NFL players have some of the highest yearly salaries out of any occupation in the world. The highest paid player makes over $20 million per year. Some players choose to use their wealth to live the lavish lifestyle and others prefer stay low key and live like average middle class Americans. Most of the players on this list are quarterbacks because that is by far the highest paid position in the NFL and it is also a position that produces alpha male personalities. The big ballers on this list are some of the highest paid NFL players of all time, so they can afford to blow money on all of their homes, cars, clothes and women.
However not everyone in the NFL is paid as well as the QB and can not live as lavishly as their highly paid teammates. The league minimum is well into six figures at around $600,000 a year, but considering the average NFL career only lasts 3 seasons that salary will only last so long before their money runs out. Some of the guys that live below their means make enough money to live however they want, but they choose to live modestly and save the money they earned on the gridiron. Others find themselves on the list because they simply do not have the star power to attract one of the big salaries in the league and have had to downsize to survive long-term.
These are 10 NFL players who live like ballers (and 5 who live like the amish).
15. Baller: Matt Stafford
The Lions locked up their franchise quarterback to a big contract before this season, and he has grown into a very solid performer running the high powered Lions offence. The Lions are now a perennial playoff contender and it’s mainly because of Stafford’s play. Matt Stafford’s contract also set the record for the largest contract given to an NFL player at $27 million a year. The total value of Stafford’s contract is worth $135 million dollars and that is also an NFL record. Forbes reported in 2017 that Stafford’s net worth is estimated at around $15 million, and according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, in 2017 Stafford purchased a massive 9838 square-foot mansion in Atlanta for $3.85 million. His car collection includes an Audi, a Cadillac, and Rolls Royce as well.
14. Baller: Cam Newton
Being the number one draft pick in the NFL has its perks and one of them is a boatload of money the moment the first contract is signed. Cam Newton signed a massive contract extension with the Carolina Panthers in 2015 that locked him up until the 2020 season. His contract is worth $103.8 million and $67.6 million of that was to be paid out within the first three years of the deal. He is now in year two of the contract and has grown his net worth to an impressive $45 million with only 5 years in the NFL. Cam Newton has a nice million-dollar house in Charlotte and has an impressive car collection that includes a Mercedes Benz as well as a Roll Royce Phantom. Everyone has become aware of Cam’s outlandish post game outfits, some of which include expensive blazers, hats, and other accessories.
13. Amish: Giovanni Bernard
At just over $1.5 million dollars a year, Bernard is paid well for a back that shares a job with two players that were drafted right after he was brought to the team. He has plenty of money to live above his current means, but with his job uncertain Bernard has the sense to save his money. He apparently drives a beat up minivan and lives in a small one-bedroom apartment in Cincinnati near the stadium. In an NFL where running backs are now seen as a dime a dozen, he is smart to save everything he can. Bernard is one of the best catching backs in the league and since most teams throw the ball more often his skills will be useful for many seasons moving forward. Since he has saved most of his money he should have plenty to last him a lifetime.
12. Baller: Marshawn Lynch
Marshawn Lynch has had a successful career as an NFL running back and lives his life however he wants too because of it. His white Lamborghini was pictured on Instagram with velvet ropes surrounding it while it was parked on the street. Lynch has also been on various TV shows throughout his career as well like The League and Man vs. Wild. The crazy part about Marshawn Lynch’s money is that apparently he has not spent a dime of the cash that he has earned in salary during his 9 year NFL career. According to Business Insider, Lynch has been living the last 10 years off of endorsements and other business ventures. Maybe the reason he came out of retirement is that he wanted one more chance to bring a title to his hometown in Oakland before the Raiders pack up and move to Las Vegas.
11. Baller: Julius Peppers
Julius Peppers has been one of the most dominant defensive ends throughout his entire career and that has lead him to sign multiple large contracts throughout his 15 years in the league. His estimated net worth is around 30 million dollars. Peppers has had a wide variety of houses during his playing career as well. In 2015, his North Carolina mansion was on the market for around $4 million. After signing with the original team that drafted him (the Carolina Panthers), he decided to put his other home on the market again this season. His eight-bedroom home in Coral Gables was listed for $6.45 million and he purchased it back in 2014 for $5.18 million. All his real estate means Peppers is definitely loaded with cash as well as in assets. That is what happens when you are one of the best players at your position for the better part of two decades.
10. Amish: Ryan Kerrigan
Kerrigan is one of the premiere pass rushers in the NFL and this allowed him to sign a 5-year, $57.5 million contract in 2015 with the team that drafted him, the Washington Redskins. Kerrigan makes way more than the average American at just above $8 million a year. With that big money Kerrigan could buy a huge mansion and all the luxury cars he could possibly dream of, but he opts to live a much more modest life off the field compared to most NFL stars. According to the Wall Street Journal he drives a Chevy Tahoe, which the average middle class American could afford. Kerrigan also lives the rest of his life inexpensively. He shares an apartment with one of his childhood friends and he makes most of his meals himself. He says even when he does eat out it is not at a fancy restaurant he enjoys fast food like Chipotle.
9. Baller: Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers is one of the highest paid players in the league because he rose to stardom when Brett Favre was traded to the Jets in 2008. When Rodgers signed his contract in 2013 it was the most guaranteed money ever in a contract with $62.5 million. Rodgers seems to enjoy the spotlight as well, appearing in various commercials and on game shows over the years. He has also been seen dating famous movie stars like Olivia Munn whom he dated for three years. In the off-season he lives in a multi-million dollar mansion in Del mar, California, thousands of miles away from cold Green Bay. Rodgers net worth is estimated around $30 million and since he is still in the prime of his career he can earn much more before he retires.
8. Baller: Von Miller
Von Miller became the highest paid defensive player in 2016 when he threatened to holdout if he did not get a new contract. The Broncos obliged and made sure they did not lose the face of their franchise by signing him to a six year $114.5 million dollar deal. Miller is also known to love the spotlight as well being a contestant on dancing with the stars and appearing in a multitude of Old Spice commercials. Winning Super Bowl 50 and Super Bowl MVP cemented Miller as a household name and he has turned that into a bunch of off field endorsements to go along with his huge salary. Miller is also one of the most flashy players when it comes to his clothing. It seems like him and Cam Newton are in competition for best dressed at each press conference they attend.
7. Amish: Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins is the first quarterback in the history of the NFL to secure the franchise tag for back-to-back seasons. Cousins’ solid play as a starter throughout his career will allow him to cash in on a big contract this offseason as well. However, that does not mean he lives a lavish lifestyle off the field. Cousins also reportedly drives a GMC Savana van that he bought from his grandmother for a bargain. He and his wife live in his parent’s basement during the offseason. Money will never be an issue for Cousins after this season. Cousins is set to cash in on an NFL that is full of teams who need a starting quarterback. He will be one of the most in-demand players in the league during the coming off season no matter what team he ends up on, which is impressive for a player who started his career as a third round draft pick and backup QB.
6. Baller: Matt Ryan
Matty Ice got his nickname for being cold blooded on the field, but he might as well have got the name for all the ice he could wear off the field with the huge contracts he has signed over the years. He came into the league before the new collective bargaining agreement where the rookies took a huge pay cut on their first contracts. Ryan was the number one overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons who had just lost Michael Vick to a prison sentence. He signed a huge rookie contract and has been the face of the Falcons franchise ever since. The Super Bowl last season was a major disappointment for his career, but he even parlayed that it into a Gatorade commercial that he was surely paid handsomely for. He has played for 9 seasons and it is estimated that he is worth around $20 million dollars.
5. Baller: Ben Roethlisberger
Ben Roethlisberger was drafted 11th overall in 2004 and since then the Steelers have regained the winning ways of the past Steelers teams like the Steel Curtain. Roethlisberger has brought home two Lombardi trophies in his 13 year NFL career and has become a Pittsburgh legend in the process. This all has led Roethlisberger to become one of the highest paid NFL players ever, having earned over $30 million during his long tenure with the black and gold. At 10,000 square feet, Ben’s home is definitely considered a mansion and it includes a cathedral ceilings, a pool with his number 7 painted on the ground, and basketball court. It has been rumoured the past few seasons that Ben Roethlisberger has plans on retiring from football. If he decides to do so then he has plenty of money to fall back on.
4. Amish: A.J. Francis
Francis is definitely the least recognizable face on this list and maybe that is why he is capable of being a driver for Uber as his side job without fans noticing him. Francis is currently playing for his second team, the Washington Redskins. He is scheduled to make $615,000 for them this season yet he still decided to keep driving with Uber, making $40 to $50 an hour. He decided to start driving for the company back in 2015 when he was uncertain whether he was going to make the Miami Dolphins roster. Francis told the New York Post that he wants to pursue a broadcasting career when his playing days are over, so Uber is the perfect job for him because it involves being social and talking to new people frequently. Even in the NFL there are people that need to pick up a side job in this struggling economy.
3. Ballers: Eli/Peyton Manning
It is hard to believe that two brothers from the same family were both drafted number one overall in two separate drafts. But when your last name is Manning then apparently anything is possible. Both Peyton and Eli Manning have won two SuperBowls each and are two of the richest quarterbacks in NFL history. The Manning brothers have also both appeared in a bunch of random commercials like Papa Johns, Nationwide, and Direct TV due to their reputations. Eli Manning’s net worth is estimated at around $101 million and his big brother Peyton is valued at around $200 million. So make that another thing that Peyton has beat Eli at in their lifetime. Both of these guys are accustomed to having money their entire lives because their father Archie was a solid NFL quarterbacks for 12 seasons.
2. Baller: Tom Brady
No one embodies the lavish superstar athlete lifestyle better than Tom Brady. He has the money, the fame, the SuperBowls, and of course the super model wife to top it all off. His whole life screams baller and he even lives with a personal chef that helps him maintain one of the most healthy and strict diets in all of sports. Brady’s rise to stardom after leading the Patriots to a SuperBowl allowed him to earn around $100 million in his 17 year career through salary and endorsements. However, what sets Brady apart from his NFL colleagues is his insanely rich wife Gisele Bündchen. She is one of the most famous models in the world and in 2012 was first on Forbes list of top earning models. It is estimated that she is worth around $250 million and when her and Tom tied the knot in 2009 that made their combined net worth over $300 million.
1. Amish: Jordy Nelson
NFL fans have become very familiar with Jordy Nelson over the past decade as he has become one of the best receivers in the league for the Green Bay Packers. He and Aaron Rodgers have been arguably the best quarterback and receiver combination in the league during that time period. This has justified Nelson getting the necessary pay he deserves; in 2014 he signed a 4- year contract worth $39 million. However Nelson has not let all of this fame and fortune change who he is and make him forget where he comes from. In his off seasons he can be found in the same place where he grew up working on his parents farm in Riley, Kansas. His duties consist of driving a combine to harvest wheat or rounding up the cattle and he works for an impressive 12 hours a day. He evens told ESPN in an interview that, “Working cattle is my favourite farm duty. I probably identify more as a farmer (than a football player).”
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