Eli Manning is the highest paid NFL player for 2016, with $24.2 million in total salary. That’s after the Saints renegotiated Drew Brees’ 2016 salary downward. Brees had been the #1 highest paid player in the league up until August of 2016 with a guaranteed salary of $30 million. A new contract knocked that salary down to $17.25 million. That’s a $12.75 million pay cut for the New Orleans Saints QB. Manning meanwhile saw a $10 million increase in his salary since 2015.
if you ever think having a career in the NFL is impossible just remember Jay Cutler is one of the highest paid players in the league
— daniel (@danielwagner99) September 20, 2016
Highest Paid NFL Player Gets an $84 Million Contract
Up until August of 2016, Eli Manning was the 23rd highest paid NFL player. The quarterback’s salary came in just $450,000 ahead of Tom Brady but behind the salaries of Joe Flacco, Tony Romo, Colin Kaepernick, Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Phil Rivers and 16 other players. Two things happened to make the younger Manning’s pay come out on top. The first is that heavy hitters like Drew Brees had their salaries negotiated downward. Brees was on track to make more than $30 million in 2016 in a previous contract. After a dismal 2015 season, that contract was replaced with a much less lucrative deal that cut over 40% of the player’s salary. The second thing that happened to put Eli Manning on top of the NFL money game was a $10 million pay increase.
According to the Fox News video below, Manning’s status as the highest paid NFL player is the fruition of a specific dream.
Eli Manning’s $10 Million Raise
There’s nothing like a raise of $10 million to make a QB the highest paid NFL player of the year. Manning’s $10 million pay hike was built into his 2015 contract. That contract was a four year, $84 million deal with a $31 million signing bonus and average salary of $21 million. That average salary started out as $14.5 million in 2015 and then jumped to $24.2 million in 2016.
Salary increases like Manning’s often get negotiated downwards in a case where a player drastically underperforms. The Giants certainly didn’t have a stellar 2015 season, going 6 for 17, but that relative failure can’t be laid at Manning’s feet. The star hit career highs with 35 touchdown passes and 387 completions. He made a record 618 attempts and scored a high passer rating of 93.6. With those stats he very nearly tied player Y.A. Tittle for the most touchdowns in one season in the team’s entire history. Did he help the Giants win a championship? No. But his performance was good enough to keep his pre-scripted 70% salary boost.
And the Second Highest Paid NFL Player Is…
For those wondering about the runners up for highest paid NFL player, it’s Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger with $23.95 million. Next come Falcons QB Matt Ryan with $23.75 million, Ravens QB Joe Flacco with $22.55 million, Lions QB Matthew Stafford with $22.5 million and Cowboys QB Tony Romo with $20.83 million. Others in the top ten are Carson Palmer ($20.1 million), Kirk Cousins ($19.9 million), Cam Newton ($19.5 million) and Aaron Rodgers ($19.2 million).
The numbers in this article are all salary figures for the highest paid NFL players. Just as big as salary, endorsement deals can often double NFL player pay.