Agent’s Take: Cowboys’ Dak Prescott tops list of NFL’s 10 highest-paid players in 2021

Determining the highest paid NFL players every year is more difficult than their counterparts in the NBA and MLB. NFL contracts are often preloaded with signing bonuses because the deals are not fully guaranteed. This creates more variance on a yearly basis.

Wages are often deferred in the most profitable direction NFL contract. When a player has a large signing bonus on his contract, part of the money will not be received until the next calendar year in many cases.

Salary deferral is a well-established practice in the NFL. Seven-year, $98 million contract Peyton Manning signed with Colts in March 2004, making him the league’s highest-paid player (by median salary), which included a then NFL-record signing bonus of $34.5 million. dollars, of which $18.5 million of the $34.5 million had not been paid to Manning as of March 2005.

The chart below contains notable pay deferrals through 2022.



Total signing bonus

Amount of deferred payment

Date of payment

Jonathan Allen





brave cat

Sugarcane seller

20,000,000 dollars



Darius Leonard


20,000,000 dollars

$ 10,000,000


TJ Watt



$ 10,000,000

May 31, 2022

Joe Thuney





Braden Smith





Determining the highest-paid player in a particular year has become a more complicated endeavor because the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement changed the payment schedule of the base salary. Starting this year, base pay is being paid twice as many weeks in the regular season. Fifty percent is paid throughout the regular season, with the final payment coming at the end of 36 weeks. This means that the final payment of the 2021 base salary will be in early May 2022.

Players who convert base salary into contract bonuses for the purpose of salary cap will have a more favorable payment schedule. The auto-switching rights groups attached to NFL player contracts do not reflect this change. The redemption amount is usually paid in equal installments over the course of 18 weeks of the regular season. If conversion is not included in the contract, the player’s agent can negotiate even more favorable payment terms.

Here are the 10 highest paid NFL players for 2021. The only money considered is from NFL player contracts and is pre-tax (i.e. gross earnings). Sixteen of the usual 18 seasonal weeks are in calendar year 2021. Since the two regular games of the season will be played in January 2022, the players are considered to receive 44.4% of their base salary in 2021. The last game of last season took place in May. 1 in 2021, so the base salary as of January 17, 2020 is also reflected in the calculations.

Prescott takes the top spot largely because he’s getting nearly all of his NFL-record $66 million signing bonus from the four-year, $160 million deal he signed in March of the year. 2021 solar calendar. He received $25 million out of $66 million within 15 days of signing the $40 million annual contract. The remaining $41 million will be paid in equal parts during the 2021 season. Prescott is one of two returning from last year’s roster. He’s eighth in playing below $31.409 million in revenue in 2020.

The six-year, $138.06 million deal Williams signed in free agency to stay with the 49ers makes him the NFL’s highest-paid offensive lineman at $23.01 million la every year. His $30.1 million signing bonus is also the biggest bonus ever in a contract with the offensive lineman. The last of three installments in the amount of $30.1 million was paid out on October 31.

3. Tom Brady: $29,735,131

Brady was another returnee on last year’s list. He’s ninth in 2020. Brady will be second if $15 million of the $20 million signing bonus from a one-year contract extension he signed in March isn’t postponed to February. 2022. His 2021 compensation includes $3.375 million in incentives earned during the 2020 season that was paid out in March.

Williams, who was named a franchise player by the Giants for the second year in a row, signed a three-year, $66 million deal. Fully guaranteed $45 million, including $22.5 million in signing bonuses, is the highest figure ever in a Giants contract. Williams will receive the full signing bonus, split into four payments, on December 22.

Ryan wouldn’t have been on this list if the Falcons hadn’t created the $14 million 2021 salary cap space by converting $21 million of his $23 million 2021 base salary into a Squad bonuses are prorated like signing bonuses. He is benefiting from a more favorable payment schedule with salary conversions. $21 million paid in equal installments over 18 weeks of the regular season. Additionally, $5 million of the $6.95 million in salary conversions in March 2020 remained unpaid as of April 15.

The first overall pick in 2021 has allowed Jaguars to do something they’ve never done before. Lawrence’s $24,118,900 signing bonus is paid out once within 15 business days of his contract being executed. The typical Jaguars payment schedule for the first round select contract signing bonus is half within 15 business days of signing and the other half by the end of March next year.

The NFL’s 2016 Defensive Rookie of the Year signed a five-year, $135 million extension, averaging $27 million per year with $102 million in overall security during last year’s training camp. $102 million is the most guaranteed amount ever for a non-midfield company. As for Bosa’s $35 million signing bonus, $17.5 million has been deferred until this past March 31.

8. TJ Watt: $23,879,398

Watt became the NFL’s highest unpaid quarterback with a 4-year, $112,011 million extension, averaging $28,002,750 per year just before the start of the regular season. More surprisingly, the Steelers abandoned a longstanding contract precedent where a signing bonus was the only guaranteed payoff to give Watt the most fully guaranteed signing-up in NFL history. for a non-midfielder for $80 million. The $35 million signing bonus, of which $10 million isn’t due until next May, is part of a fully guaranteed $80 million pool.

As second overall pick in 2021, Wilson signed a fully guaranteed four-year contract for $35,150,680, including a $22,924,132 signing bonus. The signing bonus was paid once on August 15th.

A 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 fourth-round pick were awarded to the Falcons for a disgruntled Jones and a 2023 sixth-round pick in June. The Titans assume that the remaining three years on Jones’ contract running through the 2023 season are worth $38,326 million in the transaction. The $14 million salary conversion for salary cap purposes is paid in equal installments during the 2021 regular season and the deferred $11 million payment needed for the Falcons to receive their 2023 contract year. Jones in March 2020 makes up the bulk of his 2021 compensation. Agent’s Take: Cowboys’ Dak Prescott tops list of NFL’s 10 highest-paid players in 2021

Subhankar Mondal

24ssports is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button