Everyone knows that quarterbacks are the most important players in the NFL, which must mean that star quarterbacks get paid more than anyone else on their teams… right? On average that’s true but this list of the highest paid players compiled by Business Insider shows there are some major exceptions. Let’s go through some of the biggest surprises.
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The most surprising thing we see is that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady isn’t actually the highest paid player on his team, despite being one of the greatest to ever play the game. In fact, the highest paid Patriot is tight end Rob Gronkowski, who will haul in $15 million this year. Brady has signed a very team-friendly deal that opens up more salary cap space for other players and helps the Patriots be a more complete team. And besides, the guy has made enough money in his life and he’s married to a supermodel who makes even more money than he does. So why not take less money than you’re worth if it gives you a better shot at winning another Super Bowl?
Here are some other surprises:
- Aaron Rodgers, who perhaps is the only quarterback in the league right now better than Brady, isn’t the highest paid member of the Green Bay Packers. That honor goes to wide receiver Randall Cobb, who’s making $15.1 million in 2015.
- The highest paid Raven this year is cornerback Jimmy Smith, who’s hauling in $14 million. Smith is a very good corner but he’s never made the Pro Bowl and he’s on a team with veteran stars such as quarterback Joe Flacco and pass rushers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil.
- Cornerback Byron Maxwell is the highest paid Eagle. We have a feeling Chip Kelly already regrets paying the man who was Seattle’s No. 2 corner last year like a No. 1 corner this year.
- Left tackle Joe Thomas is the highest paid Brown at $9 million a year. Actually, this isn’t surprising at all since Thomas has long been the only legitimate star on the Browns ever since getting drafted in 2007. If only he could throw, run and catch as well as block, then the Browns might have actually won a few games more in that time.