The Highest Paid NFL Player Of The Last Decade Revealed

Football. The sweet science. America's pastime. The long awaited answer to the question "how hard do you think we could get those big guys to run into each other?" For decades, American football players were paid on a low, per-game basis, sometimes drawn into the world of professional sports by sweet sign-on bonuses, like when the Baltimore Colts offered their players free post-game beers in the late 1950s. As the times changed, so did the approach to snaring new talented athletes. Players, tipped off by their agents, began to realize that if you had enough money, you could just buy your own beer. Teams needed to start shelling out cash for players, and the bidding wars ballooned over the course of a few scant decades. In 1970, a season minimum of $9,000 was agreed to. By 1986, the average player salary is around $800,000 per season.

Today, according to NBC, a rookie player can expect to make a minimum of $480,000 their first season, and that's just baseline. Seven figure contracts are barely worth a second glance these days, and the outlying player salaries are enough to make even the wealthiest oil baron drop his monocle into his panda meat soup in surprise. How far have things gone? Let's take a look.

A just reward for manning their posts

Surprising basically nobody that's been paying attention, the highest paid NFL player of the last decade is, without a doubt, one of the Manning brothers. Which one? Well, that's a matter of semantics. Eli Manning was ranked number one with a bullet by Business Insider in September of 2019, with a career take of just over $252 million, including a $30 million signing bonus in 2015. That said, Peyton was ranked second at $249.7 million, and that didn't take into account the untold Scrooge McDuck money pools he's accumulated as the irreplaceable thespian powerhouse in those Nationwide Insurance commercials.