Highest-paid tight ends for 2023 NFL season after T.J. Hockenson's new deal with Vikings

Chiefs star Travis Kelce continues to tumble down the list of highest-paid NFL tight ends

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Tight ends are critical for any great NFL offense.

Not only are these big-bodied players expected to catch passes, they also serve as a de facto sixth lineman in some offenses.

With their increasing responsibilities, tight ends across the league have seen an uptick in their salaries. That became even more evident when T.J. Hockenson inked a market-setting deal with the Minnesota Vikings, who traded for the former first-rounder last year. After signing the four-year, $68.5 million extension, Hockenson now leads all tight ends in average annual value at $17.125 million per year.

Where does Hockenson stack up in total cash for this season, though? Here’s a breakdown of NFL tight end salaries ahead of the 2023 season (via Spotrac):

Highest-paid tight end in the NFL for 2023

For the 2023 season alone, the Jaguars' Evan Engram will make the most money among tight ends at $15 million. He signed a three-year, $41.25 million deal to stay in Jacksonville over the offseason, which is front-loaded with a higher salary for 2023.

In terms of total contract value, the 49ers' George Kittle is making $75 million over his current five-year deal that run through the 2025 season.

As aforementioned, Hockenson will have the highest AAV among tight ends when his new deal kicks in for 2024. He also received the highest guarantee in NFL history for a tight end at $42.5 million.

List of the highest-paid tight ends in the NFL

In total, there are 10 tight ends making at least $10 million this season. Here’s a look at the top 20 tight ends by total cash for 2023 only:

1. Evan Engram, Jaguars: $15 million

2. Dallas Goedert, Eagles: $14.25 million

3. Cole Kmet, Bears: $12.993 million

4. Dawson Knox, Bills: $12.545 million

5. David Njoku, Browns: $12.5 million

T-6. Travis Kelce, Chiefs: $12.25 million

T-6. George Kittle, 49ers: $12.25 million

8. Darren Waller, Giants: $11.875 million

9. Zach Ertz, Cardinals: $10.85 million

10. Hunter Henry, Patriots: $10.5 million

11. Taysom Hill, Saints: $9.9 million

12. T.J. Hockenson, Vikings: $9.392 million

13. Jonnu Smith, Falcons: $8.5 million

14. Josh Oliver, Vikings: $8.25 million

15. C.J. Uzomah, Jets: $8 million

16. Mark Andrews, Ravens: $7.75 million

17. Dalton Kincaid, Bills: $7,515,108

18. Hayden Hurst, Panthers: $7.25 million

T-19. Tyler Conklin, Jets: $7 million

T-19. Logan Thomas, Commanders: $7 million

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