteri/AP/Shutterstock (10740330a)Washington Redskins offensive tackle Trent Williams (71) crouches during an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz.

11. Trent Williams, Left Tackle

  • Year of draft: 2010

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Washington Redskins

  • Total value of rookie contract: $60,000,000

  • Signing bonus: $3,000,000

  • Average contract value: $10,000,000

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Elaine Thompson/AP/Shutterstock (6025647au)Aaron Curry Seattle Seahawks' Aaron Curry at a walkthrough football practice to open training camp, in Renton, WashSeahawks Camp Football, Renton, USA.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Elaine Thompson/AP/Shutterstock (6025647au)Aaron Curry Seattle Seahawks' Aaron Curry at a walkthrough football practice to open training camp, in Renton, WashSeahawks Camp Football, Renton, USA.

10. Aaron Curry, Outside Linebacker

  • Year of draft: 2009

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Seattle Seahawks

  • Total value of rookie contract: $60,000,000

  • Signing bonus: None

  • Average contract value: $10,000,000

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ben Margot/AP/Shutterstock (6026481cm)Robert Gallery Oakland Raiders guard Robert Gallery (76) before an NFL football game in Oakland, CalifBroncos Raiders Football, Oakland, USA.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ben Margot/AP/Shutterstock (6026481cm)Robert Gallery Oakland Raiders guard Robert Gallery (76) before an NFL football game in Oakland, CalifBroncos Raiders Football, Oakland, USA.

9. Robert Gallery, Tackle

  • Year of draft: 2004

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Oakland Raiders

  • Total value of rookie contract: $60,000,000

  • Signing bonus: $8,000,016

  • Average contract value: $8,571,429

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Frank Franklin II/AP/Shutterstock (10951047d)Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald runs the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, in East Rutherford, N.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Frank Franklin II/AP/Shutterstock (10951047d)Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald runs the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, in East Rutherford, N.

8. Larry Fitzgerald, Wide Receiver

  • Year of draft: 2004

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Arizona Cardinals

  • Total value of rookie contract: $60,417,500

  • Signing bonus: $7,500,000

  • Average contract value: $10,069,583

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Paul Sakuma/AP/Shutterstock (6029563aw)JaMarcus Russell Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell (2) in action during the third quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, CalifRavens Raiders Football, Oakland, USA.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Paul Sakuma/AP/Shutterstock (6029563aw)JaMarcus Russell Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell (2) in action during the third quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, CalifRavens Raiders Football, Oakland, USA.

7. JaMarcus Russell, Quarterback

  • Year of draft: 2007

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Oakland Raiders

  • Total value of rookie contract: $61,000,000

  • Signing bonus: None

  • Average contract value: $10,166,667

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Seth Perlman/AP/Shutterstock (6026036ap)St.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Seth Perlman/AP/Shutterstock (6026036ap)St.

6. Jason Smith, Left Tackle

  • Year of draft: 2009

  • Team signed rookie contract with: St. Louis Rams

  • Total value of rookie contract: $61,775,000

  • Signing bonus: None

  • Average contract value: $10,295,833

Read More: 13 NFL Players Who Lost Millions

Michael-Vick
Michael-Vick

5. Michael Vick, Quarterback

  • Year of draft: 2001

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Atlanta Falcons

  • Total value of rookie contract: $62,000,000

  • Signing bonus: $3,000,000

  • Average contract value: $10,333,333

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 13: Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh #93 of the Miami Dolphins in action against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 13, 2015 in Landover, Maryland.
LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 13: Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh #93 of the Miami Dolphins in action against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 13, 2015 in Landover, Maryland.

4. Ndamukong Suh, Defensive Tackle

  • Year of draft: 2010

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Detroit Lions

  • Total value of rookie contract: $63,502,000

  • Signing bonus: None

  • Average contract value: $12,700,400

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 01: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons throws a pass during the first half against the New Orleans Saints at the Georgia Dome on January 1, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 01: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons throws a pass during the first half against the New Orleans Saints at the Georgia Dome on January 1, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.

3. Matt Ryan, Quarterback

  • Year of draft: 2008

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Atlanta Falcons

  • Total value of rookie contract: $67,500,000

  • Signing bonus: $7,450,000

  • Average contract value: $11,250,000

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 20: Quarterback Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions looks down field against the Jacksonville Jaguars during first half action at Ford Field on November 20, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan.
DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 20: Quarterback Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions looks down field against the Jacksonville Jaguars during first half action at Ford Field on November 20, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan.

2. Matthew Stafford, Quarterback

  • Year of draft: 2009

  • Team signed rookie contract with: Detroit Lions

  • Total value of rookie contract: $72,000,000

  • Signing bonus: None

  • Average contract value: $12,000,000

ORCHARD PARK, NY - AUGUST 10:  Sam Bradford #8 hands the ball off to Dalvin Cook #33 of the Minnesota Vikings during the first quarter of a preseason game against the Buffalo Bills on August 10, 2017 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York.
ORCHARD PARK, NY - AUGUST 10: Sam Bradford #8 hands the ball off to Dalvin Cook #33 of the Minnesota Vikings during the first quarter of a preseason game against the Buffalo Bills on August 10, 2017 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York.

1. Sam Bradford, Quarterback

  • Year of draft: 2010

  • Team signed rookie contract with: St. Louis Rams

  • Total value of rookie contract: $78,045,000

  • Signing bonus: $17,975,000

  • Average contract value: $13,007,500

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Methodology: For this piece, GOBankingRates used Spotrac’s NFL Draft Tracker data to find Joe Burrow and the 50 Best Rookie Deals in NFL History. GOBankingRates first found the ten (depending on data availability) largest rookie contracts in terms of total value from the 2020 to 1979 NFL drafts, which is the latest data available. Once these 280 contracts were sourced, GOBankingRates found the following info for all contracts: (1) player name; (2) year of the draft; (3) pick in the draft in which the player was selected; (4) team signed rookie contract with; (5) position played; (6) age at time of signing; (7) college team; (8) length of contract in years; (9) total value of rookie contract; (10) signing bonus; and (11) average contract value calculated by dividing factor (9) by (8). Once all these factors were determined GOBankingRates ranked the contracts solely on the basis of factor (9) with the largest 50 rookie contracts in terms of total value being deemed best. All data was collected and is up to date as of Oct. 5, 2020.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Joe Burrow and the 50 Best Rookie Deals in NFL History