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Average NFL Salary by Position

Average NFL Salary by Position

The NFL (National Football League) players reportedly mint big bucks, since the job entails so much of hard work and stress. The SportsAspire article below enlists the average NFL salary by position.
Medha Godbole
"The difference between a successful person and others is not lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather, a lack of will." ― Vince Lombardi, NFL Player and Coach

American football players, who are a part of the NFL teams, are known to follow the motto, 'Work hard, and party hard!'. This is pretty much true for many of them who obtain brilliant pay checks. Moreover, if the player is a mainstream player and is always on the active roster of the team, he is sure going to get a handsome amount. Of course, the money is a result of the extreme hard work, patience, and sportsman spirit. They play their hearts out and earn well too. Nevertheless, the figures have always been intriguing to the layman. Enlisted in the paragraphs below are the salary ranges for the NFL players according to the position.
An Introduction
  • You need to understand the positions in the NFL prior to the salary information.
  • All the teams have 22 players - players in football are called starters. Out of 22, there are 11 each on the offense and defense side.
  • The defense side has the following positions: two tackles, two defensive ends, two safeties, two cornerbacks, and three linebackers.
  • The offense side has the following positions: two tackles, two guards, two running backs, one quarterback, one center, one tight end, and two wide receivers.
  • The pay varies as per the position, and the pay for each position also varies with every season.
Determinants of Salary
In NFL, a few other factors beside the position affect the salary as well. These factors include:
  • The skills of a player are certainly crucial role in deciding his pay.
  • Statistics depict that high skill demonstration on the field leads to better remuneration.
  • Interestingly, even a rookie player (who may have not even taken a single snap as a pro player) can earn more than his pro counterparts. The reason is the sheer potential and raw skill he can bring to the table.
League Average
  • There are rules, which have been laid down by the league regarding player salaries.
  • According to those regulations and as per the NFL Players Association's Collective Bargaining Agreement with the league, the salaries to all players includes a minimum basic amount. This, of course, increases with the experience and skills.
  • The salary is also determined by some other factors, like signing bonus, salary cap, the requirement of that player for a team, and contracts drawn by players in the same capacity.
  • That can lead to the increase and decrease in salary.
Average Salary Range
  • As mentioned before, the player position is considered for the salary.
  • In general, quarterbacks and defensive tackles are known to earn the most, followed by running backs and linebackers, with the safeties and tight-ends receiving the lowest salaries.
  • The minimum, basic salary a player on the active roster obtains, is between USD 400,000 to USD 435,000, as per the NFL Players Association.
  • This money is guaranteed for the players. In addition, they receive bonus and benefits per season as well.
  • As per experience, the salary increases every year. An experience of half a decade would lead to a salary of USD 700,000 to USD 750,000.
  • An experience of 10 years will pay salaries as high as USD 990,000.
  • As per the position, statistics reveal the latest figures to be as follows:
Position Salary (in million)
Quarterback 16 to 16.3
Defensive End 13 to 13.2
Defensive Tackle 9 to 9.7
Running Back 9 to 9.55
Wide receiver 12 to 12.4
Cornerback 11 to 12
Safety 8 to 8.4
Tight End 7 to 7.2
Linebacker 11 to 11.5
Offensive Lineman 11 to 11.7
Punter/Kicker 3 to 3.6

These figures, however are not the last word regarding the salaries of the NFL players. These amounts and numbers are very fluid, (but nothing too drastic) and keep on changing all the time. These figures will merely give you an idea.
At the end of the day, statistics say that if the salary of the quarterback is deducted from the overall money spent on the offense and then it's compared with the defense, it amounts to less. All in all, it is a numbers game, and some players do have luck on their side along with talent and hard work.