The landscape of the highest-paid offensive tackles in the NFL has taken a dramatic shift during the past two seasons. Who is the highest-paid OT in the NFL, and which other offensive tackles round out the top 10 at the position?
The highest-paid offensive tackles in the NFL | 6-10
Which offensive tackles sit in the bottom half of the top 10 when it comes to average annual value (AAV)?
10) Garett Bolles, Denver Broncos | AAV: $17 million
During the 2020 NFL season, the Broncos and Bolles agreed to a four-year contract extension. The deal is worth $68 million — an average of $17 million per year. 2021 will be the first official year of Bolles’ extension. However, Bolles will count just $5 million against the Broncos’ salary cap in 2021. Those cap numbers will jump to $21 million, $18 million, and $20 million, respectively, in the next three years.
At signing, $21 million was fully guaranteed — $20 million came in a signing bonus, with a $1 million base salary in 2021. On the fifth day of the 2021 league year, another $17 million in base salary in 2022 will become fully guaranteed.
9) Braden Smith, Indianapolis Colts | AAV: $17.5 million
After losing left tackle Anthony Castanzo this past offseason, the Indianapolis Colts locked up their right tackle Braden Smith. Smith had one year remaining on his deal when he signed a four-year $70 million contract extension. The new deal will make him the ninth-highest paid OT and includes $42 million in guarantees.
T6) Kolton Miller, Las Vegas Raiders | AAV: $18 million
Kolton Miller managed to secure himself a contract extension and a place on the list of highest-paid offensive tackles before playing his third season in the NFL. With essentially two years remaining on his original deal, including his fifth-year option, Miller signed a three-year contract extension worth $54 million.
Miller’s contract is somewhat interesting in terms of structure. There was no signing bonus included in the $54 million, and only $11.5 million of that money is fully guaranteed. With all of that guaranteed money being in 2021, Miller is essentially auditioning for his future in Las Vegas this year. If he plays well and remains on the roster in 2022, there is a further $31 million that becomes guaranteed. On the contrary, if he struggles, this contract extension suddenly becomes a one-year, $11.5 million deal.
T6) Taylor Moton, Carolina Panthers | AAV: $18 million
With barely any time to spare before the franchise tag contract extension deadline, the Panthers and Taylor Moton came to terms on a four-year contract extension. Moton was due to earn $13.8 million in base salary in 2021 playing on the franchise tag. His new contract will add another $72 million in value, spread across four years.
Moton’s contract extension contains $43 million in guarantees and keeps him under contract through 2025. As a fellow right tackle, who could yet shift to the left side, it is very appropriate that his contract value essentially matches that of Lane Johnson.
T6) Lane Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles | AAV: $18 million
At one point, Johnson sat alone as the highest-paid right tackle. He’s been a long-term part of an Eagles’ offensive line that has garnered a lot of respect in the past decade. After agreeing to a contract extension in 2019, Johnson still has five years remaining on his current deal. The four-year extension was worth $72 million at $18 million per year.
In 2021, Johnson will count $17.8 million against the cap. His cap number varies between $14.1 million in 2022 and $21.3 million in 2023. It would not be a surprise to see the Eagles shift some of his salary in 2021 into 2022 to reduce that cap number this year.
The highest-paid offensive tackles in the NFL | 2-5
Which offensive tackles make up the top five in terms of the highest-paid at the position?
5) Ryan Ramczyk, New Orleans Saints | AAV: $19.2 million
Ramczyk took over as the highest-paid among offensive tackles who play on the right side of the line. Prior to signing his contract extension, Ramczyk was due to play on a fifth-year option worth $11.1 million in 2021. However, the Saints have spent the entire offseason trying to remedy their cap situation, and they were facing a situation where Ramczyk and cornerback Marshon Lattimore were set to be free agents following the season.
Therefore, the Saints got a deal done with Ramczyk ahead of the 2021 season. The new money on the deal is $96 million across five new years. Ramczyk is now under contract through the 2026 season. The extension had a $19 million signing bonus, $43 million guaranteed at signing, and $60 million in total guarantees. He will count just $5.5 million against the Saints’ salary cap this season. However, that number jumps up to an average of $20.4 million per year in the next five seasons.
4) Ronnie Stanley, Baltimore Ravens | AAV: $19.75 million
Stanley signed a new deal during the 2020 season. At the time of signing the deal, he was only behind Houston Texans LT Laremy Tunsil in terms of highest-paid OTs. His five-year contract extension is worth $98.75 million, with an AAV of $19.75 million.
In 2021, Stanley will count $15.25 million against the Ravens’ salary cap. In terms of guarantees, Stanley received $22.5 million in a signing bonus and has another $17 million guaranteed in terms of base salaries in 2021 and 2022.
3) Laremy Tunsil, Houston Texans | AAV: $22 million
Entering the final year of his deal in 2020, Tunsil and the Texans agreed to a three-year contract extension. The contract extension is worth $66 million. The extension made Tunsil the highest-paid OT in the league heading into the 2020 NFL season.
Tunsil’s extension contained $40 million in fully guaranteed money, with a further $10 million in base salary for 2022 becoming fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2021 league year. This deal should keep Tunsil in Houston until at least 2023, at which point the Texans will have an opportunity to move on from the deal.
2) David Bakhtiari, Green Bay Packers | AAV: $23 million
During the 2020 NFL season, OT David Bakhtiari became the highest-paid player among offensive tackles in the NFL. The Packers left tackle signed a four-year contract extension worth $92 million. The deal contained a $30 million signing bonus, which was all that was guaranteed in the contract.
Bakhtiari was due to count around $19 million against the Packers’ salary cap in 2021. However, following a contract restructure, he will count $11 million against the cap in 2021. Those cap numbers will rise to $22.8 million in 2022, before going to $26.3 million and $30.3 million in the final two years of the deal.
Who is the highest-paid offensive tackle in the NFL?
Following Bakhtiari’s deal, it was expected that Trent Williams would receive a similar offer or better, making him the highest-paid offensive tackle.
1) Trent Williams, San Francisco 49ers | AAV: $23.01 million
In the early hours of March 17, the 49ers and Trent Williams agreed to a six-year deal worth $138.06 million. Of that, $55.1 million is guaranteed, with a $30.1 million signing bonus. As a result, Williams just becomes the highest-paid among offensive tackles in terms of AAV and signing bonus.
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