ESPN created a ranking today of the NFL’s real highest paid quarterbacks using a combination of the average annual value of the contract, inflation and the cap at the time the contract was signed. Money talks and according to this metric Matt Ryan, the reigning MVP, Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck have the biggest contracts in football.
Few would argue these quarterbacks are among the best in the game and they are being paid accordingly. However, I prefer a different statistic to measure my gunslingers. It is simple too, how much money (units) has a quarterback won bettors.
Diving into Bet Labs database we can quickly find where each quarterback ranks based on units won. Below you’ll see the total for each starter since 2003 and 2013 – all of these quarterbacks have signed new contracts or extensions since 2013.
|Quarterback||Team||Units since 2003||Units since 2013|
|Andy Dalton||Bengals||14.68 (4)||10.26 (1)|
|Aaron Rodgers||Packers||22.9 (2)||9.73 (2)|
|Tom Brady||Patriots||41.47 (1)||9.36 (3)|
|Ben Roethlisberger||Steelers||6.61 (11)||8.02 (4)|
|Russell Wilson||Seahawks||13.19 (5)||7.47 (5)|
|Andrew Luck||Colts||11.97 (6)||6.58 (6)|
|Alex Smith||Chiefs||8.35 (9)||6.19 (7)|
|Cam Newton||Panthers||9.59 (8)||6.15 (8)|
|Carson Palmer||Cardinals||-9.85 (21)||4.89 (9)|
|Derek Carr||Raiders||3.94 (13)||3.94 (10)|
|Kirk Cousins||Redskins||3.99 (12)||2.98 (11)|
|Tyrod Taylor||Bills||0.54 (15)||0.54 (12)|
|Drew Brees||Saints||18 (3)||-0.32 (13)|
|Eli Manning||Giants||7.2 (10)||-0.8 (14)|
|Philip Rivers||Chargers||2.16 (14)||-0.8 (15)|
|Brock Osweiler||Browns||-2.33 (18)||-2.33 (16)|
|Mike Glennon||Bears||-2.69 (19)||-2.69 (17)|
|Sam Bradford||Vikings||-1.75 (16)||-3.23 (18)|
|Matt Ryan||Falcons||11.1 (7)||-5.13 (19)|
|Ryan Tannehill||Dolphins||-6.15 (20)||-5.23 (20)|
|Matthew Stafford||Lions||-15.56 (22)||-9.27 (21)|
|Joe Flacco||Ravens||-2.18 (17)||-9.85 (22)|
Andy Dalton is criminally underrated from a betting perspective. The Bengals have lost in the Wild Card round in five straight years but the Red Rifle has been the most profitable quarterback against-the-spread in the regular season since 2013.
Behind Dalton is Rodgers, Brady and Roethlisberger. In the last four years, these quarterbacks, all favorites to win the MVP, have gone a ridiculous 81-55 (60%) ATS, +23.8 units as favorites in the regular season.
Drew Brees and Matt Ryan have been two of the most profitable quarterbacks in our database. However, recently they’ve cost bettors money. Since 2013 the NFC South rivals are down -5.5 units, combined the four years prior the quarterbacks were +20.9 units.
The NFL season is about to start and these rankings will likely change but profitability does a good job of ranking quarterbacks.
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