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We’ve represented 14 NFL position groups here, showing the highest average paid player at each for the 2022 season. Half of them made the postseason. Half of them didn’t, including Aaron Rodgers and his historic $50.27M AAV. Derwin James was the only defensive player in this exercise to make the playoffs.


Aaron Rodgers (GB, $50.27M)

The Packers QB had an up and down campaign, compounded by a thumb injury, but faltered in Week 18 when the team needed him most. His future is once again up in the air, despite another $144M on the books over the next 4 seasons (including $59.5M for 2023). Complete 2022 Rankings

Running Back

Christian McCaffrey (SF, $16.015M)

McCaffrey became a vital piece to the 49ers puzzle as they continued to lose QBs throughout the 2022 season. He’s a slam dunk fit for Kyle Shanahan’s creative offense, and holds 3 years, $36M non-guaranteed remaining on his contract. Look for San Francisco to restructure that a bit this offseason to work better for both sides. Complete 2022 Rankings


Kyle Juszczyk (SF, $5.4M)

Still a Top 2 or 3 fullback in all of football, and obviously a huge player of importance in Shanahan’s wide open creative scheme. He holds 3 years, $17.75M on his contract, with a partial guarantee for 2023 that should keep him around for at least 1 more season.

Wide Receiver

Tyreek Hill (MIA, $30M)

The Dolphins sneaked into the postseason with a 3rd string quarterback, but Hill certainly did his part to get them there in 2022 (117 grabs, 1,687 yards, 7 TD). The 28 year old has 4 years, $113M remaining on his contract, including $45M guaranteed through 2024.

Tight End

Darren Waller (LV, $17M)

The 6-11 Raiders were one of the more disappointing teams of 2022, and their QB1 is about to pay the price for it. Waller’s season was limited to 9 games, putting him at just 20 games played over the past two seasons. Contractually, he’s mostly guaranteed through 2023, with 3 years, $40M non-guaranteed to go thereafter.

Offensive Lineman

Trent Williams (SF, $23.01M)

Williams was once again the top-rated offensive tackle according to PFF - this time by more than 3 full points. The 34-year-old is half-guaranteed through 2023 right now, with the remaining set to lock in on April 1st. After that, it’s a non-guaranteed 3 years, $77.25M.

Defensive Lineman

Aaron Donald (LAR, $31.6M)

After 4 straight seasons without missing a game, Donald’s 2022 was cut down to 11 appearances due to an ankle problem. His $13.5M salary for 2023 + $5M of 2024 compensation becomes fully guaranteed this March 17th and it’s fairly safe to assume that the next 2 years, $63.5M are his, if he wants to continue his career that long.

Edge Defender

T.J. Watt (PIT, $28M)

Watt saw action in only 9 games this season, and there’s an argument to be made that the Steelers might be in the postseason if he had played a few more. His $20M salary for 2023 is already fully guaranteed, but the 2 years, $42.1M remaining after that is not.

Interior Linebacker

Shaquille Leonard (IND, $19.7M)

Leonard saw action in only 3 games thanks to season ending back surgery. It’s notable that this was round two of this injury, as he suffered a setback trying to rehab the initial ailment. Contractually, Leonard is fully guaranteed at $15.7M through the 2023 season, but the 3 years, $55.35M thereafter has no early stability. 


Jaire Alexander (GB, $21M)

Alexander picked off a career-high 5 passes this season, seeing action in 16 of the Packers 17 matches. His deal contains 4 years, $67M left on it, but the $30M signing bonus he received last May was the only early guarantee built into this contract. He’s year to year from here out.


Derwin James (LAC, $19.1M)

James has now posted basically identical back-to-back seasons in LA, and is a big reason the Chargers find themselves as the 5 seed. His contract contains 4 years, $61M remaining on it, including $14M fully guaranteed this year, and a partial guarantee for 2024. 


Justin Tucker (BAL, $6M)

Tucker was handed a 4 year, $24M extension just before the start of the 2022 season, that includes $17.5M guaranteed. Statistically speaking he had his worst season in 8 years, making only 86% of his field goals, 97% of his PATs - but his 43 attempts were a career high. He’s locked in through 2024 at a combined $10.75M.


Michael Dickson (SEA, $3.6M

Dickson signed a 4 year, $14.7M extension before the 2021 season, and 2022 was his last year containing full guarantees. He’s on a 3 year, $7.5M non-guaranteed deal from here out.

Long Snapper

Charley Hughlett (CLE, $1.4M)

Hughlett signed his 2nd contract extension in Cleveland this past October, but it holds no future guarantees. It’s a 4 year, $4.93M year to year deal from here out.