National Football League player contracts are a bit unfair when compared with the deals athletes receive from National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball franchises. NFL contracts carry with them only so much guaranteed money when those stipulations are included, which is harsh when you consider that pro football players put their bodies on the line each time they enter the field of battle. Those who are the best in the business make millions upon millions of dollars per the terms of their contracts, sure, but their earnings represent only a fraction of the money that the NFL earns in revenue every year.
There are several components that factor into what Spotrac has labeled to be the biggest NFL contracts for 2015. The NFL has a hard salary cap, and thus even the best players in the league can realistically only make so much off of their contracts per year. Talent is, of course, another factor, as is the veteran status for an individual. Backup quarterbacks do not make millions of dollars to stand on the sidelines 16 Sundays out of the year just because of what they may be able to contribute during games, but rather because many of them have been in the NFL long enough to receive such lucrative deals.
It should come as no surprise to anybody who has followed the NFL for any significant amount of time that the two biggest NFL contracts of 2015 are associated with quarterbacks. A successful pro quarterback is the face of his franchise, and one who proves that he is capable of winning on the final Sunday of the season is essentially worth his weight in gold. What you may not have guessed is that only one of the two quarterbacks at the top of the list of the biggest NFL contracts for 2015 has won a Super Bowl during his career. The man who has not done so may be running out of time to get to the mountaintop before his playing days come to an end.
20 CB Patrick Peterson: $14,791,491 for 2015
19 DE Jason Pierre-Paul: $14,813,000 for 2015
18 QB Tony Romo: $14,973,000 for 2015
17 QB Colin Kaepernick: $15,265,753 for 2015
16 RB Adrian Peterson: $15,400,000 for 2015
15 QB Alex Smith: $15,600,000 for 2015
14 CB Darrelle Revis: $16,000,000 for 2015
13 QB Jay Cutler: $16,500,000 for 2015
12 DE Robert Quinn: $16,744,111 for 2015
11 QB Ben Roethlisberger: $17,245,000 for 2015
10 QB Peyton Manning: $17,500,000 for 2015
9 QB Matthew Stafford: $17,721,250 for 2015
8 QB Aaron Rodgers: $18,250,000 for 2015
7 DE Mario Williams: $19,400,000 for 2015
6 QB Matt Ryan: $19,500,000 for 2015
5 QB Eli Manning: $19,750,000 for 2015
4 DE Charles Johnson: $20,020,000 for 2015
3 WR Calvin Johnson: $20,558,000 fo 2015
2 QB Philip Rivers: $21,166,668 for 2015
1 QB Drew Brees: $26,400,000 for 2015
Players such as Drew Brees should not be taken for granted by fans. Brees holds multiple NFL records, and he has passed for over 50,000 yards. He is a Super Bowl champion who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame not long after he retires. Brees is seemingly a great person, and he is known for giving back to communities. Brees will be 37 years old once the 2016 NFL Playoffs conclude, and he may decide during the winter that he has given all that he can to the New Orleans Saints and to the NFL. Fans and football insiders everywhere should enjoy watching Brees play while we still have the pleasure.
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