Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Brett Favre and Drew Brees are among the highest paid football players to have participated in the Super Bowl. Their single season salaries range from $16 million to $40 million.
As of November 2014, Peyton Manning had earned a total of $229.7 million dollars in his 17-season career and played in a single Super Bowl championship. In contrast, the second-highest earner, Tom Brady, had earned $154.8 million over 15 seasons and participated in three Super Bowls.
Football salaries are difficult to compare because players' contracts often include signing bonuses for changing teams, which are deferred or paid out over a period of several years. Players usually make a base salary that is augmented with these deferred payments and various other bonuses. In the 2015 Super Bowl, the Seattle Seahawks' Russell Okung received the highest base salary at $8.76 million. However, when the calculations take into consideration income from bonuses, the New England Patriots' Tom Brady comes out on top with $14.8 million.
Participants in the Super Bowl game itself receive significant payment whether they win or lose. The 2015 winners earned a $97,000 each, while the losers took home $49,000 apiece. These amounts are bonuses on top of the players' base salaries.