Joe Flacco’s taxes will prevent him from being the highest-paid player in the NFL. After taxes, the Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback stands to make around $470,000 less than Drew Brees.
When Joe Flacco signed a $120.6 million, six-year contract recently, he was deemed the highest-paid player in NFL history, getting paid around $20 million a year.
But when factoring in Maryland taxes, that apparently isn’t the case now.
If Flacco chooses to stay in Maryland, he will pay a combined marginal income tax rate of 51.98 percent, while also paying an additional $1.72 million per year by sticking in Maryland, according to Americans for Tax Reform, which advocates for a single, flat-rate income tax.
“This overwhelming tax rate is composed of the federal, Maryland, and Baltimore County income tax rate, as well as the Medicare tax,” the group said on its website. He will also have to pay a “jock tax” rate for away games and other taxes like Maryland’s property tax.
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It added, “Given that Flacco is coming off of his best season, the franchise quarterback could have commanded a similar contract from any other team in the league while keeping a greater percentage of his contract.”
If he were to sign with Dallas, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, or Tennessee, Flacco could have saved that $1.72 million, it said.
With this in mind, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees—who signed a $100 million, five year contract last year and makes $20 million a year—is actually the highest-paid NFL player.
“Flacco may have the distinction of being the highest paid player in NFL history, but New Orleans Saints’ QB Drew Brees still earns more after tax pay,” the organization said.
Brees’s contract salary has a marginal combined tax rate of 49.4 percent, meaning that he will make around $470,000 more than Flacco after tax pay.
“Yes, the [Baltimore] Ravens may have the personnel to repeat as Super Bowl champions next year after signing Flacco to his new deal, but football careers are relatively short and Flacco is not receiving the greatest return for his physical investment in the game as he pursues his second championship,” it said.
Keeping his taxes in mind, maybe Flacco should just stick with eating 10-piece McNugget deals at McDonald’s.