NFL

Who Are the Highest Paid Safeties in the NFL?

As the 2022 NFL season is set to start Sept. 8, here are the top 10 highest paid safeties in the league

Derwin James
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An NFL safety's versatility far surpasses any other position out on the field and the appreciation is reflected in their paychecks.

On Aug. 17, Derwin James and the Chargers agreed to a whopping four-year extension worth $76.4 million, placing James to become the highest paid safety in NFL history.

With the 2022 NFL season set to begin on Sept. 8, let’s take a look at the top 10 highest paid safeties in the league:

Who are the highest paid safeties in the NFL?

  1. Derwin James, Chargers: $19.13 million ($76.4 million over 4 years)
  2. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Steelers: $18.24 million ($73.6 million over 4 years)
  3. Jamal Adams, Seahawks: $17.5 million ($70 million over 4 years) 
  4. Harrison Smith, Vikings: $16 million ($64 million over 4 years) 
  5. Justin Simmons, Broncos: $15.2 million ($61 million over 4 years)
  6. Budda Baker, Cardinals: $14.75 million (59 million over 4 years) 
  7. Eddie Jackson, Bears: $14.6 million ($58.4 million over 4 years) 
  8. Kevin Byard, Titans $14.1 million ($70.5 million over 5 years)
  9. Marcus Williams, Ravens: $14 million ($70 million over 5 years) 
  10. Quandre Diggs, Seahawks: $13 million ($39 million over 3 years)

How much do NFL safeties get paid?

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The average salary for safeties for the 2022 NFL season is $2,018,654 million per year, per Spotrac.

Who is the highest paid safety in NFL history?

On Wednesday, Aug. 17, Darwin James agreed to a four-year extension worth $76.4 million with the Los Angeles Chargers to become the highest-paid safety in NFL history.

Who are the best active safeties in the NFL?

The best active safeties in the NFL are as follows:

Kevin Byard, Titans

Byard was selected to the Pro Bowl and the First Team All-Pro in 2017. That season, he was the co-leader for most interceptions with 8.

Derwin James, Chargers

James was selected to the Pro Bowl two times and earned First-team All-Pro honors twice. James made history on Aug. 17 as the highest paid safety in the NFL.

Jessie Bates III, Bengals

The second-team All-Pro selection was drafted by the Bengals in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He has accumulated 408 total tackles and 10 interceptions in his young career.

Justin Simmons, Broncos

Simmons was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2020 and earned Second-team All-Pro honors twice. Drafted by the Broncos in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft, Simmons has amassed 465 tackles, 21 interceptions and 49 pass deflections.

Tyrann Mathieu, Saints

In Mathieu's rookie year, he was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team and has since received three invites to the Pro Bowl. He has also been named to the first-team All-Pro three times and won Super Bowl LIV with the Chiefs.

How much are safeties paid compared to other NFL positions?

While James now ranks first among safeties with an average of $19.13 million per year, that pales in comparison to the highest paid quarterbacks, several of whom make upwards of $40 million a year. Meanwhile, the top wide receivers are earning $25 million a year or more.

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