Which players have the highest career earnings in NFL history?

The RICHEST players in NFL history play the position you expect...
New York Jets v Miami Dolphins
New York Jets v Miami Dolphins / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

Some players who have come and gone in the NFL did so while raking in an insane amount of money. Which players have earned the most all-time? As you can imagine, the quarterback position has the most well-compensated players in the history of the NFL. Quarterbacks get paid the most now and will likely always be paid the most.

Being one of the highest-earning players in the NFL is something that takes quite a bit of time, and as you'll see on this list, these players have played in the NFL for quite some time. Who are the highest-earning players in the history of the NFL?

Which players have the highest career earnings in NFL history?
5. Kirk Cousins - $281,469,288

Kirk Cousins is going to end up in the Hall of Fame for player-friendly contracts. Cousins has really taken full advantage of his earning potential in the NFL by signing short-term contracts that are all or nearly all guaranteed. And for that reasons, he's already the fifth-highest earning player in NFL history, and he'll likely creep into the top three within the next couple of seasons.

4. Matt Ryan - $306,205,882

Playing for the Atlanta Falcons and Indianapolis Colts, Matt Ryan's Hall of Fame case might be a debate for quite some time. He won the MVP award and infamously helped the Falcons get out to a 28-3 lead in Super Bowl 51. We all know what happened next.

3. Tom Brady - $317,619,794

You'd think that since Tom Brady played for so long, he'd be hire on this list, but Brady constantly took lesser deals with the idea that the extra money that Brady could have made but wasn't could go to improving the roster. He was truly the ultimate team-first player, but he still earned over $300 million during his time in the NFL.

2. Matthew Stafford - $328,000,000

Still hanging around, Matthew Stafford has earned $328 million in the NFL between the Detroit Lions and the Los Angeles Rams. Stafford is set to enter his age-36 season, so he may not have a ton of time left, but he's surely made his financial mark. Stafford and the LA Rams won the Super Bowl in 2021.

He's another player who will have quite the interesting Hall of Fame debate.

1. Aaron Rodgers - $343,531,094

As it stands right now, no one in the history of the NFL has earned more money than Aaron Rodgers, who missed just about all of the 2023 NFL Season with a torn Achilles. Rodgers will turn 41 late in the season, so he might be in his last year or two. Rodgers hasn't really been one to take discounts, but he did effectively give some money back to the Jets earlier this offseason.

It's clear that the organization is going all-in on Rodgers for the time he's got left, so perhaps that was Rodgers acting favorably towards the team because of the all-in push.