Average NFL Salary By Position 2023

By Roshan Giri / 9 June 2023 07:38 AM

Nick Shook ranks the most explosive runners of the 2022 NFL season.
Nick Shook ranks the most explosive runners of the 2022 NFL season.( Source : nfl )

Average NFL salary by position in 2023 is $8.9 million for left tackle, $5.3 million for strong safety and $4.8 million for quarterback as reported by Spotrac.

In general, quarterbacks and defensive tackles earn the highest wage among other players, followed by running backs and linebackers, with punters and snappers making the least salary.

According to NFL Players Association, the basic salary for the active roster is a minimum of $750,000. This wage figure will change based on experience. Besides salary, they will receive bonuses and benefits per season.

As per their experience, the average salary will be increased every year and the position also differs in wages of the NFL players.

Average salary range by position

PositionAverage Salary
Running Back$1,797,032
Wide receiver$2,283,083
Tight end$2,041,086
Defensive tackle$2,523,552
Defensive end$2,950,725
Offensive line$2,818,133
Left tackle$8,910,599
Right tackle$5,128,198
Defense line$2,734,252

Average NFL Career Salary

Average NFL salary by year was $2.7 million in 2022 and that number has increased over time.

In the past, players used to play on a per-game basis. After Red Grange signed a deal for nineteen games in 1926 with Chicago Bears at $100,000, he changed the course of history.

During the 1950s, players were earning less than $6000 per season. In 1970, the minimum salary for rookies was $9000 and $10,000 for veterans.

By the start of 1993, it had gone up to $800,000.

Patrick Mahomes contract with the Chiefs is the largest in NFL history by total value.
Patrick Mahomes contract with the Chiefs is the largest in NFL history by total value.( Source : twitter )

In every sport, athletes are rewarded with considerable wages for their performance and skills. Their minimum salary was up to $660,000 in 2021, which surged up from $610,000 in 2020. However, in 2023 the minimum wage went up significantly to around $750,000.

The NFL wages cap is the highest in 2023 at $224.4 million. Cap space for previous years are given below:

2023: $224,800,000 (increase by $16,600,000 )
2022: $208,2000,000 (increase by $25,700,000)
2021: $182,500,000 (decrease by $15,700,000)
2020: $198,200,000 (increase by $10,000,000)
2019: $188,200,000 (increase by $11,000,000)
2018: $177,200,000 (increase by $10,200,000)
2017: $167,000,000 (increase by $11,730,000)
2016: $155,270,000 (increase by $11,990,000)
2015: $143,280,000 (increase by $10,280,000)
2014: $133,000,000 (increase by $9,400,000)
2013: $123,600,000 (increase by $3,000,000)


Average NFL punter salary is $1.5 million per year as of 2023, but it varies from player to player and from team to team. 

In 2023, the highest NFL Punter wage is $3.5 million and the lowest-paid is $750 thousand.

Hekker set the record for the longest punt in Super Bowl history.
Hekker set the record for the longest punt in Super Bowl history.( Source : twitter )

The highest-paid punter in the NFL is Tress Way from Washington Commanders with a salary of $3.5 million. Following him is Cameron Johnston with $3.4 million and Micheal Dickson with $3.3 million.

Daniel Whelan, Ryan Anderson, Nolan Cooney, and Michael Turk have the lowest salary with an average of $705,000.

Washington Commanders has the highest 2023 Cap dollars for punters and Minnesota Vikings has the least.

Player NameAverage punter salary
Tress Way$3.5 million
Cameron Johnston$3.46 million
Michael Dickson$3.3 million
Bryan Anger$3 million
Rigoberto Sanchez$2.9 million


Average NFL quarterback salary is $4.8 million. The top 10 quarterbacks' average wage is around $46.2 million in the 2023 season.

Lamar Jackson excels the five-year contract for $260 million with Baltimore Ravens and became the highest-paid NFL quarterback in 2023 with an average annual salary of $52 million. Jarrett Guarantano from Denver Broncos has the lowest-paid wage with an average of $705,000.

Similarly, Jalen Hurts was the second highest-paid player in the NFL after bagging a $255 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. His total guarantees are the fourth most in NFL history.

Trevor Lawrence with Jacksonville Jaguars and Joe Burrow with Cincinnati Bengals became the highest-paid rookie NFL quarterback with an average annual salary of $9.19 million and $9.05 million respectively.

Players NameAverage quarterback salary
Lamar Jackson$52 million
Jalen Hurts$51 million
Aaron Rodgers$50.27 million
Russell Wilson$48.51 million
Kyler Murray$46.1 million
Deshaun Watson$46 million
Patrick Mahomes$45 million
Josh Allen$43 million
Dak Prescott$40 million
Matthew Stafford$40 million

Backup Quarterback

Average backup quarterback's salary is similar to the quarterback player which is around $4.8 million per season.

Lamar Jackson become the highest paid player in the NFL worth at $260 million.
Lamar Jackson become the highest paid player in the NFL worth at $260 million.( Source : profootballrumors )

Backup Quarterbacks are in a very significant position in the league and it's valuable to have a backup quarterback player in the case of an emergency like injury to the starter.

Carson Wentz is the 12th-highest paid backup quarterback in the NFL with around $32 million. He serves as the backup for Taylor Heinicke.

NFL Kickers Salary

Average kicker salary in NFL at around $2.25 million. There are a total of 43 kickers in the NFL for the 2023 season.

NFL kicker's average salary is the highest for Baltimore Ravens Justin Tucker and Indianapolis Colts Matt Gay. Justin's yearly earnings is $6 million and Matt takes home $5.62 million.

Pittsburgh Steelers Chris Boswell is the fifth most-paid kicker with $5 million.

Detroit Lions Riley Patterson is the lowest-paid kicker in the NFL 2023 season with a salary of $660,000.

Players NameAverage kickers salary
Justin Tucker$6 million
Chris Boswell$5 million
Younghoe Koo$4.8 million
Graham Gano$4.66 million
Daniel Carlson$4.6 million
Ka'imi Fairbairn$4.41 million
Jason Sanders$4.4 million

What Is The Average Salary Of An NFL Lineman

Average NFL linemen's salary is $2.81 million for offensive linemen and $2.73 million for defensive linemen.

Highest paid defensive lineman is Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams with $31.66 million.

Average offensive lineman's salary does not include other compensations and bonuses. Least-paid offensive linemen player in the NFL gets a base salary of $310,000.

Highest Paid Offensive Lineman

Highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL is Houston Texans Laremy Tunsil at $25 million. 

Similarly, Trend Williams holds second place at $23.01 million per season. Calvin Throckmorton, Sam Tecklenburg, and Jake Hanson are the lowest paid Offensive lineman with an average amount of $660,000.

Offensive lineman David Bakhtiari played for Green Bay Packers and is the third highest-paid player in NFL at $23 million per year.

Player nameAverage offensive lineman salary
Laremy Tunsil$25 million
Trent Williams$23.01 million
David Bakhtiari$23 million
Chris Lindstrom$20.5 million
Lane Johnson$20.18 million
Jawaan Taylor$20 million

Wide Receiver

Average Wide Receiver salary in the NFL is 2.28 million in 2023.

Highest paid wide receiver in NFL is Tyreek Hill with $30 million per season. He signed a four-year contract with the Miami Dolphins at $120 million. The lowest-paid wide receiver is Izaiah Gathings from New York Jets with an average salary of $89,833 per season.

Tyreek Hill made his Miami Dolphins debut against the New England Patriots.
Tyreek Hill made his Miami Dolphins debut against the New England Patriots.( Source : twitter )

NFL wide receiver salaries depend on performance and skill, Las Vegas Raiders Davante Adams is in second place at $28 million per year, followed by Rams Cooper Kupp earning $26.7 million per season.

Players nameAverage wide receiver salary
Tyreek Hill$30 million
Davante Adams$28 million
Cooper Kupp$26.7 million
A.J. Brown$25 million
Stefon Diggs$24 million
D.K. Metcalf$24 million


NFL cornerback salaries is an average of $1.99 million with the highest earning $21 million.

Highest paid cornerback in NFL is now the Green Bay Packers Jaire Alexander. His average income is approximately $21 million per year. The lowest-paid cornerback in the NFL for the 2023 season is Kalon Barnes from Minnesota Vikings with $235,000.

Similarly, Browns cornerback player Denzel Ward is in second place with a salary of $20.1 million per year.

Jaire Alexander was selected by the packers in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Jaire Alexander was selected by the packers in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.( Source : twitter )

Alexander has an $8 million bonus on the third day of the 2024 league year and gets an $11.45 million roster bonus because of the first day of the 2023 season year.

Players nameAverage cornerback salary
Jaire Alexander$21 million
Denzel Ward$20.1 million
Marshon Lattimore$19.52 Million
Marlon Humphrey$19.5 million
Jalen Ramsey$18.33 million
Xavien Howard$18 million
Tre'Davious White$17.25 million

Running Back

Average running back salary is around $1.79 million. It is the fifth lowest value with long snapper earning the least at $1 million.

Highest paid running back in NFL is Christian McCaffrey with $16 million. Alvin Kamara was traded to the New Orleans Saints at $15 million. Detroit Lions Craig Reynolda became the lowest-paid running back with an average amount of $108,000.

McCaffrey's 2020 contract extension with the Panthers made him the highest-paid running back player in the league.

Players NameAverage running back Salary
Christian McCaffrey$16.01 million
Alvin Kamara$15 million
Dalvin Cook$12.6 million
Derrick Henry$15.5 million
Nick Chubb$12.2 million
Joe Mixon$12 million
Aaron Jones$12 million

Who Is The Highest Paid Defensive Player In The NFL

Highest paid defensive player in the NFL is Aaron Donald with an average annual salary of $31.66 million. 

Aaron Doland three year contract with Los Angeles Rams in June at $95 million makes him the highest-paid player. There are just 12 quarterback players with higher average wages than Donald.

Los Angeles Rams Jake Hummel and Cleveland Browns Dallis Flowers both became the lowest-paid defensive players in the NFL with an average salary of $855,000.

Aaron Donald hold the record of three time Defensive player of the year.
Aaron Donald hold the record of three time Defensive player of the year. ( Source : instagram )

Highest paid defensive player in the second position is Pittsburgh Steelers T.J. Watt at $28 million and Chargers Defensive end Joey Bosa holds finishes off at place three with a wage of $27 million.

Players nameAverage defensive players salary
Aaron Donald$31.66 million
T.J. Watt$28 million
Joey Bosa$27 million
Myles Garrett$25 million
Khalil Mack$23.5 million
Maxx Crosby$23.5 million
Jeffery Simmons$23.5 million

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