NFL is one of the most loved sports in North America and is garnering a lot of interest from the European countries as well as the league is trying to expand. Football is a high-octane game and doesn’t have a single dull moment. Both offense and defense make important plays on every down, which keeps the viewers glued to their screen for the entire 60 minutes of gameplay.
If asked which position is their favorite, most of the fans would say quarterback. It is true that quarterback is one of the most important positions in the NFL. The guys under center have to throw the football and make quick decisions in split seconds to get that much-needed first down or touchdown in the endzone. The quarterbacks have the power to change the outcome of the game, which has been demonstrated quite well by Tom Brady on more than one occasion.
In the last two decades, even the defensive linemen are starting to become fan favorites with their exceptional playmaking ability to stop the best offense headed by the best signal-caller. Pass rushers and edge rushers keep their teams in the game by sacking the quarterback, which is honestly quite fulfilling to watch as they pancake him to the ground.
However, there is one position that is overlooked by almost everyone in the league — kickers. The kickers have the ability to change the outcome of the game just as much, if not more, than the quarterback. Many times, despite all the efforts put in by the offense and defense, the victory boils down to a simple extra-point attempt or a field goal. Case in point, Super Bowl XXXVI. Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri kicked a 48-yard field goal on the final play of the game that won New England their first Super Bowl win against the Rams who were the favorite to win the game.
Now that we have established the importance of a kicker in a team, let’s take a look at the salary these game-winners make on average and who is the highest-paid kicker in the league.
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How much money does an NFL kicker make on average?
Kickers or place kickers are just the players who score PAT and field goals. Punters are also a part of the kicking team but aren’t as famous because they don’t carry the weight of the outcome of a game on their shoulders. There are 32 punters and 32 placekickers in the league and add to this tally the guys on the practice squad to calculate the average money an NFL kicker makes. So, on average, a kicker makes almost $860,000 per year.
Who is the highest-paid kicker in the NFL?
This isn’t a tough question to answer for an average NFL fan. Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker is the highest-paid kicker in the league with a $24 million contract and an average salary of $6 million with $17.5 million fully guaranteed.
The top five highest-paid kickers in the league and their contract values are given below:
|Player||Contract value||Yearly average|
|Justin Tucker||$24 million||$6 million|
|Matt Gay||$22.5 million||$5.6 million|
|Chris Boswell||$20 million||$5 million|
|Younghoe Koo||$24.25 million||$4.85 million|
|Graham Gano||$14 million||$4.67 million|
Back in 2021, the Cincinnati Bengals won the divisional playoffs and the AFC Championship game because of kicker Evan McPherson, who kicked the winning field goals. Seems like pretty less compensation for a player that can win or lose games in the final few minutes of the game!
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Related: Top 10 best Kickers in NFL history