There are some pretty lucrative contracts knocking about in the NFL but which are the most valuable ever? We decided to take a look at the biggest NFL contracts in history based on their total value, rather than cost per year.
The five biggest NFL contracts in history are…
Number 5. Andrew Luck ($139M | 2016)
2016 is as far back as we travel in our list of the biggest NFL contracts. For Luck it was the start of a six-year extension to his Colts deal, one of the longest NFL contracts. In his first four years in Indianapolis he’d back up his number one draft position by leading the NFL in touchdown passes and making three consecutive Pro Bowls.
Things didn’t go to plan after penning his $139m deal though with injuries dealing him and the Colts somewhat of a bum deal. Still, he did offer at least one more season of genius in 2018 as he threw 5,018 yards as the Colts made the post season. He has since retired.
Number 4. Russell Wilson ($140M | 2019)
Wilson has to rank as one of the more impressive draft picks in recent times. The Seahawks took him as the 75th overall pick back in 2012 and he’s been a sensation from the off. His inaugural season saw him selected as the starting quarterback and his displays earned him Rookie of the Year. Then in 2013 he led the Hawks to Super Bowl glory at XLVIII.
Although a second Vince Lombardi trophy has proved elusive, Wilson has continued to post impressive figures with a personal best of 4,219 passing yards coming in 2016 before a league leading 34 touchdowns a year later. This earnt him a new deal which proved to be one of the biggest NFL contracts ever in April 2019, with Wilson becoming the NFL’s highest paid player. Given how he played last season and how he’s started this campaign, it’s fair to say the money hasn’t gone to his head.
Number 3. Khalil Mack ($141M | 2018)
Outside Linebacker Mack is the only non-quarterback to register in our list of the biggest contracts in NFL history, which means he is the highest paid defender the league has ever seen. The money spinning deal landed in front of Mack back in September 2018 when he switched the Oakland Raiders for the Chicago Bears. He wasn’t put off by the attention the deal had attracted though and immediately set about achieving legendary status for the Bears.
His first year at Soldier Field went reasonably well. Mack hit 47 tackles and registered the most sacks (12.5) seen by Bears fans for 25 years. His new team made the post season and Mack was recognised with the fifth Pro Bowl appearance of his career. 2019 didn’t quite see the team or player reach the same heights though, with Mack openly admitting he hadn’t been good enough. He’s started the new campaign pretty well though so let’s see if he can start repaying some of that salary.
Number 2. Matt Ryan ($150M | 2018)
Matt Ryan is into his 12th year with the Atlanta Falcons now but even two years ago, when he penned his new $150m deal, he was no spring chicken at the age of 33. Not many would dispite that he had earned the blockbuster contract though. After all, he had served up a decade of injury free and consistent performances for the Falcons with 2016 his crowning achievement as he was named MVP.
Despite moving into the twilight of his career, Ryan is far from cashing in his pension with the two seasons since the deal seeing him remain the standout star for the Falcons with 4,924 and 4,466 regular season passing yards. Also, 2019 saw him make more completions that any other QB in the league. 2020 is, of course, in it’s infancy but the early signs suggest Ryan will be putting up another year of strong statistics.
Number 1. Patrick Mahomes, $477M in 2020
Then there was one. If you think the $150m splashed on Matt Ryan was impressive then Mahomes’ deal blows it out of the water at a staggering $477m, making it the biggest contract in NFL history by a mile. Not only is it the biggest NFL contract of all time but it also means that the 25-year-old Chiefs quarterback is in possession of the largest sporting contract ever. The reason? He is a special talent. It is that simple.
His last two years with Texas Tech were pretty impressive and earnt him a round one pick in the 2017 draft but he’s really kicked on a level since settling into the NFL. His rookie year was spent as understudy to Alex Smith but, come 2018, Smith was gone. Mahomes was the man and boy, did he prove it! During the campaign he recorded over 5,000 yards and led the league with an impressive 50 passing touchdowns, both of which happen to make it into the Chiefs record books. He was also named MVP, which is something no other Chiefs’ player had done before him.
He is far from a one season wonder though and last season he bossed things again. His regular season stats weren’t as impressive with just 4,031 yards and 26 touchdowns but in the postseason he threw over 900 yards to guide the Chiefs to Super Bowl glory. In doing so, he became the youngest ever recipient of a Super Bowl MVP award. Really, the Chiefs had little choice but to reward him with a record breaking deal.
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