10 Highest-Paid QBs in the NFL (Updated 2024)

Jacksonville Jaguars v Pittsburgh Steelers
Jacksonville Jaguars v Pittsburgh Steelers / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

Every year the salary cap goes up, and players at premium positions leapfrog notable NFL players to become the highest-paid players at their position in the National Football League. In recent years, the jump in average annual earnings and guaranteed money has been significant. As you can imagine, quarterbacks are, on average, the highest-paid position in the NFL.

As quarterbacks receive new contracts, others are pushed further down the list when it comes to average salaries. This is a trend that doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon. Using Over the Cap as a reference, here are the ten highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL in terms of average per year.

Highest-paid NFL quarterbacks (updated 2024)

10. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs: $45M per year

It almost seems criminal that Patrick Mahomes is only the 10th highest-paid QB in the NFL. Mahomes made history when he signed his 10-year, $450 million contract during the 2020 offseason, but many would argue he should have signed a much shorter deal to hit the market earlier. Because the salary cap keeps going up, Mahomes -- widely regarded as the best quarterback in the game today -- is making just the 10th most at the position.

9. Kirk Cousins, Falcons: $45M per year

Despite little postseason success, veteran QB Kirk Cousins has made a fortune in his career with Washington, Minnesota, and now Atlanta. His recent contract was his biggest to date. At 35 years old and coming off an Achilles injury, Cousins was still able to rake in $45 million per season from a Falcons team desperate for a competent quarterback. This figure ties Mahomes in terms of average per year, but the tiebreaker is more total guaranteed money per season. Cousins also has more fully guaranteed money on his contract than Mahomes.

8. Deshaun Watson, Browns: $46M per year

Some have called the Deshaun Watson contract one of the worst in NFL history. After being suspended by the league and missing more than a season-and-a-half in 2021 and 2022, Watson hasn't lived up to his billing with the Browns. Watson's $46 million ranks 8th among all NFL quarterbacks in average annual earnings, but he became the first and only quarterback in league history to have his entire contract ($230 million) fully guaranteed.

7. Kyler Murray, Cardinals: $46.1M per year

In the 7th spot, former number-one overall pick, Kyler Murray, narrowly edges out Watson at $46.1 million per season. Following a breakout year in 2021 when he led the Cardinals to a 9-5 record in 14 starts, Murray inked a five-year, $230.5 million deal with Arizona which included $103.3 million in guarantees. Now he needs to prove that he can stay healthy and live up to his lofty contract numbers.

6. Jalen Hurts, Eagles: $51M per year

Jalen Hurts became one of the richest quarterbacks in the NFL after a deep playoff run in 2022 which ended in a 35-38 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII. Hurts' extension with the Eagles was worth $255 million over five years, which gives him an average annual earnings of $51 million per season -- good for 6th among NFL quarterbacks.

5. Lamar Jackson, Ravens: $52M per year

At $52 million per year, Lamar Jackson comes in just ahead of Hurts in terms of average per season. Jackson is a two-time NFL MVP who is still searching for more postseason success, but he has led the Baltimore Ravens to a phenomenal record in the regular season since being selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

4. Justin Herbert, Chargers: $52.5M per year

While his career record as a starter may be underwhelming, Justin Herbert has had phenomenal production since entering the league and has shown the ability to go toe-to-toe with some of the best quarterbacks in the game. During the 2023 offseason, Herbert signed a five-year extension with the Chargers worth $262.5 million. This currently makes him the 4th highest-paid QB in the league.

3. Jared Goff, Lions: $53M per year

Jared Goff had the benefit of inking his contract extension after another significant salary cap spike during the 2024 offseason. Following two straight impressive seasons with the Detroit Lions in which he earned over 4,400 passing yards and at least 29 passing touchdowns in both years, Goff was signed to a four-year extension worth $212 million -- earning him $53 million per season.

2. Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars: $55M per year

To the surprise of many, Trevor Lawrence is tied for the biggest quarterback salary in the NFL -- earning $55 million per season. Lawrence had the benefit of being one of the high-profile quarterbacks to sign his extension after the salary cap raise in 2024. Lawrence signed the exact same contract (five years, $275M) as Joe Burrow, but Burrow's deal includes more in total guaranteed and fully guaranteed money.

1. Joe Burrow, Bengals: $55M per year

Tied for first place as the league's highest-paid quarterback is Joe Burrow. The Bengals star quarterback led his team to a Super Bowl appearance in his second season while earning the Comeback Player of the Year award. Burrow has been cool, calm, and collected, and he's one of the only quarterbacks who has gotten the best of Patrick Mahomes in head-to-head matchups. Burrow is currently making $55 million per season.