There is no sport more popular in the United States than football, and many of the most famous names and figures have acquired a bit of wealth from their standing in the NFL.
Sure, the NBA and MLB may hand out more lucrative contracts which help drive their net worths, but many NFL players, mostly quarterbacks, have scored record contracts, endorsement deals or have gone on to have successful careers post-football to put themselves among the wealthiest athletes in the world.
Many of the wealthiest NFL players are from the last two decades after contracts and endorsement deals began to hit record numbers. Here are the 11 richest NFL players ranked by their net worth.
Note: Data compiled from Celebrity Net Worth and Spotrac
11 Ben Roethlisberger, Net Worth: $100 million
Ben Roethlisberger’s Hall of Fame career may be winding down, but the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback has made the most of it. Two Super Bowl titles and the face of one of the NFL’s most storied franchises, earning $230 million during his tenure in the NFL through the 2019 season. Roethlisberger can earn up to $21 million more in 2020 if he is healthy.
10 Brett Favre, Net Worth: $100 Million
Brett Favre spent an illustrious 20 seasons as the quarterback in the NFL, leading the Green Bay Packers to a Super Bowl in 1996 and was a three-time AP MVP winner. He made stops with the Vikings and Jets before the end of his career, which culminated in an induction into the Hall of Fame. Favre serves as an assistant football coach at Oak Grove High School in Mississippi.
9 Russell Wilson, Net Worth: $115 Million
Russell Wilson is just 30 years old, yet he still manages to crack the top 10 of this list. The Seattle Seahawks quarterback was a Super Bowl champion in 2014, led the Seahawks there again the following year, and is a six-time Pro Bowler, which helped net him a $140 million contract extension in 2019 — making him the second-highest paid quarterback in the NFL behind Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons. He has also earned another $90 million from other endeavors between June 2018 and 2019.
8 Aaron Rodgers, Net Worth: $120 Million
After spending three seasons backing up Brett Favre in Green Bay, Rodgers has put himself in the conversation as arguably the franchise’s best quarterback. He led the Packers to the Super Bowl and has two regular season MVP awards. He’s earned $233 million through 15 seasons in the NFL, and collected plenty of endorsements along the way. Perhaps his most famous sponsor is State Farm insurance, which turned Rodgers’ championship belt celebration into the “discount double check” slogan that entered its way into America’s lexicon.
7 Drew Brees, Net Worth $120 Million
Brees has established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL since he signed with the New Orleans Saints in 2006 and has put together a Hall of Fame resume. Since leading the organization to its first Super Bowl victory in 2009, Brees has been one of the most recognizable faces in the NFL on and off the field. He’s accumulated $244 million in career earnings through the 2019 season and still has plenty of endorsement deals.
6 John Elway, Net Worth: $145 Million
Elway played an illustrious 16-year career with the Denver Broncos, which culminated in two Super Bowls as he rode out into the sunset. The Hall of Famer has had a successful post-football career, too. He was co-owner of an Arena Football League team and sold his car dealerships in 1997 for $82.5 million, which was the largest off-the-field business deal an NFL player made at the time. Elway could have been atop this list, too, but in 1998 he passed an opportunity to buy a 10 percent stake in the Broncos. Since 2011, Elway has served as general manager and executive vice president of football operations for the Broncos, but has no stake in the team.
5 Eli Manning, Net Worth: $150 Million
Eli Manning just completed a 16-year career in the NFL with the New York Giants, which consisted of two Super Bowls over the New England Patriots. Manning, like his brother Peyton, racked up endorsement after endorsement along the way, and became one of the most recognizable faces in the biggest media market in the world. Manning even edged his older brother in career earnings, racking up $252 million to Peyton’s $248 million.
4 Tom Brady, Net Worth: $180 Million
Tom Brady is one of the most decorated professional athletes, not just football players, in history. The New England Patriots quarterback has won a record six Super Bowl championships and seemingly plans to continue playing at age 43, after completing his 19th season. Despite his tremendous success, Brady has never been the highest-paid player in the league. He has still made $235 million from his career alone, plus he’s been a sponsor for top-name brands such as Uggs, Under Armour, Aston Martin and Movado watches. Brady, however, still falls short of his wife’s net worth, who is ranked at a whopping $400 million.
3 Steve Young, Net Worth: $200 Million
Steve Young’s journey is among the more interesting ones. He started his career in the USFL, was drafted first overall in the 1984 supplemental draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was traded to the San Francisco 49ers two years later after being deemed a bust. Instead, Young filled Joe Montana’s shoes by winning two MVP awards and a Super Bowl in 12 seasons with the Niners to mark a Hall of Fame career. Off the field, Young became managing director of a private equity firm and is an analyst on ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown.
2 Peyton Manning, Net Worth: $200 Million
Peyton Manning had one of the most successful careers one could have on the field, winning two Super Bowls — one each with the Colts and Broncos — as well as five MVP awards. Manning may have been beaten by Eli in career earnings, but Peyton has endorsement deals with some big brands, such as Nationwide, DirecTV, Mastercard, Gatorade, Buick and Papa John’s — of which he owns 21 franchises in Colorado. Per Forbes, Manning earned $150 million alone in endorsements in 2016, and he has not stopped appearing in commercials since retirement.
1 Roger Staubach, Net Worth: $600 Million
Roger Staubach is the only player on this list who did not play after 1980, yet he still manages to top everyone. The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback was a two-time Super Bowl champion, but that was long before lucrative contracts and endorsement deals. Staubach worked as a real estate broker during the offseason, and in 1977 he started his own real estate business, titled Staubach Company. The quarterback spent his football retirement dedicating all his time to the company, and in 2008 it was sold to Jones Lang LaSalle for $613 million.