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How much do footballers get paid?

American football is a huge sport in North America, and player wages reflect this popularity. There are certain players and positions where the salaries are great, but not in the astronomical range. However, football players who are supremely talented can demand unbelievably high salaries from NFL teams, and for those who market themselves wisely, they can earn a fortune from sponsorship deals.

Football has some real superstars, and when you’re betting on football you will want to pay close attention to those stars and particularly the quarterbacks, who tend to have a massive impact on the outcome of a game.

Even in Canada, football has a large and avid fan following, so if you’re in Canada and you find betting promos in Ontario that you want to take advantage of, you should study recent form and team lineups before placing any money on a fixture.

How much players are getting paid is a good indication of just how important they are to their team, whether they’re playing in the NFL or the CFL.

The average CFL and NFL salary

NFL salaries can vary a lot, and averages are worked out in a few different ways, so it is hard to get exact, up-to-date figures. That said, there is some data to work from.

The CFL does not publish its salaries, but we can work out from their salary caps that the average for a player is likely to be between $60,000 and $100,000. They may earn more from endorsements and similar deals.

Not surprisingly, these amounts are dwarfed by the NFL. Even when it comes to the salaries of head coaches, there are massive differences between the CFL and the NFL.

In the 2019/20 season, the NFL team with the lowest average salary was the Miami Dolphins, and even they had an annual average of just over $2 million per player. The team with the highest average salary was the Atlanta Falcons, at an eye-watering $4.7 million per player.

A senior player in a team can expect to earn over $2 million, but there are plenty of lower-value rookie contracts, and players who are new to the sport certainly aren’t earning quite that much. This brings down the median average salary, which is under $1 million at $860,000.

To put that in perspective, across the whole of the US, the median annual wage was $34,248 in the same year.

Top-paid footballers

In the CFL, Winnipeg Blue Bombers have awarded a bumper contract to Zach Collaros, making him the highest-paid quarterback in the CFL, with wages in excess of $550,000. This is another figure that seems almost insignificant when you compare it to the money that is floating around in the US league.

In the NFL, there have been some absolutely monster contracts awarded to players. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is one of those that makes huge money, signing an extension to his contract that will see him make an incredible $140 million over the course of four years.

This has been overtaken by the deal signed in March by Aaron Rodgers which will see him earn in excess of $50 million each year for the next three years, making him the highest-paid player in North American sports history on an annual basis.

Which positions earn the most?

If you follow football, you’ll know that the quarterback is the heart of the team, and this often means they can demand the highest salary. But quarterbacks aren’t the only players who can make big money.

Ezekiel Elliott is an example of a player in another position who earns top dollar. He’s a running back with the Dallas Cowboys, and in 2019, he signed a six-year extension to his contract worth $90 million.

Some footballers go on to become coaches and continue to make big bucks out of the sport. Even retired players can still earn large amounts from sponsorship deals and media appearances.

How football compares to other sports

The money that a top quarterback can make is roughly in line with the sort of money that players in other top sports can expect.

Soccer players at the elite level can earn similar salaries. Between all forms of income, Portuguese soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is said to have made over $100 million in 2021.

Athletes who compete in sports such as golf, tennis, and boxing can also earn the big bucks if they make it to the top.

American football is certainly one of the best-paying sports to get into at the very top level, and even the median salaries are enough to make most professionals very wealthy.

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Priyanka Chaudhary
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