Saturday, July 2, 2022

Aaron Donald becomes highest-paid non-QB ever: Here are the richest contracts in NFL history

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Aaron Donald will hold off his retirement presser for at least a few more years, as the Los Angeles Rams legend signed a contract extension that will make him the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL history.  

Donald will receive a $40 million raise from the Rams and will see $95 million in totality on a contract that runs through the 2024 season. Donald will receive $65 million guaranteed over the next two seasons, as his average annual salary of $31,666,667 makes him the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL history. 

Where does Donald stack up amongst the richest deals ever handed out in NFL history? Let’s take a look at the top 10 deals in total money and average annual value:

Top contracts in total value

Top contracts in average annual value

Aaron Rodgers

$50,271,667

4

2022
Deshaun Watson $46 million 5 2022

Patrick Mahomes

$45 million

10

2020

Josh Allen

$43,005,667

6

2021
Derek Carr $40,174,160 4 2022

Dak Prescott

$40 million

4

2021

Matthew Stafford

$40 million

5

2022

Russell Wilson

$35 million

2

2019

Kirk Cousins

$35 million

1

2022

Jared Goff

$33.5 million

4

2019

Most guaranteed money in contracts

Deshaun Watson $230 million 2022

Aaron Rodgers

$150,815,000

2022

Josh Allen

$150 million

2021

Patrick Mahomes

$141,481,905

2020

Matthew Stafford $130 million 2022

Dak Prescott

$126 million

2021

Jared Goff

$110,042,682

2019

Carson Wentz

$107,970,683

2019

Russell Wilson

$107 million

2019

Joey Bosa

$102 million

2020

What’s surprising about Donald’s deal is that he doesn’t crack the top 10 in any of these categories in spite of his dominance since he’s entered the league. Donald is tied with J.J. Watt and Lawrence Taylor for the most defensive player of the year awards in NFL history (three) and has made the Pro Bowl eight times and was a First team All-Pro selection seven times (only played eight seasons). 

Donald trails only Taylor (10) and Derrick Thomas (nine) for most consecutive Pro Bowl selections to start a career, while leading the NFL in sacks (98), tackles for loss (150), and quarterback hits (226) since entering the league in 2014. Add in the Super Bowl title and Donald has a first ballot ticket to the Hall of Fame. 

Donald has the most sacks ever by a defensive tackle after his first eight seasons and the fourth-most by a player in NFL history in that span, which is actually incredible he’s “only” making $31,666,667 per year. Still in the prime of his career, there’s an argument to be made Donald is actually underpaid

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