The 10 Highest Paid Players In The NFL – You Haven't Heard Of Half Of Them

Nnamdi Asomugha

We are about halfway through the 2010 NFL season. Let’s take a look at the league’s highest paid players and how they are performing so far.

While there are a number of different ways to look at how much each player makes, this list includes just the guaranteed base salary each will make in 2010*.

The list may have a few names that will surprise you.

The list of the 10 highest paid players in the NFL includes four quarterbacks, three defensive backs, two defensive linemen and one linebacker. Despite the influence of “The Blind Side,” there is not one offensive lineman among the highest paid players in the NFL.

Also, among the 10 highest paid players, five have at least eight years of experience. Meanwhile, three are in either their first or second year.

* Most salary data obtained from Forbes.com

10. Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions - $6.9 million.

After starting 10 games as a rookie, Matthew Stafford has been limited to just two starts in 2010 after injuring his shoulder in the season opener. So far, he has thrown four touchdowns and one interception. The Lions are 2-5 and are headed to another losing season.

9. Julius Peppers, DE, Bears - $7.0 million

After spending the first eight years of his career in Carolina, Julius Peppers is now in Chicago. In seven games he has recorded 16 tackles and 2 sacks. The Bears are currently 4-3, a half-game behind the Packers in the NFC Central.

8. Elvis Dumervil, LB, Broncos - $7.2 million

Only months after signing a six-year, $61.5 million contract with the Broncos, Dumervil suffered a torn pectoral muscle and will miss the entire season. This comes one year after recording 17 sacks for the Broncos in Dumervil's first season as a linebacker.

7. Darrelle Revis, DB, Jets - $7.5 million

Darrelle Revis had an extended holdout in hopes of becoming one of the NFL's highest-paid players. He eventually would miss more than a month of camp and all of the preseason. So far this season, the fourth-year corner back has played only five games, missing two with a hamstring injury that many blamed on the holdout. In the games he has played, he has yet to record an interception.

6. Ndamukong Suh, DT, Lions - $8.0 million

Ndamukong Suh represents the second Lion on the list, which is not good for a team that it 2-5. The second overall pick in this year's draft has started all seven games for the Lions and has recorded 27 tackles and a very impressive 6.5 sacks.

5. Sam Bradford, QB, Rams - $8.3 million

Sam Bradford, the top pick in this year's draft, cracks the top 5 despite never having played a down in the NFL prior to this season. So far, Bradford has shown signs of being a star in the making. He has started every game and has led the Rams to an 4-4 record. In those games he has thrown 11 touchdowns with 8 interceptions. So far, the investment has worked out quite well for the Rams.

4. Champ Bailey, DB, Broncos - $9.5 million

Like the Lions, the Broncos have two guys in the top 10 highest-paid NFL players. Bailey is in his 12th season and so far he has 20 tackles and 1 interception. He hasn't had a season with more than 3 interceptions since 2006.

3. Donovan McNabb, QB, Redskins - $11.5 million

The Washington Redskins are off to a 4-4 start. And like his team, Donovan McNabb's start has been up and down. In eight starts, he has thrown 7 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. And the final insult came this past Sunday when Mike Shanahan benched McNabb in the final two minutes in favour of Rex Grossman. Yes, Rex Grossman.

2. Nnamdi Asomugha, DB, Raiders - $14.3 million

Yes, a guy that most of you have never even heard of is the second-highest paid player in the NFL. Nnamdi Asomugha is in his eighth year and his contract has certainly raised the bar for defensive backs (*cough* Jets *cough*). The Raiders are in playoff contention at 4-4. But so far this season, Asomugha has 11 tackles and no interceptions.

1. Peyton Manning, QB, Colts - $15.8 million

rumours of Peyton Mannings demise have been greatly exagerrated. Despite being 34, Manning has looked as good as ever. So far in seven games, Manning has thrown 15 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions. His 7.5-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio would easily outdistance his personal best. The downside is that Manning's contract will expire after the season and as of yet, there is no word on a new deal.

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