The Richest NFL Players – Highest Salaries & Net Worth

NFL

#10 – Carson Palmer (Net Worth: $50 Million)

NFL

Number 10 on our list is none other than Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer. Born in Fresno, California in 1979, Palmer always had a love for football. At a young age he began strengthening his arm to build it up to an increasingly remarkable size. His father obviously noticed and began enrolling him in football classes where he was taught by ex-quarterback Bob Johnson. Palmer began his high school career at Santa Margarita Catholic High School. Even to this day, Palmer states to be very close to God and the church in general, so him going to a catholic school makes sense. He continued playing football all throughout high school where he would catch the attention of several NFL scouts.

After deciding to attend college at the University of Southern California he quickly joined their college football team where he would typically be the quarterback for the latter half of each game. This would change when he joined the Cincinnati Bengals in 2003 as the first overall draft pick. While he didn’t play a single game his rookie year, he went on to become the starting quarterback in his sophomore year.  He played for them until 2010 where he told his coach he wanted to retire. Rather than that happening he was traded to the Oakland Raiders where he became the starting quarterback until he joined up with the Arizona Cardinals in 2013. Since then he has lived in Arizona during football season but when it’s the off-season he and his wife and two children stay in his home state of California.

Outside of playing football, Palmer does numerous other activities. One of them was providing vocals for the Disney animated show The Replacements where he played as himself for quite a number of episodes.

#9 – Jerry Rice (Net Worth: $55 Million)

NFL

If you know football, you know who Jerry Rice is. Widely considered by many to be the greatest wide-receiver of all time, Rice holds many awards and records that have spanned over his impressive 20 year NFL career. Not only that but he has won three super bowl rings for his time playing with the San Francisco 49ers where he played alongside other legends like Joe Montana and Steve Young .


Rice’s love for football started by chance when he was just a kid. Born and raised in Mississippi, Jerry’s father was a brick mason and he and his brother would often times help his father with his work. They would both spend weekends doing a lot of sprinting as well as a lot of tossing bricks to one another, often times from building to building. Rice’s principal took notice of his athleticism and one day when he was ditching school, his principal approached him concerning his attendance and they made a deal that he wouldn’t get suspended so long as he joined the football team. He agreed and the rest is history.

Straight out of high school he went on to play college football at Mississippi Valley State University between the years 1981 – 1984. He and quarterback Willie Totten became close friends and were often times called “The Satellite Duo” for all their record-making plays. This caught the attention of the San Francisco 49ers as well as the Dallas Cowboys but it was San Francisco that chose him before Dallas could. He went on to play with them for more than a decade until he decided to leave in 2000 and join the Oakland Raiders. Though his teammates didn’t like him very much so he requested to be traded to the Seattle Seahawks where he would remain until his retirement. In 2006 he signed a one-day contract with the San Francisco 49ers and retired as one of their own.

#8 – Walter Jones (Net Worth: $65 Million)

NFL

Born in 1974, Jones would play football in high school and college at the Holmes Community College.  He would then transfer to Florida State University where he continued playing under coach Bobby Bowden. Jones played with them from 1995 – 1997 until he decided to drop out in his final year and join the 1997 NFL Draft. It was then he would get picked up by the Seattle Seahawks as an offensive tackle. He is considered by many to be one of, if not the absolute best offensive tackles of all time. Seattle Seahawks coach Michael Holmgren has gone on record to state that Jones is the greatest offensive player he has ever coached.

Weighing in at a hefty 325 pounds, Jones dominated the 2000’s decade when he would go up against teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl. John Madden himself proclaimed Walter Jones as one of the greats in various broadcasts throughout his years in the NFL. Jones participated in exactly 180 games and he started in each and every one of them. His career would thrive up until 2008 when his career came to an abrupt end due to a knee injury. He attempted to continue playing in the 2009 season but ultimately could not and in 2010 he decided to retire.

Since his retirement he has continued to support the Seattle Seahawks as much as possible. He often times attends their games, including their Super Bowl XLVIII victory over the Denver Broncos. His football legacy will never be forgotten as the Seahawks retired his #71 jersey during a game in 2010.

#7 – Joe Montana (Net Worth: $80 Million)

NFL

Regarded by many as the greatest quarterback of all time, Joe Montana was born on June 11th, 1956 in Pennsylvania. Montana was heavily into sports from a young age, being interested in baseball, football and basketball. By the time he was 8 he was already playing for a youth football team that his father encouraged him to join. He went on to study at Finleyville Junior High and then at Ringgold High School. While he was in high school he played all three of the sports he enjoyed, but football would become his main hobby. He was offered a scholarship at North Carolina State University but ultimately declined the offer to play at Notre Dame.

It was his sophomore year in 1975 where Joe Montana would earn the nicknames “The Comeback Kid” and “Joe Cool”. Montana was never a starting quarterback in college as he was always sent into the field during the 4th quarter when their team was behind. He would often times go on successful drives to win games in the very last couple of minutes of the game.

While Montana was very good at the sport of football, he wasn’t widely known. He was drafted to the NFL in 1979 where he would get picked during the end of the third round. He joined the San Francisco 49ers and play with them for 13 seasons. During his time he would go on to win four Super Bowls and essentially became the face of the team. In 1991 he suffered an elbow injury and was unable to play the entire year and most of the following year. While he was injured, San Francisco replaced him with Steve Young who also became a notoriously good quarterback. When Montana recovered, the 49ers coach had no idea who to use as the starting quarterback, as Montana was widely loved but Young had proven himself to be a great quarterback. Montana would eventually request to be traded to the Kansas City Chiefs until his retirement from football in 1995.

#6 – Eli Manning (Net Worth: $80 Million)

NFL

Eli Manning was born in 1981 and is the son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning. He is also the younger brother of the former Indianapolis Colts / Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who appears later on in this list. As a child, Eli, along with his father and older brother would often times all play football together. He attended prep school at Isidore Newman School and then went on to study at the University of Mississippi where he would play college football for their team and earn a degree in marketing.

In 2004 he was drafted first pick by the San Diego Chargers although they made a deal with the New York Giants to trade him for another player, as Manning publicly stated he refused to play football if it’s for San Diego. He went on to play for the Giants and has continued playing for them since 2004 as their starting quarterback. Since his time as the Giant’s quarterback he has gone on to help them win two Super Bowl championships, both times against the New England Patriots. Both times he was awarded the title of MVP, something very few NFL players have been able to accomplish. He has also scored more touchdowns, thrown more yards and completed the most passes of any New York Giant player in the history of the NFL.

He recently completed his 11th year with the Giant’s and signed an $84 million extension which he will receive over the course of the next four years.

#5 – Brett Favre (Net Worth: $100 Million)

NFL

Brett Favre was born in 1969 to parents Bonita and Irvin Favre. Brett’s father could tell that his son was gifted with a good throwing arm from a young age. Because of that he got him into playing both football and baseball at Hancock North Central High School. After he graduated he received a scholarship at the University of Southern Mississippi. At first he was offered a position to play as defensive back but refused because he wanted to play quarterback. The coach agreed and Favre would go on to pass the ball thousands of yards throughout his college football career.

During 1991, Brett Favre was drafted to the Atlanta Falcons. Though he signed a 3-year deal, he would only stay with them for a year as the head coach of the team didn’t approve of the draft and refused to let Favre play any games. The following year he was drafted to the Green Bay Packers where he stayed for a total of 16 seasons. During his time with Green Bay, Favre would go on to win three consecutive MVP awards as well as a Super Bowl victory against the New England Patriots in 1997.

Before the 2008 football season started, Brett Favre decided to retire from the game. Although this wouldn’t last long as he felt guilty for “retiring early” and went on to play for the New York Jets later on in the year. He was then traded to the Minnesota Vikings in 2009 and stayed with them until 2011 when he would officially retire. This retirement became permanent as Favre was tired of dealing with concussions from being hit in the head so often. In 2013 he was offered to return to the NFL by the St. Louis Rams but refused due to suffering memory loss.

#4 – Tom Brady (Net Worth: $120 Million)

NFL

Tom Brady was born in San Mateo, California in 1977. Because he was so close to San Francisco he would regularly watch the 49ers play and grew to idolize their quarterback, Joe Montana. Brady grew up in a catholic family and even to this day he is very religious. His love for football would only grow stronger throughout his childhood as he attended football camp as a child at the College of San Mateo. While he was inspired by Joe Montana, it was Tony Graziani who taught him how to throw the ball. He then attended Junipero Serra High School where he would play both football and baseball, excelling at both sports. After high school Brady attended the University of Michigan and joined their football team. As a quarterback he led their team to the Rose Bowl and succeeded a victory.

Brady managed to get drafted to the MLB but he declined after deciding he wanted to focus solely on football. In 2000 he got drafted to the New England Patriots in the sixth round. Since then he has dominated the sport and led his team to six Super Bowl games, winning a total of four and earning the title of MVP three times. It’s ironic how Tom Brady admired Joe Montana as a child so much because they are the only two people in NFL history to win multiple NFL and Super Bowl MVP awards. Other records that Brady has set include 21 straight NFL wins, has the sixth highest career passer rating and is the first quarterback to throw 50 touchdowns in an entire season.

Just recently he had his contract extended to continue playing for the New England Patriots for two additional years.

#3 – John Elway (Net Worth: $145 Million)

NFL

John Elway is a former NFL quarterback and current general manager for the Denver Broncos. Born in 1960 alongside twin sister in Washington, Elway remained faithful to the Bronco’s for an impressive 16 years. During that time he became one of the most prolific quarterbacks, giving the Bronco’s their very first Super Bowl win in a 31-24 lead against the Green Bay Packers in 1997. They had been to the Super Bowl four times previously but were never able succeed a victory until Elway stepped in as quarterback.

John’s father, Jack Elway had a career as a football coach. Originally he worked in Washington where John was born, at Port Angeles High School but he and his entire family would end up moving to Montana so Jack could work as the head coach for Grays Harbor Community College. John would often times frequent his father’s football practices and games which helped shape him into the football player he is today.

Not only were his football skills impressive but his academic scores were even better. Elway received over 60 scholarships from colleges all around the country but it was Stanford University that really caught his eye. Originally he got drafted to the MLB as a New York Yankee but ultimately decided to stick with football. He officially joined the NFL draft in 1983 where he would get picked up by the Baltimore Colts. Although he would soon be traded as he requested to play on a team that mostly resides on the west coast. At first he was meant to be traded to the San Francisco 49ers and replace Joe Montana as starting quarterback but wound up being traded to the Denver Broncos where he would remain for the rest of his NFL career.

#2 – Peyton Manning (Net Worth: $165 Million)

NFL

Recently retired former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning, elder brother of Eli Manning who was featured on the list earlier on, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 1976. His entire family is filled with professional quarterbacks so it’s no surprise that Peyton himself would go on to become one of the most celebrated quarterbacks of all time and nearly topping the list of richest NFL players. Just like his younger brother, Peyton would attend high school as Isidore Newman School where he would play for their football team. Peyton has an older brother named Archie whom also played high school football at Isidore, but unfortunately suffered a spinal stenosis and was forced to give up the sport. Archie played with the jersey #18 which would be lead on to be worn by Peyton and then finally by Eli, before head coach of the team decided to retire the number permanently.

Peyton would go on to receive more than 60 offers to play college football as he received nation-wide media attention. The University of Tennessee would end up being his top choice and he played for their football team which called themselves The Tennessee Volunteers.

In the 1998 NFL draft, Peyton Manning was selected first by the Indianapolis Colts and would remain with that team for the majority of his NFL career. After being forced to go through a pretty extensive surgery in 2011, he would have to take a year off to focus on recovering and wound up being traded to the Denver Broncos. It is with the Broncos where Peyton would stay until he decided to retire from football in 2016, with his final game being the Super Bowl 50 win. Hey, how can you top that?

In total, Peyton has a tremendous amount of achievements, including five MVP awards and has an all-time highest record for passing yards, with a total of over 71,000.

#1 – Roger Staubach (Net Worth: $600 Million)

NFL

Roger Staubach tops our list as the world’s richest NFL player. He was born in 1942 in Cincinnati, Ohio and would go on to attend Purcell High School when he was a teenager. While he did attend college, it wasn’t your typical college as Roger first started thinking about taking football more serious when he decided to join the U.S. Naval Academy. They have their own football team called the Midshipmen which often times plays against college football teams from all around the United States. He got his first chance to truly show off in 1962 when he played against the University of Minnesota, a game he won. He would then go on to play in the infamous Army-Navy game which featured President John F. Kennedy, just days after settling the Cuba Missile Crisis.

After Roger graduated he decided to enlist once more and fight in the Vietnam War. When he returned he was almost immediately picked up by the Dallas Cowboys, a team he stuck with until his retirement.  Roger then went on to bring the Cowboys to five Super Bowl games, winning two of them. Other accomplishments include being named MVP of Super Bowl VI and he even won the Heisman Trophy.

While Roger no longer plays football, he is still involved with sports by hosting broadcast NFL telecasts. Although he spends the majority of his time being involved politically in any way he can and also runs his own real estate business.

That’s it for the richest NFL players in 2016. I’m sure you noticed that the majority of these players are all quarterbacks which kind of disappointed me. I wish there was more variety but the numbers can’t lie.

Did your favorite NFL player make the list? Let me know in the comments below.


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David Stewart
David Stewart
I really enjoy learning anything I can about a wide variety of subjects. Other hobbies include playing League of Legends, World of Warcraft, and just generally staying current in the going-ons of todays world, from politics to gaming news.

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