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10 highest-paid NFL QBs: Will 49ers’ Brock Purdy top the list next year?

Jun 13, 2024 at 5:42 PM

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It doesn't seem that long ago when the Kansas City Chiefs signed Patrick Mahomes to a jaw-dropping 10-year, $450 million contract. That $45 million annual salary now looks like a bargain for the NFL's best quarterback. Eight quarterbacks now earn more annually than the three-time Super Bowl champion and two-time NFL MVP.

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence was the latest player to leap past Mahomes, reportedly signing a five-year extension worth up to $275 million. That $55 million average ties him with Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals as the highest-paid player in NFL history.

Meanwhile, in Santa Clara, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy is set to earn a base salary of $985,000 this year and count a paltry $1 million against the team's salary cap, according to To put that into perspective, 54 players are currently slated to take up more of the 49ers' salary cap in 2024 than the team's starting quarterback, including some players casual fans might not even recognize.

Purdy's financial situation will significantly improve next year when he becomes eligible for a contract extension. He is poised to become the 49ers' highest-paid player and likely catapult to or near the top of the list of the NFL's highest-paid players.

Of course, what truly matters is the fully guaranteed money these players are set to earn. Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns is guaranteed all of his $230 million contract, a deal largely viewed as an anomaly in the NFL. Lawrence's deal reportedly includes $142 million in fully guaranteed money, placing him in the No. 2 spot, behind Burrow's $146.5 million.

Purdy's new deal could net him more guaranteed money than Burrow or Lawrence. The 49ers have been bracing for this reality for some time, strategically navigating the salary cap to accommodate the quarterback's earnings.

San Francisco currently has approximately $32.7 million in salary cap space for 2024. The team will likely roll much of that over into next year, helping them afford Purdy's new deal while maintaining a competitive roster. The 49ers appear prepared to pay their star quarterback what he is worth.

"I think it's a good problem when your quarterback is one of your highest-paid guys on your team and in the league," 49ers CEO Jed York said in March. "So there's a lot of planning that goes into it, but again, I'm glad that we have [EVP of football operations] Paraag [Marathe], [general manager John Lynch], [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan]. They're the ones that will figure out the details of it, and I just have to sign the check. So my part in that's pretty easy."

York added, "And whether I like it or not, that's what the market is, and you have to accept the reality of the world. And to me, the quarterback is the most important position, not just in football, but in all sports, and those guys should be paid a lot."

Below are the 10 quarterbacks currently earning the largest annual salaries, according to

  • Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars - $55 million
  • Joe Burrow, Bengals - $55 million
  • Jared Goff, Lions - $53 million
  • Justin Herbert, Chargers - $52.5 million
  • Lamar Jackson, Ravens - $52 million
  • Jalen Hurts, Eagles - $51 million
  • Kyler Murray, Cardinals - $46.1 million
  • Deshaun Watson, Browns - $46 million
  • Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs - $45 million
  • Kirk Cousins, Falcons - $45 million

Below are the 10 quarterbacks currently with the most fully guaranteed money.

  • Deshaun Watson, Browns - $230 million
  • Joe Burrow, Bengals - $146.51 million
  • Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars - $142 million
  • Lamar Jackson, Ravens - $135 million
  • Justin Herbert, Chargers - $133.74 million
  • Jared Goff, Lions - $113.61 million
  • Jalen Hurts, Eagles - $110 million
  • Kyler Murray, Cardinals - $103.3 million
  • Josh Allen, Bills - $100 million
  • Dak Prescott, Cowboys - $95 million

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