The NFL is a highly lucrative business, raking in billions of dollars every year. As of 2019, the average NFL team is worth 2.86 billion dollars, and each team spends hundreds of millions on players in order to build the perfect roster.
For many people, the millions of dollars professional football players earn is enviable, since they make huge amounts of money for playing the sport, but there’s much more to it than playing which makes the millions of dollars players earn well-deserved. NFL players put their bodies on the line for the entertainment of the viewers. NFL football is a highly physical sport, and injuries are commonplace. While most injuries are treatable, there’s still the risk of suffering a career-ending injury that will leave a player disabled for the rest of his life.
NFL players also have to spend nearly everyday to stay in shape in order to perform at the highest level for their respective teams, not to mention that playing well can lead to bigger paychecks.
Not every team is willing to go splurge on players, but the Green Bay Packers are one team that didn’t hesitate to let its budget take a hit to bolster their roster. It’s safe to say that this wager paid off, with the Packers clinching the top seed in the NFC. With the Packers looking to go on a deep playoff run, it seems right to take a look at the highest paid players on the squad that Green Bay spent on without second thought in order to build this formidable team.
Cap hit: $21,642,000
Topping the list of Green Bay’s highest paid players is none other than its franchise QB. Aaron Rodgers is a tried and true Green Bay Packer, having played for the franchise since 2005. Throughout his run with the team, he was able to lead the Packers to a Super Bowl Championship, and has also won two NFL Most Valuable Player Awards, along with playing in the Pro Bowl nine times and getting named All-Pro four times.
Rodgers may be at the tail end of his career, but he still has much to give for the Packers. What he has done for Green Bay so far alone already merits such a lucrative deal, but if this season is any indication, there’s no doubt that Green Bay spent its money well on one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.
Cap hit: $17,250,000
Za’Darius Smith signed a four-year, $66 million contract with the Packers in 2019, and his deal has paid off so far. After leaving the Baltimore Ravens for Green Bay, Smith blossomed. Throughout his stay so far with the Packers, the linebacker was able to prove himself and was named into two Pro Bowl teams thus far. He also made it to second-team All Pro in 2020.
Smith has been an anchor in Green Bay’s defense, which becomes much more formidable with his presence on the field. With him in the middle of his prime and proving that he is someone to be feared by opposing offenses, there’s no question that Green Bay did not go wrong with signing him.
Cap hit: $16,475,000
Green Bay has one of the top receivers in the league in Davante Adams. Throughout his career with the Packers, he has flourished into a key cog in the Packers offense, and has gathered accolades for himself as well. Since 2017, he was named to four straight Pro Bowl teams, and was named first team All-Pro in 2020 while leading the league in receiving touchdowns as well.
The Green Bay offense would be much different without Adams, and the money he’s making is a reflection of his value.
Cap hit: $14,700,000
Bakhtiari has consistently proven that he is one of the best tackles in the sport, and his paycheck is telling of that fact. The three-time Pro Bowler and five-time All Pro offensive tackle has been a constant key ingredient in the Green Bay squad.
While Bakhtiari is on the last year of his current contract, it’s highly unlikely for Green Bay to not bring him back after he has shown his value to the team time and again. Although the franchise’s budget might take a bigger hit by bringing back Bakhtiari, there’s no question that it will be worth it.
Cap hit: $13,500,000
Preston Smith is not as flush with accolades as the other players in this list, but what he brings to Green Bay is undeniable. With the 6’5, 265-pound linebacker on the field for the Packers, offenses are always facing a daunting threat.
After signing a four-year, $52 million deal in 2019, Smith has reinforced the Packers defense. With Green Bay poised to make a run at the Super Bowl, fans will be able to see how much Smith can make an impact is enough for the Packers to get over the hump.