Giants quarterback Eli Manning officially announced his retirement on Friday, and although he’ll be finishing his career with two Super Bowl titles, he also has one other title that most players in the NFL are probably pretty envious of: The title of highest-paid player in NFL history.
That’s right, Eli Manning has made more money on-the-field than any other player in the history of the game. Over the course of his 16-year career, Manning has raked in a total of $252.3 million in contract money. Manning earned his first giant paycheck back in 2004 when he signed a six-year rookie deal with the Giants worth $54 million. Manning then signed his final NFL deal in September 2015 .
After raking in $17 million in salary and bonuses in 2019, that bumped Eli to the top of the all-time earnings list, and the person he passed for the top spot was none other than his brother, Peyton Manning. Over the course of their careers, the two Manning brothers have brought in more than $500 million combined before taxes.
Here’s a look at the top-10 earners in NFL history (via spotrac)
1. Eli Manning: $252.3 million
2. Peyton Manning: $248.7 million
3. Drew Brees: $244.7 million
4. Tom Brady: $235.2 million
5. Aaron Rodgers: $233.6 million
6. Ben Roethlisberger: $232.3 million
7. Matt Ryan: $223.5 million
8. Philip Rivers: $218.9 million
9. Matthew Stafford: $211.0 million
10. Larry Fitzgerald: $175.0 million
These numbers only reflect on-field earnings, which means endorsement money is not included.
Here’s a few interesting notes about the list:
- Eli isn’t going to hold his title for long because there’s a good chance either Brees and/or Brady will pass him in 2020, although that’s not a given since there’s a small chance that both quarterbacks could end up retiring. However, if they do play in 2020, it’s almost certain that they’ll knock Eli from the top spot.
- At just 31 years old, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is the youngest player in the top 10 and could soon skyrocket to the top of this list. Stafford is set to be a free agent after the 2022 season and will likely get at least one more huge contract, which means he could be pushing $350 million in career earnings by the time he retires.
- Patrick Mahomes will likely soon be on the top of this list, but probably not as soon as you think. Even if Mahomes signs a five-year, $200 million extension, that would only bring his career earnings to $211.9 million at the end of the new deal, when he’ll have played eight years in the league (The first three years of his rookie contract only paid him $11.9 million). At that point, he’ll be 30 when he gets his third contract, and that’s when he’d likely shoot to the top of this list, but that wouldn’t officially happen until the fourth or fifth year of his third deal when he’d likely be 34 or 35. Stafford got an early jump on Mahomes because the Lions quarterback was able to sign his rookie deal before the NFL limited how much rookies could make. Stafford’s rookie deal in 2009 was worth $41.7 million while Mahomes was worth “just” $16.4 million.