Cam Newton and 14 Other NFL Stars Who Pay Crazy Taxes

Published on July 26, 2019
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So you like football? And not the obsessive kind of “like” where you stalk each player and heaven forbid they leave your beloved team because all h-e-double-l is going to break loose. But, yeah, you’re a fan. Well as football lovers, we decided to do a little digging into calculating and estimating the tax bills that some of our favorite NFL stars pay out, you’ll be shocked to see which stars are forking out some serious cash to Uncle Sam.

Drew Brees

Drew Brees is one the highest paid players in the league, he is after all the Saints’ lead quarterback, earning $17.2 million. If you compare his income to his taxes, the amount isn’t all that bad, it’s quite reasonable really. In fact, Brees pays the 45th highest effective tax rate of 42.3%. After paying out $7.3 million in taxes, Brees pockets the remaining $9.9 million. Not too bad, eh?

Drew Brees

Drew Brees

Alex Smith

The Chiefs quarterback, Alex Smith, has led his team to the playoffs again, folks, he’s an unstoppable force of dedication and skill that is relentlessness. As such for his success, he pays over $7.7 million in total taxes, or 43.7%, of his original $17.8 million salary. We’re not talking about pocket change.

Alex Smith

Alex Smith

Ben Roethlisberger

Big Ben is the incredible, unstoppable force QB for the Pittsburgh Steelers. In fact, he’s the Steeler’s highest paid player, earning $23.9 million in pre-tax income. He approximately pays about 43% of that income in taxes. After he pays $10.3 million in taxes, he’s left with $13.6 million. Not too shabby.

Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger

Tony Romo

Tony Romo, if you didn’t know, is the Dallas Cowboys QB, who since 2006 has a higher passer rating in the 4th quarter than any other quarterback in the league. Romo earns $20.8 million, of which he pays a pretty modest and low 41.5% effective tax rate (or $8.6 million in total taxes). This means he takes home $12 million, yeah, its safe to say, he’s good.

Tony Romo

Tony Romo

Kirk Cousins

The Washington Redskins QB, Kirk Cousins, makes the list. He’s had a bit of roller coaster career but the Redskins still pay him $19.9 million per year, meaning $8.9 million went to Uncle Sam in return. Could be worse.

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins

Carson Palmer

At just 37, Palmer’s remarkable size and arm strength is a force to be reckoned with, which explains the numerous awards he has won over the years. So far, in the tax world, Palmer has forked over about $7.8 million in taxes. As of August 2016 though, he signed a one-year, $24.35 million contract extension with the Cardinals so it’s safe to say he doesn’t have money worries.

Carson Palmer

Carson Palmer

Colin Kaepernick

This San Francisco 49ers quarterback is up next on our list. It is estimated that Kaepernick paid around $8.6 million in taxes on his $20.2 million salary thus leaving him with $11.6 million. Therefore Kaepernick pays a 42.6% effective tax rate – insane figures.

Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick

Andrew Luck

Meet QB Andrew Luck, the highest paid player in the league, who signed a six-year extension with the Colts worth $140 million, with $87 million guaranteed. Luck pays an incredible 43% effective income tax rate, meaning he pays almost $8 million in taxes.

Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck

Joe Flacco

Flacco will always be known for having one of the strongest arms in the NFL, something he’s proven over and over as QB of the Baltimore Ravens. 44.8% of his income goes to taxes which is the seventh highest rate! Flacco is also one of the highest paid players in the league, even if he has to pay more than $10 million in taxes, he’s still left with almost $12.5 million.

Joe Flacco

Joe Flacco

Matt Stafford

Say what you want about the Detroit Lions but Matt Stafford is anything but ordinary. He’s the fourth QB in NFL history to throw for over 5,000 yards in a single season and is the fastest player in NFL history to reach 30,000 passing yards. Stafford also holds the NFL record for most comeback wins in a season, recording eight in the 2016 NFL season. He earns $22.5 million in pre-tax income and paid 43.7% of that in taxes, totaling $9.8 million.

Matt Stafford

Matt Stafford

Philip Rivers

The Chargers QB Philip Rivers has proved his worth and love for the game over and over again, thus cementing his ranking of 4th all-time in consecutive starts by a quarterback in the history of the NFL. Rivers tops our list as the player who dishes out the highest percent of his income on taxes as he pays a staggering 47% of his income in taxes. He’s paid almost $7.8 million in taxes alone.

Philip Rivers

Philip Rivers

Matt Ryan

What more can we say other then Matt Ryan is an absolute legend. His QB career with the Atlanta Falcons since 2008 is nothing short of extraordinary. It’s not surprising that he has one of the highest salaries in the league thus paying about 43% of his income in taxes or $10.3 million in taxes. The numbers speak for themselves.

Matt Ryan

Matt Ryan

Cam Newton

The former Auburn QB and NFL record breaker Cam Newton, folks is without a doubt on this list. Newton earned $19.5 million from the Carolina Panthers last year, with an estimated 43.7 percent tax rate, meaning he paid $8.4 million back to Uncle Sam. Yeah, we know, cray.

Cam Newton

Cam Newton

Aaron Rodgers

Is there anything the head QB cheese-head can’t do when it comes to on-field success? Okay, fine, yes. But no one can deny that Rodgers is anything but talented. As such, the Packers pay him a whopping $19.2 million per year, making him one of the highest paid players in the league and rightly so. Uncle Sam surely loves him as he pays an immense $8.4 million in taxes.

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers

Eli Manning

Was there any doubt that Eli Manning would end up on our list? Since 2004, Eli has the New York Giants head quarterback – he holds the Giants franchise records for most passing yards, touchdown passes, and completed passes in a career, plus the NFL record for most fourth quarter touchdown passes in a season. He pays about 44% of his income in taxes, totaling almost $10.8 million. Honestly, that probably doesn’t even phase him as he earns $24.2 million in his pre-tax salary, leaving him with $13.4 million after paying out his monster tax rate.

Eli Manning

Eli Manning