The NFL’s real highest-paid quarterbacks

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Updated: August 16, 2017

8:48 AM ET

Derek Carr doesn’t actually have the NFL’s biggest contract.

Sure, Carr is slated to make more money playing football in 2017 than any other quarterback. And sure, he technically set the NFL record for most potential new money per year when he signed his five-year, $125 million extension earlier this offseason. But that record is based on dollar amounts, and frankly, dollar amounts aren’t the best way to look at contracts.

Almost every year NFL teams hand out these “record-breaking” deals to players. The top players do, indeed, earn more with each passing season. But a large part of that is simply because the salary cap is rapidly rising.

To compare the simple number of dollars in Carr’s deal (signed with a $167 million cap) to those in Aaron Rodgers’ contract (signed in 2013 with a $123 million cap) is roughly akin to directly comparing the price of bread at one grocery store today to another from 2000.

As one NFL player agent put it, in a world where Rodgers is scheduled to cost only about $20 million against the cap this year, the rising cap “is the only thing that allows Derek Carr to make $25 million.”

If we look strictly at the average annual value (AAV) of contracts, these are the five biggest current quarterback deals.