Who are the highest-paid NFL players in the 2023 season?

Joe Burrow's massive contract extension puts him atop the list

Burrow, Herbert
Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson and Jalen Hurts lead the NFL's highest-paid players.

It’s a good time to be a star quarterback in the NFL.

Joe Burrow was the latest signal caller to get paid after reportedly agreeing to a five-year, $275 million deal with the Cincinnati Bengals on opening night.

It follows Justin Herbert, who agreed to a five-year, $262.5 million extension with the Los Angeles Chargers in July.

Burrow's deal makes him the highest-paid player in NFL history in terms of average annual value ($55 million), just edging out Herbert ($52.5 million), Baltimore Ravens 2019 MVP Lamar Jackson ($52 million) and Philadelphia Eagles star Jalen Hurts ($51 million).

With Burrow now at the top of the list, here’s a look at the highest-paid players for the upcoming season:

Who are the highest-paid NFL players for 2023?

It’s no surprise that the list of the NFL’s 20 highest-paid players is littered with quarterbacks. The top 15 players in average annual salary are all signal-callers.

Prior to Burrow's record-setting deal, the aforementioned Herbert led the way with his five-year, $262.5 million deal, which topped Jackson's five-year, $260 million deal and Hurts' five-year, $255 million extension.

Just behind Hurts is Aaron Rodgers, who is the only other player with an average annual value of over $50 million.

Three other quarterbacks round out the top eight: Russell Wilson ($48.5 million), Kyler Murray ($46.1 million) and Deshaun Watson ($46 million).

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is just outside the top level, coming in at No. 9 with an average salary of $45 million. The reigning league MVP and Super Bowl MVP is somehow underpaid, considering the players who make more than him.

To find the first non-quarterback, you have to go all the way to Nick Bosa at No. 16. The San Francisco 49ers defensive end – and reigning Defensive Player of the Year – has a reported average salary of $34 million.

Here’s a complete look at the top 20 (per Spotrac):

1. Joe Burrow, Bengals QB: $55 million

2. Justin Herbert, Chargers QB: $52.5 million

3. Lamar Jackson, Ravens QB: $52 million 

4. Jalen Hurts, Eagles QB: $51 million

5. Aaron Rodgers, Jets QB: $50.27 million

6. Russell Wilson, Broncos QB: $48.52 million

7. Kyler Murray, Cardinals QB: $46.1 million

8. Deshaun Watson, Browns QB: $46 million

9. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs QB: $45 million

10. Josh Allen, Bills QB: $43 million

T-11. Daniel Jones, Giants QB: $40 million

T-11. Dak Prescott, Cowboys QB: $40 million

T-11. Matthew Stafford, Rams QB: $40 million

14. Derek Carr, Saints QB: $37.5 million

15. Kirk Cousins, Vikings QB: $35 million

16. Nick Bosa, 49ers DE: $34 million

17. Jared Goff, Lions QB: $33.5 million

18. Aaron Donald, Rams DT: $31.67 million

19. Tyreek Hill, Dolphins WR: $30 million

20. Ryan Tannehill, Titans QB: $29.5 million

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