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Defensive Players in the National Football League with the Highest Average Salary



The National Football League pays incredibly well for those talented enough to perform at a high level. While we have certainly seen quarterbacks rake in the biggest contracts of anyone, they are far from the only position group that gets paid. Defence wins championships in the NFL, and defensive players are certainly richly rewarded.

The top NFL defenders, the elite tier of stars who enter each year as some of the favorites on sports betting sites’ odds for the Defensive Player of the Year, can rake in massive contracts. Let’s look at the defensive superstars who currently have signed contracts that will pay the highest average salaries in the upcoming seasons.

Nick Bosa

Nick Bosa won the Defensive Player of the Year award after a monster season last year. While his odds of winning this year are low, according to Michigan sportsbooks, he is still one of the best sack artists in the game. Bosa is the key Defensive End on the San Francisco 49ers, an absolute star who gets after the quarterback as much as anyone in the game. Right as the season started, he was richly rewarded for his troubles, signing a five-year, $170,000,000 contract with an annual payout of $34 million a year. Considering he is still young, this contract will likely be considered a good one. 

Aaron Donald

Aaron Donald has been one of the great defensive players of this generation of football. He is an interior defensive lineman with unparalleled speed and strength, and he has been a stalwart on the Rams for around a decade. Donald has achieved all there is to accomplish with the Rams, including a massive Super Bowl win. The team has rewarded him for his years of incredible service with a contract that pays $31.6 million per year. Donald might not be as young as he once was, but he is still one of the game’s premier matchup nightmares. His ability to put pressure on the inside of the pocket gives the Rams a major advantage.

T.J. Watt

When T.J. Watt first entered the league, he was best known as the brother of J.J. Watt, who had a Hall of Fame career in Houston. But T.J. is carving out his own legacy. He broke the record for the most sacks in a season and earned Defensive Player of the Year, and he is currently on pace for another season that cements him as arguably the league’s best pass-rusher. Watt is an integral part of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and they have retained his services for years to come. The Steelers signed Watt to a contract that pays just over $28 million per year. He is a true cornerstone for the team.

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Joey Bosa

Joey Bosa is Nick Bosa’s older brother, and both have been handsomely rewarded for their top-notch play. Bosa has been a fixture on the Los Angeles Chargers’ defensive line since he was drafted, and he has become one of the game’s most feared pass rushers when he is on the field. The Chargers have made Bosa a priority, signing him to a contract that pays $27 million per year. While Bosa is certainly a star, there may be some buyer’s remorse for the Chargers. He has been unable to stay consistently healthy and will be out for the rest of the season this year with an injury.

Myles Garrett

Myles Garrett was selected as the first overall pick to transform the Cleveland Browns’ defence. He is a ferocious Defensive End who brings unparalleled athleticism to the position. He has lived up to every possible expectation so far. Garrett is a force of nature, and while the Browns’ defence still struggled even with him putting up monster sack totals, the team has come around and now has arguably the league’s top unit. Garrett is having his best year this year, and the Browns can rest easy knowing they have him signed until 2027 at $25 million per year.

Montez Sweat

Montez Sweat might be the game’s fastest Defensive End, with incredible speed to beat linemen around the edge. He has had several incredible seasons in Washington. Recently, the Chicago Bears swung a big trade to acquire Sweat and affirmed their commitment to him by signing the star Defensive End to a $24.5 million-per-year contract. While Sweat might not have the name recognition of other players on this list, he is the real deal. He is an elite pass-rusher who will be the key star on the Bears’ defence for the next several years to come. If you’re a fan of these defensive stars and want to witness their skills in action, don’t miss your chance to secure NFL Super Bowl tickets at TicketSmarter to see the biggest game of the year.



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