Highest paid defensive linemen in NFL: Ranking interior D-linemen by salary for 2020

Jeremy Cluff
Arizona Republic
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Here's a look at the highest paid interior defensive linemen in the league for the 2020 NFL season, based on current contracts.

NFL defensive linemen are plaguing the opposition and as a result, they are seeing their salaries go up.

23 interior defensive linemen now make at least $10 million in average annual salary per year, per, a site that tracks NFL player contracts (through Sept. 10, 2020).

More:NFL's highest paid defensive linemen: Aaron Donald, DeForest Buckner, Chris Jones top list


WHAT CHANGED?: NFL's highest paid defensive linemen in 2019

Nine make at least $15 million.

The highest paid defensive linemen in the NFL is the Los Angeles Rams’ Aaron Donald. He makes $22.5 million per season.

He's followed by the Indianapolis Colts' DeForest Buckner at $21 million.

The Kansas City Chiefs' Chris Jones is third at $20 million.

The Green Bay Packers' Kenny Clark is fourth at $17.5 million.

Fletcher Cox of the Philadelphia Eagles rounds out the Top 5 at $17.1 million.

PHOTOS:Ranking NFL defensive linemen by salary

The Los Angeles Rams' Aaron Donald is the highest paid defensive lineman in the NFL.

NFL's highest paid interior defensive linemen (average salary per year):

  • 1. Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald: $22.5 million
  • 2. Colts defensive lineman DeForest Buckner: $21 million
  • 3. Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones: $20 million
  • 4. Packers defensive lineman Kenny Clark: $17.5 million
  • 5. Eagles defensive lineman Fletcher Cox: $17.1 million  
  • 6. Falcons defensive lineman Grady Jarrett: $17 million
  • 7. Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt: $16.6 million
  • 8. Bengals defensive lineman Geno Atkins: $16.3 million
  • 9. Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams: $16.1 million
  • 10. Panthers defensive lineman Kawann Short: $16.1 million

- Source:

To see the 23 NFL interior defensive linemen who make at least $10 million a year in average salary, ranked from highest average salary to lowest, click here.


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