Money has never been the root of all evil, our perception of it is. NFL kickers may not be paid as much as traditional players, but they are just as essential of a role! When people reference someone who makes a large sum of money in a year, it really gets forgotten how hard they work to get there. Often times, people only see the person once they have made it. We will highlight some moments when an NFL kicker, against all odds, came out on top and now gets paid well for it.
Through this post, we will answer the lifelong question, “How much money do kickers make.” Or also, “How much money does an nfl kicker make?” We will happily answer how much do kickers get paid, just keep on reading!
Every year, a NFL kicker’s performance is graded, evaluated, and tracked. Depending on that kicker’s performance, determines his or her pay structure moving forward. For example, if they perform well, the next year, the team has 3 main choices; cut him without any solution (not wise) sign him on a contract, or trade him to another team.
Some results might completely mess up the momentum for the NFL kicker. Or, it might be exactly what he or she needs. Therefore, a NFL kicker’s “stock” typically increases with strong performances. Since teams want to have players on their teams that produce and they can trust, it makes sense why a good NFL kicker is a must.
NFL Kicker Mason Crosby
Back in 2012, Mason Crosby went 21-33 (63% Conversion) on Field Goals, not great cap’n, not great. Eventually, as all driven NFL kickers are, he got out of his slump and came back the next year with an 89.2% (33-37) conversion rate. That makes him, “the comeback kid.”
During 2012, fans often stood by, waiting for him to leave so they can lessen their anxiety. As most great teams do, they stood by Crosby as he struggled, and that gave him hope. Most NFL kickers only need a few more opportunities to prove their worth. And Crosby did just that.
How Much Money Did Mason Crosby Make?
In the 2013 training camp, he gave proof that he will be the guy for the 2013 season. Sure enough, after beating out both guys, he earned his spot on the team and did not disappoint. Now, after 12 years in the NFL, Mason Cosby is consistently making $4 Million+. At this moment, he has a 4-year contract, ending in 2020, that provides $16.1 Million over 4 years. Kicking a football may not be so bad after all.
NFL Kicker Sebastian Janikowski
Sebastian Janikowski AKA Seabass AKA Polish Cannon (now retired), had a rocky start to the beginning of his incredible career. Picked up in the FIRST round by the Oakland Raiders, Janikowski had some huge expectations about him. Most of the time, first-round picks do not do that well in the beginning. For a while, his Workouts may have consisted of partying.
Therefore, Sebastian bounced back from his first season where he went 22/32 (68.8%) and put up a consistent 82.1% conversion on his kicks the next season. That is what has made the biggest impact on his coaches in the NFL. A recurring theme for many NFL kickers when they perform poorly, they typically do really well the next season.
Janikowski, known for his leg strength, has never really had major trouble with Consistency. Going 80% on the career might not be bad at all. However, he did have multiple seasons at or below 72%, which in today’s standards will get you cut. Through all of the ups and downs of the seasons, Janikowski has made his name permanent in the NFL books for his ability to kick footballs.
How Much Money Did Janikowski Make?
After the 2004 season, Janikowski was given a five-year contract extension reportedly worth $10.5 million. This made him (at the time) the highest-paid NFL kicker in history. In February 2010, Janikowski extended his contract with the Raiders for $16 million over the next four years, including $9 million in guaranteed money, making him the highest-paid NFL placekicker in history.
In August 2013, Janikowski signed a four-year contract extension with the Raiders for $19 million over five years, including $8 million guaranteed.
Prior to the 2017 season, he took a pay cut from his $4.05 million base salaries to $3 million but it became fully guaranteed. With his final season in the NFL, he received $2.05 Million. After 19 years in the NFL, his total amount comes out to $35 Million+. That averages out to $ 1.82 Million per year. Good Golly Ms. Holly, that is a lot of moneyyyyy.
NFL Kicker Adam Vinatieri
In 1996, a guy from a small School in South Dakota began his journey as one of the if not THE greatest kicker of all time. However, starting out, Vinateri almost did not make it to the next season. Bill Parcels (New England Patriots coach at the time) said Vinatieri was on a week by week basis. He was not consistent enough so he was on the verge of being cut.
Therefore, Adam made it a mission to perfect his craft and become the best version of himself. Then, he won 4 super bowls over his career. Two of which are game-winning field goals. In total, since Vinatieri Broke just about every record there might be for NFL kickers, he should be the #1 pick for the hall of fame upon retiring. God speed Adam.
How Much Money Has Vinateri Made So Far?
Over Vinatieri’s 23 years in the NFL, he has made an average of $2,141,609, or total career earnings of $49,257,000. Now that means he makes most of his money from a longer more secure contract. 7 out of the 11 contracts he put ink on, were over 2-year contracts. He like many got most of his money from longer, more secure contracts. That is a lot of cheddaaa!
NFL Kicker Wil Lutz
Wil Lutz has made a name for himself with his consistency and ability to strike the ball. He just broke the record for most kicks made inside of 50 yards with 35. However, he was not always so consistent.
“My rookie year, there were a lot of bumps there (28-of-34 on field goals, 49-of-50 on extra points). And I talked to (former veteran safety) Roman Harper a lot. And it was Carolina, Roman came up to me, he saw that obviously it was not a good Monday for me. And he came up to me and he said, ‘Sometimes you gotta take your bogey and move on.’ Just like when you golf, you take your bogey, you do not dwell on it, you pick it up and you go to the next hole.
You cannot let it affect your next hole. I think that is one of the best things I have ever heard. And I remind him every time I see him. And I actually saw him after the game Sunday, and I told him, ‘Man. After that miss that I had, it was like, I really gotta take this bogey and move on.’ So that is kind of my way of getting through it. You take it to the next kick.”
How Much Money Has Lutz Made So Far?
Since starting his career in 2016, Lutz signed a deal with the New Orleans Saints for $1.62 Million for 3 years. He has now signed a new deal for $20.2 Million over 5 years. At this moment, he has made $2.29 Million per year and over $6.87 Million in his career. Saints must love this guy! I would too just because of his luxurious haircut. But seriously, he has a great down to earth personality if you ever get the chance to meet him.
NFL Kicker Dustin Hopkins
Dustin has always had a wonky technique, but by golly, he can smash a football. In 2016, Dustin went 34/42 putting up an 81% conversion rate. While this does not seem too bad, for him, it was a dip in performance. With all of that being said, he maintains a consistent ability to finish at or above 80% every year despite his struggles.
His form may not be ideal since he crunches hard and crashes down at contact. Ultimately, his foot to ball contact is the main reason he hits the ball so damn hard. Typically, a Kicking Coach might advise against the way he looks when kicking a ball. But his results are hard to argue against. Ever since joining the NFL, his power has grown year by year. This year he has a video of himself kicking a 92 yard 4.5-second kickoff. He probably does a ton of Leg Workouts and Core Workouts. While it does not need to be said, Dustin Hopkins has a cannon for a leg.
How Much Money Has Dustin Hopkins Made So Far?
D-Hop, Has made over $4,678,412 so far in his career. Per year, he averages around $779,735. While this might be on the lower end, he still makes over 3/4 of a million dollars each season. Not too shabby at all cap’n. It should be known that Dustin has a lot of potential moving forward. He should average out to 85% in his career or higher. Therefore, his main objective should be to create an opportunity for even more growth. He has done well this far but can continue to increase his stock with more big-time kicks in the following seasons.
NFL Kicker Matt Bryant
This beautiful bald man has been able to achieve over an 85% conversion rate on field goals. Therefore, his best season was in 2016 when he went 34-37 (91.9% conversion) going 6-8 on 50+ yard field goals and 9-9 on 40-49 yard field goals. He also went 56-57 on extra points (98.2%) putting him at 158 points on the season and earning a spot in the pro bowl. He generates some incredible Power when kicking He now has over 1752 points on his side making him the 13th highest scoring player in NFL history. Therefore he probably makes a lot of money.
Exactly How Much Money Does Matt Bryant Make?
To date, Matt Bryant has made over $29 Million in his 17-year career in the NFL. Over 17 years, this equates to $1.8 Million per season. By golly that is a lot of gumballs and candy. So the great thing about Matt Bryant, he knows that he has the consistency to make him a pro.
Some NFL kickers have their power, other, accuracy, he mixes them both in order to make himself efficient. Nevertheless, Bryant knows how to create a situation to thrive in. He does his best when under pressure. His teammates know him as a fierce competitor. So when, if he ever does miss, they are completely shocked. But to be paid that amount, it should be no big deal to focus on the little things for improvement.
Does More Money Equal More Problems?
Well, it depends on who you ask. Some people believe that by having more money, more stress results from this. It depends on how you approach it. It could either be stressful to have more money, or not. The main goal lies in having a focus on what needs to be done in order to minimize risk.
By staying the course and understanding that while money might be great, happiness comes from purpose. And with purpose comes clarity. When the player knows his or her purpose, the money does not remain a core focus. From that, the NFL kicker then relaxes and plays less tight.
Only when we learn how to let go of our problems and issues do we really begin to tap into the potential that is the confidence of a good performance. Do not become too intent on one way of doing some sort of kicking method either. Every NFL kicker has their own way of kicking.
It would be unfair to say there is one way to do the job. Time and time again NFL kickers have shown that they are constantly evolving. What remains important starts with the approach and technique in the job. Every NFL kicker has a different path and it will be up to them to develop and find their own.
Does More Money Equal More Problems?
Now there may be a hundred different ways to develop a kicking technique. But every talented NFL kicker will tell you, they developed their skills by hard work, sweat, some tears, and a butt load of failures. So when it comes to adversity, professionals are the best students of their failures. They know how to learn from each and every miss until they get to the point where everything becomes a learning opportunity for them.
To a professional, there are no such things as failures though, there are only chances to learn and grow. So ask around, every pro knows when they miss why and how they will fix it next time. Just be attentive and become a student of the game.
The best in the world get paid to kick footballs. How amazing is that? Now get up, stretch those legs out, and attack the day! Your future awaits, just seize the opportunities!
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