NFL American Football
July 2020 was a big-money month for some of the NFL's best defensive players. The latest superstar to be rewarded with a lucrative long-term extension was Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa. The No. 3 overall pick in the 2016 draft has followed his rookie deal with five more years for $135 million. His $102 million guaranteed sets a record for defenders across positions.
That makes Bosa the new highest-paid defensive player ever in the NFL. Two weeks ago, both Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (No. 1 overall in 2017) and Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones (No. 37 overall in 2016) were rewarded for being top front-four performers.
MORE: The NFL's highest-paid quarterbacks
All three are now in exclusive company with those who have recently signed megadeals before them. That includes three big-name recent former NFL defensive players of the year — the Rams' Aaron Donald, the Bears' Khalil Mack and the Texans' J.J. Watt.
Here's a breakdown using the three most important criteria to measure the league's most well-compensated impact defenders. Most are known for their ability to get to the quarterback, from either outside or inside.