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Dustin Martin

20 Highest Paid AFL Players for 2023

With footy’s biggest day just around the corner and a gargantuan off-season looming, the big talk remains, just how much are the highest-paid AFL players really worth? It’s no secret that the AFL generates the biggest crowds and television viewership in the country, which has made the AFL the richest sporting body in Australia. On that note, let’s find out which players are taking home the biggest slice of the money pie in 2023.

The rich list has been named for the 2023 season, and with Lance “Buddy” Franklin hanging up the boots, the highest-paid AFL player is dual Brownlow Medal winner Dustin Martin. Fremantle superstar Nat Fyfe came in second just ahead of West Coast’s Jeremy McGovern and Tim Kelly, according to data reports from The Herald Sun. In its annual review of player salaries and contracts, the publication revealed the top-earning AFL players for this season. Here is the top 20.

Dustin Martin
Dustin Martin | Image: Getty

1. Dustin Martin – AUD$1.25-$1.35 million

At around AUD$1.25-$1.35 million a year, you could argue Dustin Martin’s salary is a steal. The three-time Norm Smith Medal winner is just about the best player in the game and a key reason why the Tiger’s dynasty was so strong. However, there have been questions about whether he will see out the final year of his contract. Tiger’s fans will be hoping he remains in the yellow and black.

Salary: AU$1,250,000-$1,350,000
Team: Richmond Tigers
Born: 26 June 1991 (age 32 years), Castlemaine
Height: 1.87 m
Number: 4
Draft: No. 3, 2009 national draft
Awards: Brownlow Medal, All-Australian team, Norm Smith Medal
Siblings: Tyson Martin, Bronson Martin
Parents: Shane Martin, Kathy Martin

Nat fyfe
Nat Fyfe | Image: Getty images

2. Nat Fyfe – AUD$1.05-$1.15 million

Two Brownlows and arguably the best set of biceps in the game, Fremantle champion Nat Fyfe comes in at a close second place on the rich list. Fyfe is currently on a six-year deal signed in 2017 that runs through to 2023. Due to injuries over the past few seasons, he’s brokered a new contract with a significant pay cut the 32-year-old still has some good years left in him.

Salary: AUD$1,050,000 – $1,150,000
Team: Fremantle Dockers
Born: 18 September 1991 (age 32 years), Western Australia
Height: 1.9 m
Weight: 88 kg
Date joined: 2010 (Fremantle Football Club)
Number: 7
Parents: David Fyfe, Christine Fyfe
Siblings: Sheridan Fyfe, Liam Fyfe

Jeremy McGovern
Jeremy McGovern | Image: Getty

3. Jeremy McGovern – AUD$1-$1.1 million

The big defender with the golden hands, Jeremy McGovern reeled in a handy AUD$1-$1.1 million for the 2023 season. He’s in the final year of a five-year deal worth $6 million but has taken a haircut in the past couple years to help his beloved Eagles. The premiership star has recently agreed to a fresh two-year deal that should make him a one-club player.

Salary: AU$1,000,000-$1,100,000
Team: West Coast Eagles
Born: 15 April 1992 (age 31 years), Western Australia
Height: 1.9 m
Weight: 96 kg
Partner: Madison Williams
Parents: Andrew McGovern
Number: 20
Siblings: Mitch McGovern

Tim kelly west coast eagles
Tim Kelly | Image: Twitter (West Coast Eagles)

4. Tim Kelly – AUD$1-$1.1 million

While Kelly’s deal averages to about $850,000 a season, the midfielder is about to cop a nice little cash injection with this being one of the years in which he’s paid a higher proportion to help the Eagle’s cap position.

Salary: AU$1,000,000-$1,100,000
Team: West Coast Eagles
Born: 26 July 1994 (age 29 years), Western Australia
Height: 1.83 m
Weight: 81 kg
Partner: Caitlin Miller
Parents: Tim Kelly Sr, Gissela Gonzalez
Number: 11

Marcus bontempelli
Marcus Bontempelli | Image: Getty

5. Marcus Bontempelli – AUD$1 – $1.1 million

One of the elite midfielders in the game, the Top Dog is set to become just the second $1 million Bulldog in history following on from 2016 grand final hero Tom Boyd. Furthermore, Bontempelli’s contract expires in 2025, likely to push him up the highest-paid AFL players list for years to come.

Salary: AU$1,000,000-$1,100,000
Team: Western Bulldogs
Born: 24 November 1995 (age 27 years), Melbourne
Height: 1.92 m
Nationality: Australian
Draft: No. 4, 2013 national draft
Number: 4
Weight: 93 kg (205 lb)
Parents: Carlo Bontempelli, Geraldine Bontempelli

Clayton oliver
Clayton Oliver | Image: Getty

6. Clayton Oliver – AUD$950,000 – $1.05 million

He’s already considered a million-dollar Demon, but next season, Oliver officially starts his seven-year $7 million deal next season. Winning four best and fairest awards and tracking to become one of the club’s most decorated players, the 26-year-old is worth the money he demands.

Salary: AU$950,000-$1,050,000
Team: Melbourne Demons
Born: 22 July 1997 (age 26 years), Melbourne
Height: 1.89 m
Nationality: Australian
Draft: No. 4, 2015 national draft
Number: 4
Weight: 87 kg (192 lb)
Parents: Stephen Oliver, Michelle Oliver

Christian Petracca
Christian Petracca | Image: Getty

7. Christian Petracca – AUD$$950,000-$1,050,000

One of the game’s most electrifying talent is showing why he’s worth the big bucks. As Oliver’s partner in crime, the Dees locked him up with a seven-year contract of his own believed to be around AUD$900,000 a year.

Salary: AUD$950,000-$1,050,000
Team: Melbourne Demons
Born: 4 January 1996 (age 27 years)
Height: 1.86 m
Draft: No. 2, 2014 national draft
Number: 5
Weight: 97 kg (214 lb)
Parents: Tony Petracca, Elvira Petracca
Siblings: Robert Petracca, Julian Petracca

Jeremy Cameron
Jeremy Cameron | Image: Getty

8. Jeremy Cameron – AUD$$950,000-$1,050,000

Overcoming his hamstring issues, Cameron has earned every cent of his mega contract. He helped Geelong win a premiership last year, and often looks like the best player in the game. It’s safe to say that his move from GWS has been nothing but a giant success.

Salary: AUD$950,000-$1,050,000
Team: Geelong Cats
Born: 1 April 1993 (age 30 years), Dartmoor
Height: 1.96 m
Number: 5
Weight: 96 kg (212 lb)
Draft: 2010 GWS under-age selection
Position(s): Key Forward
Parents: Leon Cameron, Kelly Cameron

Tom Lynch
Tom Lynch | Image: Getty Images

9. Tom Lynch – AUD$925,000-$1.25 million

Lynch has been vital to the Tiger’s success and landed himself a well-deserved free-agency deal. Until 2025, the key forward will earn upwards of the million-dollar mark.

Salary: AUD$925,000-$1,025,000
Team: Richmond Tigers
Born: 31 October 1992 (age 30), Mornington Peninsula
Height: 1.99 m
Number: 19
Weight: 100 kg (220 lb)
Draft: No. 11, 2010 AFL National draft: Gold Coast
Position(s): Key Forward
Parents: Leon Cameron, Kelly Cameron

Darcey Moore
Darcy Moore | Image: Cameron Grimes/ Zero Digital Media

10. Darcy Moore – AUD$925,000-$1.25 million

The Collingwood skipper currently holds the most lucrative contract at the club, signing a six year deal in April last year. Other clubs offered more money but he decided to recommit to the Magpies until 2028, which could turn out to be a great decision if they can win the flag this year.

Salary: AUD$925,000-$1,025,000
Team: Collingwood Magpies
Born: 25 January 1996 (age 27), Melbourne
Height: 2.03 m
Number: 30
Weight: 100 kg (220 lb)
Draft: No. 9 (F/S), 2014 national draft
Position(s): Key Forward
Parents: Peter Moore, Jane Moore

Patrick Cripps
Patrick Cripps | Image: Getty

11. Patrick Cripps – AUD$900,000 – $1 million

After signing a six-year extension in 2021, last year’s Brownlow medallist has made good on his contract. Locked into a Blues jersey until 2027, Cripps is believed to be leveraging about $950k per season and will push towards the $1 million mark before dropping off at the end of his deal.

Salary: AUD$900,000 – $1,000,000
Team: Carlton Blues
Born: 18 March 1995 (age 28 years), Perth
Height: 1.95 m
Weight: 93 kg
Draft: No. 13, 2013 national draft
Number: 9
Debut: Round 5, 2014, Carlton; vs. Melbourne, at the MCG
Parents: Brad Cripps, Cath Cripps

Stephen Coniglio
Stephen Coniglio | Image: Getty

12. Stephen Coniglio – AUD$850,000-$950,000

Averaging 29 disposals this year, Coniglio has been one of the Giants best this season. This is why he’s one of many putting pressure on the clubs salary cap, taking home just shy of $1 million per season, courtesy of his massive seven-year deal signed in 2019.

Salary: AUD$850,000-$950,000
Team: Greater Western Sydney
Born: 15 December 1993 (age 29 years), Greenmount
Height: 1.82 m
Parents: Sandro Coniglio
Number: 3
Draft: No. 2, 2011 National Draft, Greater Western Sydney
Position(s): Midfielder
Siblings: Jacob Coniglio

Toby Greene
Toby Greene | Image: Getty

13. Toby Greene – AUD$850,000-$950,000

Contentious by nature, GWS’ Toby Greene is perhaps the team’s most important player. Back in 2018, the All-Australian signed a six-year deal to stay with the club, before adding another two years that will see him remain a Giant until the end of 2026. The Herald Sun suggests that if he had returned to Melbourne, or was a little less injury-prone, he would be a worthy $1 million man.

Salary: AUD$800,000-$850,000
Team: Greater Western Sydney
Born: 25 September 1993 (age 30 years)
Height: 1.81 m
Number: 4
Position(s): Forward
Draft: No. 11, 2011 national draft
Weight: 84 kg (185 lb)
Parents: Michael Greene, Kate Greene

Lachie Whitfield
Lachie Whitfield | Image: Getty

14. Lachie Whitfield – AUD$850,000-$950,000

The running machine is tallying up a serious bank account figure as well. Giants star Lachie Whitfield is another player on a long-term contract. He signed a lucrative deal that runs through until the end of the 2027 season, keeping him as a Giant practically for life.

Salary: AUD$800,000-$850,000
Team: Greater Western Sydney
Born: 18 July 1994 (age 29 years)
Height: 1.87 m
Weight: 74 kg
Draft: No. 1, 2012 national draft
Number: 6
Position(s): Half-back / Midfielder
Parents: Richard Whitfield, Maryanne Whitfield

Nick Haynes
Nick Haynes | Image: Getty Images

15. Nick Haynes – AUD$850,000-$950,000

Another GWS player earning the big bucks, Haynes signed a five-year back-ended contract in 2019 that will see the defender push towards seven figures next season. The defender was floated in some trade deals this season but nothing came of it in the end.

Salary: AUD$850,000-$950,000
Team: Greater Western Sydney
Born: 18 May 1992 (age 31)
Height: 1.94 m
Weight: 89 kg
Draft: No. 11, 2011 national draft
Number: 19
Position(s): Defender

James Sicily
James Sicily | Image: Getty

16. James Sicily – AUD$850,000-$950,000

While rival clubs had their eyes on him, the Hawk’s skipper signed a five-year deal last season that has brought him into the Top 20 club. Now that his bank account has been sorted, the 28-year-old will be fully focused on the club’s rebuild and bringing glory back to Hawthorn.

Salary: AUD$850,000-$950,000
Team: Hawthorn Hawks
Born: 6 January 1995 (age 28)
Height: 1.88 m
Weight: 90 kg
Draft: No. 56, 2013 national draft
Number: 6
Position(s): Key defender
Partner: Emma Cooper

Isaac Heeney
Isaac Heeney | Image: Getty

17. Isaac Heeney – AUD$850,000-$950,000

The Sydney Swans put their eggs in the Heeney basket early, and he has now become the highest-paid Swanny. The midfield/forward has shown glimpses of the player Sydney thought he would become, and is still the face of New South Wales footy.

Salary: AUD$850,000-$950,000
Team: Sydney Swans
Born: 5 May 1996 (age 27 years), Maitland
Height: 1.84 m
Number: 5
Draft: No. 18, 2014 national draft
Weight: 85 kg (187 lb)
Parents: Rochelle Heeney, Adam Heeney
Siblings: Beau Heeney

Bradley Hill
Bradley Hill | Image: Getty

18. Bradley Hill – AUD$825,000-$925,000

A smooth mover, Bradley Hill made the move over from Fremantle in 2021 and he didn’t come cheap. With an estimated salary of around AUD$825,000 to $925,000, he’s found form under Ross Lyon and is starting to live up to his pay cheque.

Salary: AUD$825,000-$925,000
Team: St Kilda Saints
Born: 9 July 1993 (age 30 years), Western Australia
Height: 1.79 m
Number: 8
Weight: 78 kg (172 lb)
Draft: No. 33, 2011 national draft
Position(s): Midfielder
Siblings: Stephen Hill

Adam Treloar
Adam Treloar | Image: Getty

19. Adam Treloar – AUD$825,000-$925,000

Considering the circumstances, Treloar has been a steal doe the Dogs. Interestingly, his salary is made up of a few components, with The Herald Sun reporting that Collingwood will contribute an average of $300,000 per season over the life of Treloar’s five-year deal. That was estimated to be $275,000 in the first year and round out at about $325,000 in the last.

Salary: AUD$825,000-$925,000
Team: Western Bulldogs
Born: 9 March 1993 (age 30 years)
Height: 1.81 m
Partner: Kim Ravaillion
Number: 1
Weight: 89 kg (196 lb)
Position(s): Midfielder
Children: Georgie Olive Treloar

Brodie Grundy
Brodie Grundy | Image: Getty

20. Brodie Grundy – AUD$800,000-$900,000

The ruckman has endured a forgettable season, but a substantial paycheck is a welcome balm for his troubles. While Grundy’s destination for next season remains uncertain, he remains bound by a four-season contract. Reports suggest that the Demons are covering $650,000 of his salary while the Magpies are contributing $250,000.

Salary: AUD$800,000-$900,000
Team: Collingwood Magpies
Born: 15 April 1994 (age 29 years), Adelaide
Height: 2.02 m
Partner: Rachael Wertheim
Number: 4
Draft: No. 18, 2012 AFL Draft, Collingwood
Position: Ruckman
Weight: 108 kg (238 lb)

Average AFL Salary

Footballers have always had the benefit of money, at least since the early 1980s, when players became trading pieces and sponsors took the limelight. While the COVID pandemic forced players to take a pay cut at the start of the decade, the game is now back to its best, dishing out fat cheques like never before.

In 2022, player payments across the league surged, shattering previous records. The total sum soared from $233.9 million in 2021 to $257.6 million in 2022. This significant increase propelled the average player’s salary above $400,000, which was a first for the league.

In another unprecedented milestone for the AFL, twelve players in 2022 achieved seven-figure salaries, all while operating within the league’s $14,540,000 salary cap. Remarkably, only a mere 10 players found themselves earning less than $100,000 at the lower end of the pay scale.

General FAQs

Who is the highest-paid AFL player in 2023?

Dustin Martin is the highest paid player in the AFL. In the penultimate year of his monster deal with the Richmond Football Club, Franklin demands a pay cheque of around AUD$1.25 – 1.35 million

What is Nat Fyfe’s salary?

According to The Herald Sun’s AFL Rich 100, Fyfe had a salary of around $1,050,000-$1,150,000, good enough for the second highest-paid player in the game.

How much do AFL umpires get paid?

As a fully-fledged AFL umpire, you can be paid around $121,638-$130,533 a year.

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