Who Are the Highest-Paid Edge Rushers in the NFL in 2023?

Who are the highest-paid edge rushers in the NFL in 2023, and who sits atop the list heading into the new league year?

Who Are the Highest-Paid Edge Rushers in the NFL in 2023?

The list of highest-paid edge rushers has evolved continuously over the previous few NFL offseasons. With the top of the market now reaching average annual values (AAV) of nearly $30 million a year, which players make up the top 10 highest-paid edge rushers in the NFL in 2023?

Who Is the Highest-Paid Edge Rusher in the NFL?

After signing a four-year, $112 million extension with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2021, T.J. Watt remains the NFL’s highest-paid edge rusher. At the time, he was entering the final year of his rookie contract. Watt received just over $35 million as a signing bonus and $80 million in guarantees.

Pittsburgh doesn’t typically guarantee much base salary, but they made an exception for Watt, whose salary was fully guaranteed from 2021-23. He’ll have cap charges of around $30 million in each of the next three seasons, meaning his contract is ripe to be restructured.

Watt’s four-year contract is intriguing compared to the others just below him on this list. On one hand, it seems like Watt could have gotten a fifth or sixth year. Nevertheless, he’ll be 31 when his current deal ends and could even command a bigger number when he reaches free agency again.

highest-paid edge rushers

Highest-Paid Edge Rushers 2-10

2) Joey Bosa, Los Angeles Chargers | AAV: $27 million

Joey Bosa’s extension with the Chargers has been on the books for nearly three years but still remains the second-most expensive edge contract in the league. His five-year, $135 million deal contained a $35 million signing bonus and a total of $102 million in potential guarantees. The last of those guarantees came into play when his 2023 salary ($24 million) became fully guaranteed on March 20, 2022.

MORE: Highest-Paid NFL Players and Biggest Contracts Heading Into the 2023 Season

The final two years of the deal will see Bosa with $22 million and $25.36 million in cash. In 2025, Bosa has an $8.36 million roster bonus due on the fifth day of the league year that will force Los Angeles to make a decision on his future in advance of his age-30 campaign.

3) Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns | AAV: $25 million

Myles Garrett signed his extension with the Browns roughly two weeks before Bosa agreed to a long-term deal with the Chargers. Garrett’s deal wasn’t as impressive as Bosa’s, but he still hit the $25 million mark.

Cleveland has been able to keep Garrett’s cap charges relatively low thus far. However, in 2023 and onward, the average cap number is a touch below $30 million. In 2023 itself, that cap number jumps all the way to $29.176 million before climbing to $32.129 million in 2024.

Of Garrett’s base salary, $10 million is already guaranteed, and the rest will guarantee on March 17. He can collect $5 million roster bonuses in 2025 and 2026.

T-4) Khalil Mack, Los Angeles Chargers | AAV: $23.5 million

It feels like a lifetime ago that Khalil Mack was traded to the Bears and signed a six-year, $141 million contract. For a while, that deal remained the benchmark for the EDGE market, but Mack has since been surpassed atop the list of highest-paid edge rushers.

Mack has since been traded again, and the Chargers are responsible for his $23.5 million annual salary. The 32-year-old is under contract for two more seasons in Los Angeles. Following a restructure, Mack’s 2023 cap charge is just $16.6 million.

However, that figure will jump to an absurd $38.5 million in 2024. There’s virtually no chance Mack plays at the number next year. Releasing Mack next offseason would create $23.25 million in cap savings for the Chargers.

T-4) Maxx Crosby, Las Vegas Raiders | AAV: $23.5 million

Maxx Crosby has become a star and is being paid as such with a $23.6 million average salary. The Raiders gave him a four-year, $94 million extension in March 2022 that included $26.515 million in fully guaranteed money, including his signing bonus, 2022 salary, and 2023 roster bonus.

Assuming Crosby is still on Las Vegas’ roster on March 17 (which he will be), his base salaries for 2023 ($7.505 million) and 2024 ($19.01 million) will become guaranteed. Additionally, his $10.05 million roster bonus for 2023 will also guarantee.

Crosby’s cap hit was just $6.7 million in 2022 and, following a restructure, will be $12.98 million in 2023. However, his cap figures will jump to $24+ million each season from 2024-26.

6) Bradley Chubb, Miami Dolphins | AAV: $22 million

The Dolphins sent a first-round pick to the Denver Broncos to acquire Bradley Chubb at the 2022 trade deadline, then signed him to a five-year, $110 million extension just two days later. Chubb’s pact includes more than $33 million guaranteed at signing. That total is comprised of his signing bonus and base salaries in 2022 and 2023.

Chubb’s 2024 salary ($19.75 million) will guarantee on March 16 — currently, that figure is guaranteed for injury only. None of his 2025 salary is fully guaranteed, but $10 million is guaranteed for injury.

Miami is locked into Chubb’s extension through at least the 2024 campaign. At that point, they could potentially release him, but they’d be taking on more than $16 million in dead money.

7) Von Miller, Buffalo Bills | AAV: $20 million

The Bills stepped outside their usual comfort zone in 2022 to sign Von Miller, a likely future Hall of Famer and one of the top free agents on the board that season. Buffalo gave Miller a six-year, $120 million pact with $45 million guaranteed at signing.

MORE: Top 100 NFL Free Agents 2023

Miller’s contract isn’t quite as impressive as it seems on the surface. The structure of the deal will likely keep him on the Bills’ roster through 2024, but he’ll be 35 years old at that point. If his play has declined, Buffalo could use a post-June 1 designation and essentially turn his accord into a three-year, $52.4 million contract. Miller is coming off a torn ACL, and there’s no telling how he’ll respond after the injury.

T-8) Cameron Jordan, New Orleans Saints | AAV: $17.5 million

Speaking of aged edge defenders, Cameron Jordan is entering his age-34 season with the Saints. Jordan doesn’t have any guarantees left on his contract, but New Orleans has restructured his deal so many times that there’s ample dead money attached.

This year, the Saints again brought Jordan’s salary down to the league minimum and shifted money into the future. Therefore, his 2023 cap charge will be $15.1 million. There are four void years in Jordan’s contract, so if he doesn’t re-sign with the Saints next offseason, they’ll take on more than $23 million in dead cap.

T-8) Harold Landry III, Tennessee Titans | AAV: $17.5 million

Although Harold Landy III looked like a franchise tag candidate in 2022, the Titans instead signed him to a five-year, $87.5 million extension. Landry missed the entire 2022 campaign after tearing his ACL, but he’s expected to be ready for the upcoming season.

Landry received $35.25 million at signing, including his bonus, 2022 salary ($15 million), and 2023 salary ($17.25 million). Overall, his extension is pretty straightforward. He’ll be on the Titans’ roster through 2024, at which point Tennessee could release him and make the deal a three-year, $52.5 million pact.

If Landry plays out his entire contract, he’ll only be 31 years old when he hits free agency again in 2027, so he could land another payday.

T-10) Shaquil Barrett, Tampa Bay Buccaneers | AAV: $17 million

After playing the 2020 campaign on the franchise tag, Shaquil Barrett signed a four-year, $72 million extension with the Buccaneers in 2021. That pact contained $34.25 million guaranteed at signing, including an $18.75 million signing bonus.

Tampa Bay has restructured Barrett’s contract in the past, but the team hasn’t done so this offseason despite its cap problems. As such, Barrett will have cap charges of $21+ million over the next two seasons. He also has two void years tacked onto the end of his deal. If Barrett plays out his contract and doesn’t re-sign with the Bucs, they’ll take on almost $10 million of dead money in 2025.

T-10) Chandler Jones, Las Vegas Raiders | AAV: $17 million

Searching for a Crosby tag-team partner, the Raiders signed Chandler Jones to a three-year, $51 million free agent deal last offseason. Jones received $32 million in guarantees, including his signing bonus, 2022 and 2023 salaries, and 2023 roster bonus.

Jones struggled to produce in his first season with Las Vegas, but the Raiders designed his contract with the option to release him after two years. If general manager Dave Ziegler and Co. decide to part ways with Jones next offseason, they will have paid him $34 million over two seasons and will be left with $7.2 million in dead cap.