It is no surprise that the top 10 highest-paid players in the NFL are quarterbacks. However, one of the names on the list of these insanely rich gunslingers feels like he's way too high up on the list of the league's elite quarterbacks.
That player is none other than reigning Super Bowl champion Matthew Stafford of the Los Angeles Rams. Don't get me wrong, Stafford is a formidable veteran quarterback, and it's highly unlikely that the Rams would've won it all last year without him under center, but he comes in at No. 2 on this list under arguably the greatest player of all time, Tom Brady.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting quarterback is worth his weight in gold. Yes, Brady is 45 and potentially headed into his final season in the NFL, but few would argue he's not worth the $75 million he's set to earn between what the Bucs are paying and what he'll make off the field.
Stafford, however, seems like a stretch at $65.5 million. There's no doubt he's the missing piece to the championship puzzle for the Rams, as he proved last season, but that's a lot of money, especially considering which players are making less below him on this list.
Aaron Rodgers ($53 million) of the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs superstar Patrick Mahomes ($51.5 million) making considerably less than Stafford seems crazy. Even Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills coming in at $51 million is questionable.
The marketability of all these quarterbacks mentioned is extremely high. Rodgers may have taken a hit with his off-the-field antics over the past couple of years, but he's still a four-time NFL MVP and one of the most popular and polarizing players in the game.
If this list shows us anything, it's the earning power that comes with playing for a winner in a massive market like Los Angeles. If Rodgers were playing in Chicago rather than Green Bay, maybe he'd be making more. The same could be said if Mahomes was in Dallas rather than Kansas City or Allen in New York City rather than Buffalo.
One professional athlete that really turned up his earnings recently was LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers. James recently became the first billionaire to be actively playing in the NBA, and there's no way that's happening if he was still in Cleveland. There's no doubt he still would have a lot of off-the-court ventures in Cleveland, but playing in Los Angeles is another beast entirely, and James is living proof of that.
The craziest part of this list is what if Brady had chosen to play for the Rams or Los Angeles Chargers. He's earning $75 million in Tampa Bay, of all places. If he chose L.A., those earnings would almost certainly skyrocket with all the extra endorsements coming his way.
Stafford's move to the bright lights of Hollywood was equivalent to him winning the lottery. He hit the jackpot on and off the field, with plenty more money to be made as the face of the Rams franchise moving forward.