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Wall Street Journal Payroll Breakdown

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The Wall Street Journal collected stats on player salaries, breaking them down by unit and position.

USA TODAY Sports

The Wall Street Journal offered up an interesting financial analysis on how NFL teams pay their football players writing:

Because the NFL has rules that limit spending, each franchise starts with virtually the same resources. So the challenge is to figure out how to arrange all the pieces to put the best possible team on the field. Do you splurge on a once-elite quarterback who is just returning from multiple neck surgeries? Or is it better to divide that cash for a linebacker, a tight end and a pair of beefy tackles?

The point here is that the NFL is basically a form of competitive economics—and by looking at the financial decisions teams make, you can learn a fair bit about the essential nature of modern football.

According to their numbers, the Bengals pay their offensive tackles top dollar at $15.7 million, most in the NFL. Nearly $22 million is spend on the offensive line as a whole, which ranks No. 3. The breakdown (in millions) from the WSJ, which references spotrac.com, goes like this.

COST NFL Rank
Offense $41.2 25th
Defense $49.2 12th
Special Teams $4.1 11th
Players No Longer On Roster $1.2 3rd
Top Three Paid Players $22.8 28th

Check out the link for a further breakdown by position.