With the salary cap on a constant rise, the list of the highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL keeps changing. The current top 10 of average quarterback salaries has one quarterback you can call old (Drew Brees), a few that aren’t that far from there (Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers), three more that have recently hit 30 (Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco) and the relatively new kids on the block (Colin Kaepernick, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill).
Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers – $19 million
There was a big outcry when Kaepernick signed his six-year, $114 million extension, but what people forget is the guaranteed money factor. He got less than $13 million in full guarantees, making it the most team friendly contract on this list. He’ll be entering his fifth NFL season in 2015 and third as a starter off the bat.
Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins – $19.25 million
Tannehill signed a four-year extension to his rookie deal worth $77 million, including $21.5 million in fully guaranteed money. He’ll be starting as the Dolphins quarterback for a fourth consecutive season in 2015, hoping to make the playoffs for the first time.
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints – $20 million
Brees is the old man on this list with 14 NFL seasons behind him. He’s also the only one on this list not playing for the team that drafted him, joining the Saints in 2006 and winning a Super Bowl three years later. He signed a five-year, $100 million deal in 2012, which included $40 million in guaranteed money.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens – $20.1 million
A Super Bowl champion with the Ravens after the 2012 season, which led to Flacco getting that huge six-year, $120.6 million contract that included $29 million in guaranteed money. He’ll be starting his 8th NFL season in 2015.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons – $20.75 million
Another member of the 2008 class, Ryan signed a five-year, $103.75 million extension in 2013 which included $42 million in guaranteed money. He and the Flacons have missed the playoffs these last two seasons.
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers – $20.76 million
Like Tannehill, Newton got his massive extension in the 2015 offseason. The Panthers quarterback signed a five year, $103.8 million contract extension with a relatively low $31 million in guaranteed money. It’s going to be his fifth NFL season in 2015.
Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers – $20.812 million
Maybe the best quarterback in that 2004 class but also the one without a Super Bowl ring, Rivers took his time before signing a four-year, $83.25 million extension with $37.5 million in guaranteed money.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers – $21.85 million
A two-time Super Bowl champion, Roethlisberger started the whole 2015 extension fad for quarterbacks, even the older ones. He got a four year, $87.4 million extension, that includes $34.25 million in guaranteed money.
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks – $21.9 million
The surprise of the 2012 quarterback draft class with two visits to the Super Bowl and one championship ring, Wilson played hard ball while using baseball as part of his negotiation tactics, eventually landing a four-year, $87.6 million extension, including $31.7 million in guaranteed money.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers – $22 million
When quarterbacks want a new deal these days, they use the Rodgers contract as a reference point. It’s a five-year, $110 million contract with $54 million in guaranteed money, which Rodgers earned by winning one Super Bowl and two regular season MVPs.