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Two years ago Raiders made Rodney Hudson the NFL’s highest paid center, now he’s barely top five

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Two years ago, the Raiders made a major investment in signing former Chiefs center Rodney Hudson the NFL’s richest center. They signed him to a 5-year, $44.5 million deal and the $8.9 million per season average set a new high water mark for NFL centers.

His reign as the NFL’s highest paid center lasted all of one month. when the Dolphins signed Mike Pouncey to a 5-year, $44.7 million deal ($8.95 million per season), just barely surpassing Hudson’s deal.

Eleven months later, it was Alex Mack’s turn to take the lead as the highest paid center, receiving a 5-year, $45 million ($9 million per season) free agent deal with the Falcons.

Mack’s spot atop the mountain lasted about six months until the Cowboys re-upped Travis Frederick on a 6-year, $54.6 million deal ($9.4 million per season).

Now there’s a new highest paid center. It’s Jaguars center Brandon Linder who Tuesday signed a 5-year, $51.7 million deal according to a source (probably his agent) close to Ian Rapoport.

If the numbers are correct, that easily makes Linder the new leader in per season money at $10.34 million per season. My guess is the numbers are fudged by incentives in there, but that the real number still puts him ahead of Frederick.

Taking these numbers as reported, here is the new top center contracts by per season money:

  1. Brandon Linder — $10.34 million (reportedly)
  2. Travis Frederick — $9.4 million
  3. Alex Mack — $9.1 million
  4. Mike Pouncey — $8.95 million
  5. Rodney Hudson — $8.9 million
  6. Maurkice Pouncey — $8.83 million

This offseason the Raiders made Derek Carr the highest paid player in NFL history. I don’t expect that one to last very long either.