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Breaking down the highest average yearly salaries for NFL safeties

By Tim Graham

What is an NFL safety worth?

With the Buffalo Bills and unsigned free safety Jairus Byrd approaching the 4 p.m. deadline to sign a multiyear contract, let's explore the top contracts at his position.

These average salaries are from the NFL Players Association. We're including strong safeties (designated with an asterisk) on the list.

  1. 1. Troy Polamalu, Steelers, $9.125 million*
  2. 2. Eric Berry, Chiefs, $8.34 million*
  3. 3. Dashon Goldson, Buccaneers, $8.25 million
  4. 4. Eric Weddle, Chargers, $8 million
  5. 5. Antrel Rolle, Giants, $7.4 million
  6. 6. Michael Griffin, Titans, $7 million
  7. 7. Jairus Byrd, Bills, $6.916 million (if he signs franchise tag)
  8. 8. Tyvon Branch, Raiders, $6.83 million*
  9. 9. Antoine Bethea, Colts, $6.7 million
  10. 10. LaRon Landry, Colts, $6 million*

Goldson's deal, signed in March, is the most recent. His contract was for five years and $41.2 million.

Berry's contract is so high because it was signed as the fifth overall pick in the 2010 draft, the last class before the new collective barraging agreement put limits on rookie deals.


Jairus Byrd
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |