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Highest Paid Quarterbacks in the NFL

The 2022 NFL season has nearly run its course but there are still some big issues to be decided ahead of the NFC and AFC Conference games.

While pundits weigh up their NFL expert picks and check out the markets for the Super Bowl, most franchises are already looking ahead to next season and many of those will be looking for a new quarterback or weighing up whether to give their current quarterback a bigger deal.

Those deals can be spectacular. Quarterbacks rank among the highest-paid NFL stars, and for good reason. The responsibility and pressure that goes with the position are immense, and so the rewards should be equally impressive. Check out this list of the current top-paid quarterbacks in the NFL.

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Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

The NFC has had more than its share of controversy this season, but Aaron Rodgers has once again been at the center of ongoing speculation and debate.

The drama that dogged the Packers in the first part of the last offseason was ultimately resolved by Green Bay awarding their star quarterback a huge contract extension of $150.8 million, with over $100 million guaranteed. The idea behind this move was to ensure that Rodgers would see out the rest of his career in Green Bay, enabling the franchise to build for the future around him.

However, it hasn’t quite worked out that way. The Packers finished 8-9 and missed the playoffs, while Rodgers had a poor season and refused to rule out retiring or moving to another franchise. 

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Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos

Broncos fans, you may want to skip ahead because this section will make for painful reading. Last summer, Denver brought Wilson east from Seattle on a mega $245 million five-year deal. He was supposed to be the missing piece that would turn the Broncos into Super Bowl contenders.

Instead, Denver has had a disastrous season. They are bottom of the scoring charts and bottom of the AFC West, they finished 5-12 and were nowhere near contention for the playoffs. Head coach Nathaniel Hackett paid the price with his job, but Broncos fans would probably have liked to see Wilson leave as well. Given his quarter-of-a-billion-dollar contract, however, Denver will be stuck with him for the foreseeable future.

Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals

One of the other blockbuster contracts of 2022 was Kyler Murray’s deal with the Arizona Cardinals. After a protracted and not entirely amicable negotiation period with the Cardinals’ front office, Murray ended up with a five-year deal worth $230.5 million, including $189.5 million in guarantees.

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While Murray’s season was not as much of a bust as Russell Wilson’s, it was some way short of what was expected for the third most expensive quarterback in the league. The Cardinals finished 4-13, at the bottom of the NFC West, with the second-worst defensive record in the NFL.There were well-publicized arguments between the quarterback and head coach and Murray tore an ACL, which will keep him out for months and possibly sideline him for the start of the 2023 season.

Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns

When the Cleveland Browns gave Deshaun Watson the first fully guaranteed contract in NFL history, they were taking a gamble¾a gamble that many felt they should not be involved in. When Watson was not charged criminally for his alleged multiple offenses against more than 20 women, the Browns jumped at the chance to sign the former Houston Texans quarterback.

Suspension and injury kept Watson out of action until Week 13. Thereafter, he led the team to three wins and three losses, in a middling series of performances that didn’t exactly signal that he was back to his best. The Browns will be hoping that the rust has been shaken off and that Watson will earn his money in 2023.

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Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City committed itself to Patrick Mahomes long-term in 2020, signing him up for a 10-year, $450 million contract, with $63.08 million guaranteed.While that is a lot of money, in comparison to some of the deals above, it rates as the bargain of the century.

It is certainly hard to argue that Mahomes hasn’t earned his money. His six seasons with the Chiefs have produced five AFC Championship appearances, two Super Bowls, and one Lombardi Trophy win, with more successes sure to follow¾potentially this year¾as the Chiefs are once again in the Conference final.

In a league that is full of talented young quarterbacks, Mahomes stands above the rest of his generation and is a legitimate contender to one day match Tom Brady’s achievements. As Chiefs fans will tell you, he is worth every penny of that $450 million.

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