It’s no secret that quarterbacks earn a lot of money. If you’re one of the best, you’ll make crazy amounts of cash. So let’s look at the top 20 richest NFL quarterbacks of all time.
Top Richest Quarterbacks of All Time
While much of the world lives paycheck to paycheck, the top wealthiest quarterbacks can indulge in just about whatever they like. Each quarterback has brought something unique to the field, earning them a big, fat paycheck.
20. Cam Newton Net Worth - $75 Million
From 2011 through 2019, this quarterback for the Carolina Panthers had some exceptional contracts. He earned $5.5 million through the 2014 season before signing a five-year extension of his contract with a worth of $103.8 million. He also made millions through endorsement deals with brands like Danon, Under Armor, Gatorade, and Beats by Dre.
According to DetroitSportsNation.com, Newton just signed a one-year contract with the Lions. Apparently, it was offered to Cam while having some beer and mozzarella sticks, proving big guys with lots of talent always have fun.
19. Phil Rivers Net Worth - $80 Million
No one can accuse Phil Rivers of not being loyal. Most of his time with the NFL was spent playing for the San Diego Chargers. He spent his final season playing for the Indiana Colts before retiring in 2020. Despite his obvious talent, Phil has the distinction of having never made it to a Super Bowl.
The quarterback earned plenty during his NFL career. Enough so that he’s taken on a new, unexpected role in football. He announced in 2021 that he planned to step in as head coach for the St. Michael Catholic High School football team in Alabama.
18. Derek Carr Net Worth - $80 Million
It’s not uncommon to see multiple family members on the field, and Derek Carr’s family is no different. He’s the little brother of former quarterback David Carr. While the elder Carr has moved on to be an NFL Network Analyst, Derek is still on the field.
According to Spotrac.com, Derek recently signed a contract with the New Orleans Saints. The deal includes a $28,500,000 signing bonus, a guaranteed $100,000,000, and an average yearly salary of $37,500,000 for 2023. But, of course, there’s much more money in the deal, so don’t be surprised if Carr rises the ranks of the richest NFL quarterbacks of all time over the next few years.
17. Matthew Stafford Net Worth - $80 Million
Being a first-round pick is a good sign that you’ll make some decent money playing in the NFL. Stafford was that first-round pick in 2009, and he went on to become the fourth quarterback to throw more than 5,000 yards in a single season in the NFL.
The quarterback played with the Detroit Lions for most of his NFL career. Unfortunately, they never got that Super Bowl ring during his time on the team. Still, $80 million is a pretty great reward when it’s all said and done.
16. Joe Flacco Net Worth - $85 Million
Flacco bounced around a bit in his NFL career, playing for the Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, and Denver Broncos. Flacco led the Ravens to a Super Bowl win in 2013, making him a valuable quarterback. That win led to a new contract with the Ravens, making him the highest-paid player in the NFL at that time.
15. Carson Palmer Net Worth - $90 Million
Palmer played mainly for the Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals during his career. He delivered significantly strong performances with the Bengals, but it wasn’t enough for him. So Palmer moved from the Bengals to the Oakland Raiders for two years, then to the Arizona Cardinals.
Although the quarterback played well throughout his 15 seasons in the NFL, it wasn’t his talent that moved him to retire. Unfortunately, injuries sidelined and forced the strong athlete to retire in 2017. Still, he made enough money to do anything he wanted with his retirement.
14. Alex Smith Net Worth - $95 Million
Everyone loves a good comeback story, and Alex Smith has a great one. The quarterback underwent surgery for a leg injury in 2018 and had an infection develop from there. This situation was dire because the infection could have taken his leg.
The quarterback had 16 more surgeries, two years of rehab, and then returned to the NFL in 2020. He’s played for the Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers, and Washington Redskins. But, after all was said and done, the comeback kid decided to retire after 16 seasons of playing in the NFL.
13. Ben Roethlisberger Net Worth - $100 Million
Roethlisberger is a two-time Super Bowl champ and is best known for being the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2004. He started strong when he was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year.
He followed that up by being the youngest quarterback to win a Superbowl. He was only 23 years old at the time. With such a strong start, it’s no wonder he’s on the richest quarterback of all time list.
12. Brett Favre net Worth - $100 Million
Quarterbacks like Favre must know that sticking with a single team for an extended period can lead to great things. He played for the Green Bay Packers for most of his career before short stints with the Atlanta Falcons, NY Jets, and Minnesota Vikings. Favre racked up 20 years playing in the NFL with a Super Bowl win, went to 11 Pro Bowls, and made First Team All-Pro three times.
11. John Elway Net Worth - $145 Million
If you’re a quarterback who went to the Super Bowl five times, you’d be exactly like John Elway. Elway is another quarterback who proved to be a devoted team member. He played his whole career with the Denver Broncos.
John continued to be faithful to his beloved Broncos after retirement. He’s been the team’s general manager and the president of football operations. So it seems the former quarterback knows where his home and heart will stay as long as possible.
10. Joe Montana Net Worth - $150 Million
You make a lot of money when you have four Super Bowl wins under your belt. That’s just what Joe Montana did, taking the title of the championship’s Most Valuable Player award three times.
Since retiring, Montana is still making money as a venture capital advisor. He’s taken his focused approach and ability to make firm decisions in high-pressure situations off of the field to continue growing his already significant wealth in another career.
9. Eli Manning Net Worth - $160 Million
After 16 seasons playing with the New York Giants, Manning can boast two Super Bowl wins. The quarterback also earned himself two Super Bowl MVP titles. When Manning retired in 2020, he was making the most money of any player in the history of the NFL.
8. Drew Brees Net Worth - $160 Million
Sports Illustrated quickly recognized what an incredible quarterback Drew Brees was and gave him their Sportsperson of the Year award multiple times. He played for an astounding 20 seasons and is the record holder for successfully throwing consecutive game touchdown passes.
7. Russell Wilson Net Worth - $165 Million
Wilson played with the Seattle Seahawks from 2012 through 2021 before switching to the Broncos. The quarterback has made it to the Super Bowl twice and won one of those games. The athlete has stated that he has “an obsession with winning,” according to Daquan.tv, and it seems to be paying off in his paychecks.
6. Steve Young Net Worth - $200 Million
When you’re being compared to what many consider the best quarterback of all time, you’re darn good. Steve Young has been compared to Joe Montana, and it couldn’t be a better motivator in performance and earning power. In fact, he was Montana’s backup quarterback until 1991, when an injury took Montana out of the game.
Young took advantage of his opportunity and became the starting quarterback for the 49ers. The quarterback earned the MVP honor for the league in 1992 and 1994. He also helped his team with the Super Bowl in 1995.
While many people wouldn’t make it out of the shadow of a player like Montana, Young was able to do it. He played 15 seasons with the NFL and did pretty well for himself according to his net worth.
5. Aaron Rodgers Net Worth - $200 Million
Rodgers is another committed quarterback, having only played with the Green Bay Packers when he was drafted in the first round in 2005. He had some pretty big shoes to fill when Brett Favre left the team, and he’s stepped up to the plate.
Not only does he enjoy considerable compensation for his athletic abilities, but he’s also caught the eye of various brands for ads and endorsements. For example, you can see him in Pizza Hut and State Farm commercials. Rodgers also has a stake in the NBA team, Milwaukee Bucks, keeping his interests diverse and profitable.
4. Tom Brady Net Worth - $250 Million
Everyone knows who Tom Brady is and that he’s worth a lot of money. He played with the New England Patriots for 20 years before moving on to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020. During his time with the Patriots, he played in nine Super Bowls. He led his team to win six of those Super Bowls.
Brady has won four Super Bowl MVP awards and three NFL MVP awards. When he moved to the Tampa Bay Bucs, Tom got a two-year agreement that earned him a nice $50 million, including $9 million in bonus incentives.
Although Tom had a high-profile marriage end around the time he made changes in his NFL career, it doesn’t seem to have affected his bottom line. Tom Brady earned every penny of his net worth and has been able to hold onto it.
3. Peyton Manning Net Worth - $250 Million
Football runs in the Manning family. Peyton is the son of NFL quarterback Archie Manning and the older brother to Eli. Peyton played for 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and moved on to another four seasons with the Denver Broncos. For a little extra cash to pad his net worth, he’s had several opportunities to endorse significant brands, and can be seen in commercials for Buick, DirecTV, and more.
2. Frank Tarkenton Net Worth - $300 Million
Tarkenton is a millionaire because of his stellar football career and post-football endeavors. The quarterback initially played for the Minnesota Vikings before moving on to play with the New York Giants and then returning to the Vikings.
After leaving the field for good, Tarkenton became a well-known voice on “Monday Night Football” and as a co-host on “That’s Incredible.” The former NFL player is also a computer software executive, making his net worth soar.
1. Roger Staubach Net Worth - $600 Million
The top net worth on this list is unimaginable for most people – even current NFL players! This spot belongs to Roger Staubach, who played for the Dallas Cowboys after being drafted in the tenth round back in 1964. He spent time playing on the field until 1969, which was after he was done with his four-year military commitment.
After a slow start, Staubach became the starting quarterback in the eighth week of the 1971 season. The quarterback led the team to ten wins in a row and their first Super Bowl victory in 1972. He would remain in his position to lead the Cowboys to their second Super Bowl win in 1977.
Once Staubach retired, he became involved in real estate and has ownership stakes in several successful businesses. While he’s sold some of his business interests, he’s done well enough to have claimed the top spot on this list, even if some didn’t come from his exceptional NFL career.
The Richest NFL Quarterbacks… For Now
The list of the wealthiest quarterbacks has many recent and current players, along with a surprising few names from several seasons ago. With new contracts and agreements being renewed and renegotiated every year, this list will likely change right along with them.
Football is big business, and teams are willing to pay top dollar to get the best players on their roster for a shot at playing in the Super Bowl. If you’re an athlete and dream of being on a list like this someday, it’s absolutely possible. Work hard, work smart, and be exceptional.
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Written by Maria McCutchen
Read more posts by Maria McCutchen