Traditionally, quarterbacks may be known for having the highest salaries, but when it comes to the overall spread of NFL salaries by team, the two who made it to the Super Bowl are putting more of their money in the defense, a new graphic from the Guardian newspaper shows.
The Guardian found that Baltimore Ravens spend $64 million on their defense and $49 million on their offense. Terrell Suggs earns the most among the linebackers, who take up (as a group) the biggest chunk of change. The Raven’s quarterback, Joe Flacco, takes home about $8 million a year (though that is guaranteed to change with his upcoming contract negotiations) while Suggs earns $11 million. Wide receiver Anquan Bolden also comes to close to Flacco, earning $7.5 million.
The San Francisco 49ers are closer in their spending between offense and defense, though they still pay out $3 million to their defensive players. The highest paid on their end is free safety Dashon Goldson, who takes home $6.2 million and linebacker Patrick Willis who takes home $6.5 million. After being sidelined with a concussion and then replaced by the much younger and cheaper Colin Kaepernick, quarterback Alex Smith takes home $9.5 million to ride the pines. Kaepernick takes home, in comparison a paltry, $1.16 million.
The graphic also shows the gap between the highly paid stars and the players who, despite the fact that they are paid handsomely compared to most American workers, earn a paltry amount when you consider their short career lifespan.