To borrow the old adage in football, ‘kickers are people too’. So it only makes sense that we look into how much that they can make on their contracts.
The life of a kicker is certainly an interesting one in the sport of American Football. They spend 90% of the time and more sitting on the bench waiting for the moment to be called upon whilst the other players hit each other hard and make spectacular plays.
Then when the drive is over, be it with a touchdown or just needing a field goal, they trot themselves out and swing their leg trying to put the ball through the uprights, take the field again for the kickoff, before sitting down for another couple of minutes (if they’re lucky) as they wait their turn again.
And whilst they might be off to the side for the majority of the game, making it might seem like something of a comfortable life, as any kicker will tell you, there will come a time when the game will be resting on their shoulders, where their kick could mean the difference between winning and losing, and that’s where the pressure plays its part.
As a result, one kick can make you a hero for the team, or in the case of Buffalo Bills kicker Scott Norwood at the end of Super Bowl XXV, you can put your name into the history books for all the wrong reasons:
January 27, 1991: With :08 left in the game, Scott Norwood’s 47-yard FG attempt sails Wide Right and the Giants beat the Bills 20-19 to win Super Bowl XXV in Tampa. pic.twitter.com/Z1sckOpbIr— This Day In Sports Clips (@TDISportsClips) January 27, 2021
But just how much do kickers make for what they do? That’s what we went to find out as we looked into the top ten highest-paid kickers in the NFL.
All figures provided by Spotrac and reflect the full value of the kicker’s contract.
10 – Chris Boswell, Pittsburgh Steelers, $16.8m
CHRIS BOSWELL— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 25, 2018
ALEJANDRO VILLANUEVA 🤯
(Yes, you read that correctly.) pic.twitter.com/0FtvWfCkCO
9 – Brandon McManus, Denver Broncos, $17.2m
8 – Ka’imi Fairbairn, Houston Texans, $17.7m
Kai Fairbairn angling for a punting job. pic.twitter.com/dbXMtxY14L— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) November 15, 2020
7 – Daniel Carlson, Las Vegas Raiders, $18.4m
6 – Jake Elliott, Philadelphia Eagles, $19.3m
5 – Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens, $20m
NFL RECORD 66 YARDER FOR THE WIN OFF THE CROSSBAR.— PFF BAL Ravens (@PFF_Ravens) September 26, 2021
JUSTIN TUCKER 🐐 pic.twitter.com/dFaAN58XHK
4 – Will Lutz, New Orleans Saints, $20.25m
Will Lutz coming back in 2022 is not getting talked about enough! pic.twitter.com/0N3loyYbgn— Boot Krewe Media (@BootKreweMedia) March 23, 2022
3 – Harrison Butker, Kansas City Chiefs, $20.28m
2 – Jason Sanders, Miami Dolphins, $22m
TD's in 2019:— Faux John Madden (@FauxJohnMadden) December 1, 2019
Odell Beckham – 2
Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders – 1pic.twitter.com/iV4HxcxVHM
1 – Younghoe Koo, Atlanta Falcons, $24.3m
Now obviously these contracts don’t come anywhere near to what quarterbacks make in the league, but it is still a pretty sizeable contract that these guys are able to command. And so long as they can keep putting the ball through the uprights when they’re asked, there’s no reason to think that these numbers won’t increase in the coming years.