Players in the National Football League include some of the highest-paid athletes in the world, such as the Indianapolis Colts's Andrew Luck and the New Orleans Saints's Drew Brees.
But even star quarterbacks weren't bringing in top dollar their first years in the game.
CNBC Make It used data from Sportrac to rank the highest-paid NFL players by average yearly salary, then compared it with historical numbers from Over the Cap. The results reveal how the players' current salaries compare to their guaranteed base salaries from their first years in the league.
While these statistics provide a fun look at how each player's earnings have grown over time, keep in mind that the base salaries don't include signing bonuses, which many players receive. Depending on which round the player is signed, bonuses can range from $60,000 to several million, paid out over time.
Below, check out the 15 highest paid NFL players, along with how much each one earned during his rookie year.