Like most of the world, Australia’s AFL players faced a considerable reduction in earning potential due to COVID-19 cutbacks. Last year, Total Player Payments were slashed by approximately $72 million (29.17%), leaving a relatively paltry $170 million to be distributed amongst the entire talent pool. Where the average AFL player was taking home a salary of $363,430 back in 2019, that figure was revised to $259,651; with only four names cashing in more than a million this year. But despite the fact they’ve seen far less money than their international peers, the highest-paid AFL players are still sitting pretty in 2021.
According to the Herald Sun, Lance “Buddy” Franklin has taken the throne in the penultimate year of his nine-year contract with the Sydney Swans (valued at $10 million in total). Franklin edges out both the West Coast Eagle’s Jeremy McGovern and the Richmond Tigers’ undisputed bender king Dustin Martin by a healthy margin. Rounding out the Top 5 is Naty Fye of the Fremantle Dockers – who marginally missed out on contending for the #2 and #3 position against McGovern and Dusty – followed by Collingwood Magpies star Brodie Grundy – who narrowly misses out on breaking the $1 million threshold.
Check out the highest-paid AFL players for 2021 below.
Highest-Paid AFL Players: Ranking The Salaries 
- Lance Franklin (Sydney Swans) – $1.5 million
- Jeremy McGovern (West Coast Eagles) – $1.2 million to $1.25 million
- Dustin Martin (Richmond Tigers) – $1.2 million to $1.25 million
- Nat Fye (Fremantle Dockers) – $1.075 million to $1.1 million
- Brodie Grundy (Collingwood Magpies) – $925,000 to $975,000
- Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong Cats) – $900,000 to $950,000
- Patrick Cripps (Carlton Blues) – $900,000 to $950,000
- Stephen Coniglio (Greater Western Sydney) – $900,000 to $950,000
- Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs) – $900,000 to $950,000
- Jeremy Cameron (Geelong Cats) – $850,000 to $900,000
- Adam Treloar (Western Bulldogs) – $850,000 to $900,000
- Rory Sloane (Adelaide Crows) – $825,000 to $875,000
- Isaac Heenery (Sydney Swans) – $825,000 to $875,000
- Christian Petracca (Melbourne Demons) – $800,000 to $850,000
- Lachie Whitfield (Greater Western Sydney) – $800,000 to $850,000