There's no shortage of articles chronicling the riches-to-rags stories of NFL players who went broke after squandering massive fortunes. Some blew it all on bad investments and leeching from hangers-on. Others did themselves in after partying, bad judgment, and reckless spending on homes, luxury cars, and shiny stuff of every imaginable kind.
Many football players, however, got rich and stayed rich—and some are richer than others. Some of the NFL's wealthiest current and former athletes earned their big bucks on the field. Today's top players, after all, earn massive contracts that sometimes run into nine figures with huge sums guaranteed or paid upfront as bonuses. Others played at a time when athletes earned comparatively modest salaries but struck it rich through post-retirement entrepreneurial pursuits and business ventures.
A few of the following players made more from big-money corporate endorsement deals than they ever did on the gridiron. Some launched rap careers or made it big in Hollywood. Others turned their popularity and knowledge of the game into lucrative broadcasting careers where they received NFL-style paychecks without the bodily injuries.
To uncover the richest NFL players, Stacker consulted Celebrity Net Worth and ranked them by their 2022 net worth. The net worth figures in this list were calculated using a proprietary formula that factored in all publicly available data about each person, including salaries, real estate holdings, divorces, record sales, royalties, and endorsements—minus estimated taxes, manager's fees, agent fees, and lifestyle expenses.
Here's a look at the richest players in the National Football League. Some are still playing today. Others were drafted in the 1950s and have been retired for decades. Some are known widely among football fans but wouldn't be familiar to mainstream audiences. Others are household names across the country, even among people who have never watched a game. One person on this list never technically played in the NFL but is the most powerful man in the league today.
All, however, have one thing in common—they're very, very rich.
You may also like: Undrafted NFL players who made the Hall of Fame