In the era of the spread offense, the safety position is one of the most critical positions in football. Their importance makes them the highest-paid players in NFL.
As the name suggests, safety is the defense’s last line of protection. The safety’s job is to stop offensive players from scoring by rushing or catching passes. They are normally the closest player on the defensive side of the ball.
The safety’s job on defense is to stop big plays. “Big players” are defined as 20 yards or more long plays. If the offense can produce a big play, there’s a good chance they’ll kick a field goal or score a touchdown (also known as an impact play).
In terms of physical height, safety players are often larger than cornerbacks but smaller than linebackers. The safety position causes a high level of athleticism as well as exceptional speed.
In the meanwhile, before we continue, this article will bother on the highest-paid safety in NFL.
About Safety Players in NFL
There are two types of safety positions: strong safety (SS) and free safety (FS) (FS). Strong safety is usually both strong. They typically target tight ends, running backs, and wide receivers.
They also play downfield, however, they are frequently called upon to assist with running backs. The Free Safety has similar responsibilities but is commonly viewed as the defence’s last line of defense because he is the centerfielder.
Safety is one of the most difficult positions to play in football. The position resembles a blend between a linebacker and a cornerback in many ways.
As a result, unlike other football positions, it involves a broad skill set and body type.
There used to be a clear distinction between the type of player who would be a good fit for free safety and the type of player who would be a good fit for strong safety, but that no longer exists.
Both safeties are required to be able to stop the run and be strong in coverage, especially at the higher levels of the game, with the rise of high-powered spread offensive formations.
This allows coaches to easily evaluate what type of player would be a good safety and allows them to switch players from strong safety to free safety and vice versa.
At the same time, today’s offences have made playing safety even more challenging.
A player can no longer specialize at coverage but struggle with tackling or excel at tackling but struggle with range.
Safeties have been compelled to become more well-rounded players because of this irregularity in a speciality.
What Do NFL Safeties Do?
If it’s a run, the strong safety’s goal is to stop it (or force it inside) and drop into pass coverage if it’s a pass. He is designated to protect the offence’s “strong side,” and he plays closer to the line than the free safety.
He may also cover a player who comes out of the backfield to receive a pass, such as a running back or fullback. In that he both defends the pass and stops the run, a strong safety’s duties are a mix of those of a linebacker in a 46 or 3–4 system and those of the other defensive backs.
In most defensive structures, the free safety position is common. Because they must be able to cover ground, this player has a particular skill set. Free safety players are frequently the only ones on the field.
This player is usually the deepest player on the field when viewing a football game. The term “free safety” refers to the fact that it frequently left the safety unattended to cover the deepest area of the field.
How Much Do NFL Safeties Make?
Safeties make a tremendous lot of money and there are several reports attesting to how much they make per game and per year.
Safeties that are good at what they have the potential to make a lot of money, based on current wages in the NFL. The top-eleven highest-paid safeties in the NFL are paid more than $10 million each year, with Eddie Jackson receiving $14.6 million.
For comparison, Eddie Jackson earns about $900,000 each game, which is remarkable. Nonetheless, it comes nowhere close to some of the highest-paid players in other positions.
Tight ends, fullbacks, kickers, punters, and long-snappers are the only players that are paid less than safety.
According to overthecap.com, a website that tracks NFL player contracts, 25 safeties make at least $5 million annually on average (through July 29, 2021).
At least $8 million is made by 18 NFL safeties and 12 have a net worth of at least $10 million.
Justin Simmons of the Denver Broncos is the highest-paid safety in the NFL, earning $15.25 million a season. Budda Baker of the Arizona Cardinals is second. Each season, he earns $14.75 million.
Eddie Jackson of the Chicago Bears is ranked third. Each season, he earns $14.6 million.
Kevin Byard of the Tennessee Titans is in fourth place. Each season, he earns $14.1 million.
Tyrann Mathieu of the Kansas City Chiefs and Landon Collins of the Washington Redskins are tied for fifth place at $14 million.
Also, based on a report in 2013 about the highest-paid safety in NFL history, Eric Berry, Troy Polamalu, Eric Weddle, Michael Huff, and Antrel Rolle were the top earners at safety, respectively.
William Moore’s new deal with the Atlanta Falcons paid him almost $6 million per year, while Jairus Byrd’s franchise tag with the Buffalo Bills paid him nearly $7 million per year.
With a glut of free-agent safety on the market as of then, it was expected to result in significant changes in the following decade. The chart below illustrates how much NFL safeties earned in past years.
|Player||Average Salary (million)|
|Eric Berry (KC)||$10|
|Troy Polamalu (PIT)||$9.12|
|Michael Huff (OAK)||$8|
|Eric Weddle (SD)||$8|
|Antrel Rolle (NYG)||$7.4|
The information above shows that NFL safeties earn a lot of money and have a promising future. Salary drops off after the 11 highest-paid safety in the NFL.
Players aged 12 to 28 earn between $5 and $10 million yearly, while those aged 29 to 57 earn between $2 and $5 million.
Step-by-step Guideline On How Safety Is Played In Football
Every game requires safeties, and their importance cannot be overstated. As difficult as the position is in football, it is also required of professional safety to strive to be the greatest.
There are several critical areas in which safety must improve to become the greatest in the field. These are some of them.
1. Strengthen Your Body
While it’s hard to improve your height, you can certainly improve your strength.
If you want to be a great safety, the first step is to get in the weight room and build up your strength.
2. Tackling Fundamentals
Tackling is a crucial component of a safety game.
However, tackling a safety player will be more complex than tackling other players because he’ll fly around the field at incredible speeds, attaching ball carriers from all directions rather than simply head-on.
3. Learn Offenses
Because a safety’s job is reading offensive plays, anticipating what will happen, and reacting swiftly, safety must know how regular offensive plays are performed.
As a result, a safety must actually master offensive playbooks, including what each offensive player’s job and responsibilities are.
Here are tips to follow for every safety player.
- Have a good football I.Q. This means knowing your job at all times.
- Understand everyone else’s position on the field.
- Be a leader as a free safety player. As a leader, you must be comfortable to be uncomfortable as you might switch roles in a game.
- You must be agile, have good speed and be able to cover the ground.
- Must be physical and be ready to tackle and not be afraid to make moves.
- You must be able to take calculated risks.
In addition, to play as a strong safety, you must frequently:
- Practice tackle explode drills
- Practice route recognition
25 Highest Paid Safeties In NFL
According to sport news, the highest-paid safety in the NFL are ranked based on their annual compensation. However, this list is prone to change.
Here is the list of the highest-paid safeties in NFL:
1. Derwin James, Los Angeles Chargers ( Average Salary $3,097,238)
In just one full year of play, James has already demonstrated that he is the most dominant force in the NBA. His identification skills will improve, but no one physically compares to James’ combination of size and explosion.
He’s a nightmare to play against, which is one of the many reasons he’s the best safety in the league. And the Highest Paid Safety In The NFL.
2.Minkah Fitzpatrick, Pittsburgh Steelers ( Average salary $4,111,942)
Coming out of Alabama, Fitzpatrick was regarded as a highly versatile defensive chess piece, and he was deployed in the same way by Miami in the NFL.
On the other hand, Pittsburgh put Fitzpatrick in the deep middle of the field after acquiring him during the season. And Fitzpatrick was unstoppable.
3. Tyrann Mathieu, Kansas City Chiefs ( Average salary $14,000,000)
While the Chiefs’ great offence got most of the spotlight, the defence stepped up when needed. Mathieu is a big reason for that.
He’s an exceptional slot coverage player with the physicality of a strong safety from the old school.
4. Kevin Byard, Tennessee Titans (Average salary $14,100,000)
Kevin Byard is a fantastic football player. Byrd’s greatest work is in the deep patrol, where he has already made 18 interceptions in his career.
Byard has excellent ball skills and has earned a reputation for his deep patrol, but he’s also one of the finest run defenders on the list.
5. Jamal Adams, Seattle Seahawks ( Average salary $5,564,702)
The Seahawks just paid a king’s ransom to lure Adams to town from New York. Adams is a force in the middle of the field, and Pete Carroll will appreciate his toughness and leadership. Adams is a fantastic pure pass rusher.
6. Anthony Harris, Minnesota Vikings (Average salary $4,000,000)
Anthony Harris is a free safety who covers a lot of ground on the deep patrol. Minnesota signed Harris after he had seven interceptions in the 2019 season.
Harris can come up and cause havoc with the line of scrimmage, but his deep patrol range is his best attribute.
7. Harrison Smith, Minnesota Vikings ( Average salary $10,250,000)
Marvin Smith of the Minnesota Vikings is now universally recognized as one of the generation’s best safeties. Smith is well-known for his play near the line of scrimmage.
8. Justin Simmons, Denver Broncos (Average salary $15,250,000)
The franchise tag was placed on Justin Simmons by the Denver Broncos to ensure that he did not leave town.
Simmons is a very effective and underappreciated run defender, although his usefulness in coverage is more downfield. He appears to be improving all the time.
He is one of the Highest Paid Safety In The NFL.
9. Marcus Williams, New Orleans Saints (Average salary $10,612,000)
Marcus Williams is one of the NFL’s top free safeties right now. He has tremendous range and angles while attacking the ball in the air.
As far as free safeties go, Williams is a powerful player who excels at defending the run.
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10. Eddie Jackson, Chicago Bears ( Average salary $14,600,000)
Eddie Jackson is one of the league’s best safeties and a true playmaker on the back end of the Bears’ defense.
Jackson also adds to his list of accomplishments as a skilled Blitzer.
11. Kevin Byard, Tennessee Titans(Average salary $14,100,000)
At the safety position, he has the most pass breakups and interceptions (30). He doesn’t just bring it to coverage.
12. Justin Reid, Houston Texans (Average salary $1,015,856)
JJ Watt aside, Justin Reid is the best defensive player on the Houston Texans, yet he is rarely recognized as such. Reid is a fantastic runner and all-around athlete.
13. Micah Hyde, Buffalo Bills (Average salary $9,625,000)
Behind the twosome in Minnesota, Hyde and Poyer are perhaps the most outstanding safety duo in the NFL right now. Both are grossly underappreciated.
Hyde excels at everything he does and is a rock-solid and dependable partner.
14. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, New Orleans Saints ( Average annual salary of $826,025)
Gardner-Johnson was a gem for the Saints in the draft. He frequently lines up as a big nickel cornerback but also excels at classic safety tasks.
Gardner-Johnson is the team’s newest safety. He has a bright future ahead of him.
He is one of the Highest Paid Safety In The NFL.
15. Jordan Poyer, Buffalo Bills (Average salary $9,750,000)
Poyer and Micah Hyde, the safety combination, could be the finest in the league at hiding their coverages. These two have been critical to Buffalo’s recent defensive success.
Poyer, like Hyde, excels near the line of scrimmage or well off the ball. Poyer also has a strong grip on the ball in his hands.
16. Budda Baker, Arizona Cardinals ( Average salary $14,750,000)
Baker seems to be a small player for the position, yet he flies about the field like a maniac. He can change directions quickly, has clear explosive movement talents, and a wide range of position flexibility.
He also excels at the run, particularly as a pursuit player. Baker is an important part of Arizona’s reconstruction move.
17. Jimmie Ward, San Francisco 49ers ( Average salary $9,500,000)
The 49ers use a lot of the Cover 3 concept that has become so popular in Seattle. Ward also excels in the deep middle slot that Earl Thomas thrived in, and he does so admirably.
Ward’s position is aided by San Francisco’s strong pass rush, but he has really grown into this job.
18. Patrick Chung, New England Patriots ( Average salary $3,200,000)
Chung complies with all the head coach Bill Belichick’s requests and does so admirably. In the Patriots’ design, movable pieces are crucial, which is why Chung is such a key player.
19. Landon Collins, Washington Football Team (Average salary $14,000,000)
Collins is the purest old-school, in-the-box strong safety in our top 25 NFL safeties list. He’s a tremendous thumper in the run game and plays more like a linebacker than a deep patrolling safe.
20. Marcus Maye, New York Jets (Average salary $10,612,000)
During their time together in New York, Maye was a little overshadowed by Jamal Adams. That deep detail got to Maye because of Adams’ skill with the line of scrimmage.
But now that Adams is gone, Maye shines, as he has a lot more to offer.
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21. Darnell Savage, Green Bay Packers (Average salary $3,129,422)
Savage is a young player who still has a lot of football ahead of him. He’ll need to work on stopping the run.
Even yet, he is visible on the video to the casual observer since few players in his position move as quickly as he does.
22. Tre Boston, Carolina Panthers ( Average salary $2,125,000)
Boston excels in coverage and covers a lot of ground. He isn’t used nearly as often near the line of scrimmage as some other safeties on this list. But he excels at what he does.
23. Malcolm Jenkins, New Orleans Saints (Average salary of $8,000,000.)
Jenkins isn’t the same player he once was in Philadelphia. He’s now back in New Orleans.
Jenkins has also had a successful career and was a versatile player ahead of his time.
24. Adrian Amos, Green Bay Packers ( Average salary $9,000,000)
Before joining the divisional foe Packers, Amos was a little more effective with Chicago, but that doesn’t mean Green Bay isn’t delighted with their investment.
Amos is more of a strong safety than free safety, although he also performs admirably away from the line of scrimmage.
25. Logan Ryan ( Average salary $10,000,000)
Logan Ryan agreed to a three-year, $31 million deal with the New York Giants, which included a $6 million signing bonus, $20 million in guaranteed money, and an average annual salary of $10,333,333.
FAQs on Highest Paid Safety In The NFL
Free safety is a supplementary defensive defender. The free safety position is on the field’s weak side.
Work environments must be kept clean as a matter of safety.
Make sure you’re using the right tool for the job.
Always put on the appropriate PPE for the job.
Working on live equipment is never a good idea.
Make sure chemicals are labelled and kept correctly.
It should make other members of the team aware of the dangers.
When necessary, take a break from work to address a hazard.
Micah Hyde, Buffalo Bills.
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, New Orleans Saints.
Devin McCourty, New England Patriots.
Darnell Savage, Green Bay Packers
Justin Reid, Houston Texans
It has been recorded that Simmons will be paid $61 million over four years ($15.25 million per year), with $35 million in guarantees; this makes him the highest-paid safety in NFL history.
Follow all the safety regulations that were established during practice.
Understand and adhere to the game’s rules.
Respect the referees’ decisions and don’t dispute them.
If an opponent appears to be attempting to injure them on purpose, remain calm.
Let their coach and the referee know about the problem and let them handle it.
Generally, football is a fun way to be physically active and part of a team. However, because football is a contact sport, injuries will occur. Doctors and scientists are researching the effects of frequently hitting the head when tackling. These injuries can lead to long-term mental health issues.
As the necessity of anchoring the defence’s back end grows, safeties’ salaries will probably rise.
Safeties will generate much more money in the future than they do now. However, a protection who wants to be part of a winning team must be committed and thoroughly understand the game.
If you want to pursue a career in football and want to play safety, this article has offered you a thorough understanding of what to expect from your chosen profession and the highest Paid Safety In The NFL.