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We can probably all agree that Kirk Cousins won't go down as the best quarterback in NFL history, but he could end up as the best quarterback in one certain category, and that category is milking every possible dollar out of free agency. 

Cousins hit free agency this year for the second time in his career, and for the second time in his career, he cashed in. The 35-year-old landed a four-year deal from the Atlanta Falcons that's not only worth a total of $180 million, but it also includes $100 million in guaranteed money. 

Thanks to that guaranteed money, Cousins is now set to pass Tom Brady on the NFL's list for highest career earnings. 

Since his rookie year in 2012, Cousins has raked in a total of $281.5 million in contract money, which includes the $50 million signing bonus that he'll be getting from the Falcons. Cousins earned $185 million of that total during his six seasons in Minnesota. His career with the Vikings started when he signed an unprecedented three-year deal in 2018 that was fully guaranteed for $84 million. Cousins would eventually sign two more extensions with the Vikings that were also fully guaranteed, and those two contracts brought in a total of $101 million, including $35 million for 2023.

Cousins also made a total of $46.7 million during his six seasons in Washington, which included playing two years on the franchise tag. 

Now that he's made $281.5 million, Cousins has officially cracked the top five on the list of highest earners in NFL history. 

Here's a look at the top-five earners in NFL history (via Over the Cap)

1. Aaron Rodgers: $343.5 million
2. Matthew Stafford: $328 million
3. Tom Brady: $317.6 million
4. Matt Ryan: $306.2 million
5. Kirk Cousins: $281.5 million

Note: These numbers only reflect on-field earnings, which means endorsement money is not included. 

Not only does Cousins have a $50 million signing bonus with the Falcons, but he also has $50 million more in guaranteed money. Once he has that in his pocket, he'll be up to $331.5 million, which will move him past Tom Brady to the No. 3 spot on this list (He won't pass Stafford or Rodgers, because their numbers will also go up as long as they play in 2024). Brady could have been higher on this list, but he famously signed below-market deals during his 20 years in New England. 

Let's get back to Cousins, though. If Stafford, Rodgers and Cousins all play out the final years of their current contract and DON'T sign a new deal, their career earnings would look like this: 

Stafford: $422 million
Rodgers: $419.2 million
Cousins: $411.5 million

Although the salary cap keeps going up and quarterback salaries keep getting higher, it could be a while before we see anyone top these three players in the salary department. As long as he stays healthy, Patrick Mahomes will almost certainly end up as the highest earner in NFL history, but right now, he has "only" pulled in $136 million, which means it will be several years before he cracks the $400 million mark. 

The next quarterback to join the $300 million club will be Russell Wilson. The Steelers' new signal-caller will be pulling in a total of $39 million in 2024 -- with most of that coming from the Broncos -- and once he's been paid that money, his career earnings will reach $305.3 million. However, unless he has a huge season in Pittsburgh, it's unlikely that his number will get much higher after that. 

One quarterback who could soon shoot up the all-time earning list is Dak Prescott. By the end of 2024 season, the Cowboys star will have made $195 million in his career, and that number will jump up substantially whenever he gets his next extension. Prescott's contract is set to expire after the 2024 season, so that extension will presumably be coming soon.