The National Football League (NFL) is the premier professional football league in the U.S., consisting of 32 teams. NFL players are well compensated men who must be available to show up for practice, play four preseason games and 16 regular season games and playoffs if their team qualifies. The average salary of an offensive lineman tops the seven-figure mark as do many other positions in the NFL.
According to Sports Illustrated, the average salary of an offensive lineman in 2007 was $1,267,402. NFL players receive a base salary with some receiving a signing bonus or other bonus according to a USA Today survey. Salary averages do not include monies earned as pitchmen for various products.
Salaries for offensive linemen vary based on player experience, skill and the team. Steve Hutchinson, who plays for the Minnesota Vikings, made $6,550,000 in 2010 and will make $6,680,000 in 2011 according to Sports City. Jake Long, of the Miami Dolphins, made $11,550,000 in 2010. His salary remains the same in 2011. On the other end of the offensive lineman salary spectrum, Barry Richardson earns $470,000 annually playing for the Kansas City Chiefs and Duke Robinson earns $480,000 for the Carolina Panthers. Sports City does not offer a breakdown to show base salary plus bonuses.
In professional football, the offensive line includes all of the players on the offensive team except for the quarterback, center, cornerback, wide receiver and running backs. The offensive lineman’s primary job is to protect the quarterback by holding off defensive players, especially to allow the quarterback to throw the ball to an open player. He is sometimes known as an offensive guard or an offensive tackle.
NFL Network commentators named five of the best offensive lineman in the league as of July 2009. From fifth to first were Michael Roos of the Tennessee Titans; Donald Penn of the Oakland Raiders; Steve Hutchinson of the Minnesota Vikings; Bryant McKinnie who is also with the Vikings; and Walter Jones of the Seattle Seahawks.