What is the Average Salary For an NFL Quarterback? (2023)

In the National Football League, the quarterback stands as a beacon of both leadership and celebrity. These athletes are not just the faces of their teams, but often the heart and soul, orchestrating plays that can turn the tide of a game.

Amidst this blend of fame and pressure, a burning question arises: what is the average salary of an NFL quarterback?

We poured through the 2023 salaries for every player on every team, including the 90 active quarterbacks in the league. In this article, we’ll share the average salary for a quarterback this year as well the top ten earners at the position.

The Role of an NFL Quarterback

Understanding the average salary of an NFL quarterback begins with grasping the enormity of their role. A quarterback is more than just another player on the team; they are often viewed as the team’s leader, both on and off the field.

They’re responsible for not only executing plays but also reading the defense, making split-second decisions, and setting the tone for the entire offense. Their role extends beyond physical skills to include mental acumen and leadership qualities that inspire their teammates to perform at their best.

Factors Influencing a Quarterback’s Salary

Average Weight of NFL Quarterbacks

Several key factors play into determining a quarterback’s salary, making it a complex and multifaceted issue.

Experience and Skill Level

Experience is a significant factor. Veteran quarterbacks, who have proven their ability to lead teams to victory and handle the pressure of big games, often command the highest salaries. Their track record of performance, consistency, and ability to stay injury-free can make them invaluable assets to their teams.

Team’s Financial Standing

A team’s financial health and salary cap space also play a critical role. The NFL’s salary cap, which limits the amount a team can spend on player salaries, means teams must carefully balance paying a star quarterback and allocating resources to build a well-rounded roster.

Performance Metrics

Lastly, a quarterback’s performance – including their win-loss record, touchdown-to-interception ratio, passing yards, and other statistical measures – directly influences their earning potential. Performance-based bonuses and incentives are commonly built into quarterback contracts, further tying pay to on-field success.

Breaking Down the Numbers

Now let’s take a look at some of the actual numbers for 2023.

Average Salary For a QB

As of 2023-24, the average salary for an NFL quarterback is approximately $5,837,925. It’s probably not surprising that the quarterback position is one of the highest paid in the NFL.

Compared to the position they share a backfield with, running backs, quarterbacks are over double the salary ($5.8 million to $2.1 million) on average.

The average only tells part of the story though because quarterbacks’ salaries range from $125,001 for Nathan Rourke to over $37 million for Patrick Mahomes. Let’s take a closer look at some of the players on the upper end of that spectrum.

Top Earners in the League

This section highlights the quarterbacks who top the salary charts in the NFL. These are the players who, due to a combination of skill, experience, and marketability, command the highest pay in the league.

Patrick Mahomes$37.1Chiefs
Ryan Tannehill$36.6Titans
Jared Goff$31.0Lions
Dak Prescott$26.8Cowboys
Lamar Jackson$22.2Ravens
Russell Wilson$22.0Broncos
Kirk Cousins$20.3Vikings
Matthew Stafford$20.0Rams
Joe Burrow$19.5Bengals
Deshaun Watson$19.1Browns

*In Millions

Rising Stars and Rookie Salaries

NFL salaries are not just about the established stars; rookie quarterbacks also have a significant financial narrative.

Rookie Compensation

The salaries for rookie quarterbacks are typically governed by the NFL’s rookie wage scale, which sets a cap on their earnings. Teams who get lucky with a young quarterback who makes an immediate impact can take advantage of the enormous amount of value a quarterback on a rookie contract can bring.

Take a look at a few quarterbacks who are currently providing a huge ROI for their respective teams.

Brock Purdy889K49ers
Justin Fields$5.1Bears
Jalen Hurts$6.2Eagles
CJ Stroud$6.6Texans
Justin Herbert$8.5Chargers

*In Millions (except Purdy)


The average salary of an NFL quarterback is a complex figure influenced by a myriad of factors. From experience and skill level to team budgets and performance metrics, various elements converge to determine a quarterback’s financial worth.

The top earners in the league, often those with a combination of talent, longevity, and marketability, set the bar high, while rookies and less established players tend to occupy a totally different financial space.

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