The Richest American Football Athletes of 2021

The National Football League is arguably America’s most prized sporting jewel, pulling even greater viewership than the NBA. The NFL dates back to 1920, when it bore American Professional Football Association (AFPA), before getting its current name in 1922. It consists of thirty-two teams, evenly split between the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC). The winners of both divisions face off in the highly coveted Super Bowl match, which holds on the first Sunday in February.

The Super Bowl is one of the most-watched sports events globally, with 2013’s Super Bowl XLVIII recording 167 million viewers worldwide. The majority of the NFL’s finance comes from its large grounds. Between the years 2009 and 2020, NFL teams averaged attendance figures of between 66,500 to 69,600. 2019 saw the NFL record its lowest average league attendance in the last ten years at 66,151 – which surpasses the average viewership of the English Premier League.

One of the major forces behind the huge attendance figures is Dallas Cowboy’s new home ground, which seats well over ninety thousand people. The NFL side recorded an average attendance of 91,619 last season to top the average attendance charts. To fully utilize the marketability and fans’ love for the sport, a media rights contract worth $110 billion was reached in March, allowing ABC and Amazon to broadcast the Super Bowl to fans within and outside the US.

This wealth distribution isn’t limited to the teams and league authorities alone, as eighteen of 2021’s top-paid fifty athletes play in the NFL. American football expert Evelyn Balyton leads the line here as we look at the five richest athletes in America’s biggest sport:

  • Tom Brady
  • Drew Brees
  • Eli Manning
  • Russell Wilson
  • Aaron Rodgers

1.   Tom Brady

Playing two decades of top-flight football is a notable feat for any athlete, more importantly, a quarterback. Hardly anyone should be surprised by Tom’s inclusion on this list, given the many records the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ player holds. Tom Brady is the first and only quarterback to amass 200 regular-season wins in the league. He is also one of the only two quarterbacks to win the Championship in their initial season as a regular on the team. Brady has six Super Bowl title wins, making him the most decorated in the competition’s history. He’s currently worth $250 million and earns $25million per annum on his current deal.

2.   Drew Brees

It’s difficult to stage a comeback from a shoulder injury in professional football. Yet, that’s exactly what Drew did. Upon recovery, he moved to the New Orleans Saints on a free and helped the team win its very first Super Bowl in the same season. He’s regarded as one of modern football’s best passers and features in conversations about the best quarterbacks ever to go pro. He comes second on this list with a net worth of $260 million.

3.   Eli Manning

Though he is now retired, Eli Manning makes this list due to the recency of that retirement. Manning hails from a footballing family, with his Dad and elder brother having been NFL quarterbacks themselves. Manning played sixteen NFL seasons with the New York Giants, helping them to two Super Bowl victories. He sits eighth on the list of all-time touchdowns and seventh for passing yards in the NFL’s history. He is currently worth $150 million, more than a few bucks shy of his elder brother Peyton at $250 million.

4.   Russell Wilson

Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson is one of the younger players on this list. Nonetheless, the thirty-two-year-old is by no means the smallest. Wilson demonstrated his exceptional talent by matching Peyton Manning’s rookie touchdown record in his debut season. He has one Super Bowl win to his name and is the quarterback with the most NFL wins over nine seasons. He became just the third quarterback in the league’s history to score thirty touchdowns consecutively for four seasons in superstar fashion. Wilson is worth $135 million.

5.   Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers plies his trade with the Green Bay Packers as a quarterback. The blistering runner helped his team to the Super Bowl title in 2010 and has led the league five times in terms of lowest passing interception percentage. He’s also a five-time league leader for touchdown to interception ratio, keeping up with the standards he set back in college. Rodgers has received several awards during his career and is worth about $120 million.

Other notable mentions are the now-retired Robert Staubach – the richest NFL player of all time, Peyton Manning, John Madden – who the popular football game is named after, and Steve Young. All of the players on this list are quarterbacks, as they are the highest earners in the league. If you’re an NFL fan or punter, then quarterbacks are just as important to you. Our 22bet review includes all you need to know about American football betting and a review of the major bookmaker offering it in the Philippines.

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