5 Highest-paid backup QBs in the NFL

Pittsburgh Steelers v Buffalo Bills
Pittsburgh Steelers QB Mitchell Trubisky

Backup quarterbacks are in an interesting position in the NFL. In a way, it's valuable to have a solid backup quarterback in case of an emergency, such as an injury to the starter. However, the most ideal situation for NFL teams is for their backup quarterback to never have to enter a game in any sort of meaningful situation.

The irony of this situation sparks debate for many teams surrounding how much of their salary cap to dedicate to their backup quarterback. The quarterbacks are the highest paid NFL players by far, but the starters obviously make significantly more money than the backups.

Plenty of backup quarterbacks still make relatively large contracts in comparison to players in most other positions. Here are the five highest-paid backup quarterbacks currently in the NFL. All contracts are approximated to their average annual value (AAV) as of Week 14 of the 2022 NFL season.

#5 - Mitchell Trubisky, Pittsburgh Steelers, NFL - $7.14 million

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Mitchell Trubisky
Pittsburgh Steelers QB Mitchell Trubisky

Mitchell Trubisky signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2022 offseason. He previously served as a backup for the Buffalo Bills and starter for the Chicago Bears. He started the first four games of the 2022 season for the Steelers before being replaced by rookie Kenny Pickett, the only quarterback selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

#4 - Zach Wilson, New York Jets - $8.79 million

New York Jets QB Zach Wilson
New York Jets QB Zach Wilson

In his second season with the New York Jets since becoming a second-overall draft pick in 2021, Zach Wilson has already lost his job as the starting quarterback. The Jets have officially named Mike White their starting quarterback for the foreseeable future. Wilson has also been demoted to a third-stringer as Joe Flacco is listed as their primary backup.

#3 - Marcus Mariota, Atlanta Falcons - $9.38 million

Atlanta Falcons QB Marcus Mariota
Atlanta Falcons QB Marcus Mariota

Marcus Maritota began his career as a starting quarterback for the Tennessee Titans. After serving as a backup quarterback for the Las Vegas Raiders, he joined the Atlanta Falcons during the 2022 offseason. He has started every game for the Falcons during the 2022 season so far. This will change in Week 15 as the Falcons have reportedly named rookie Desmond Ridder their starter for the remainder of the year.

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#2 - Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints - $14 million

New Orleans Saints QB Jameis Winston
New Orleans Saints QB Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston began his career as a starting quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He then joined the New Orleans Saints as a backup for Drew Brees. Winston got his opportunity to be the starter in 2021 following Brees' retirement, but he was injured after seven games. He opened the 2022 season as a Saints starter again, but has been replaced by Andy Dalton.

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#1 - Carson Wentz, Washington Commanders - $32 million

Washington Commanders QB Carson Wentz
Washington Commanders QB Carson Wentz

Carson Wentz began his career as the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles before being traded to the Indianapolis Colts. He lasted jone season before being traded again, this time to the Washington Commanders. His massive $32 million AAV makes him the 12th highest paid quarterback in the NFL, but he was benched during the 2022 season. He currently serves as a backup for Taylor Heinicke.

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Edited by Gaelin Leif
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