For all but five NFL franchises, mascots play a pivotal role in the stadium experience for fans. With so many breaks in the play, the caricature and cartoonized performers can keep the entertainment levels up throughout. 

On top of the eight or nine regular season games, and perhaps some postseason games, mascots are also expected to attend team events held for fans and the community, so their roles go beyond a few hours each weekend. 

So, how much money do the 27 mascots of the NFL make?

What Is The Average NFL Mascot Salary?

While we can’t know with certainty exactly how much most of the NFL mascots make, the figures reported list the range of NFL mascot salaries as being between US$65,000 and US$50,000 for an average salary of around US$57,100.

Hourly, the highest-earning mascot reportedly reels in around $25 per hour. Of course, if the team is successful, a mascot will likely earn more for their participation in more games and events surrounding the success on the field.

If the Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Chargers, New York Giants, New York Jets, or Washington Commanders ever change their stance on hiring a mascot – which the Commanders might under new ownership – they’ll likely be listing jobs in the US$50,000 to US$60,000 region.

NFL Mascot salary - Jacksonville

At the time of writing, the Arizona Cardinals were listing the job of performing as Big Red, their mascot. However, neither their on-site listing nor the Indeed listing showed or hinted at the exact salary. 

The job summary does make mention of Big Red making “over three hundred appearances a year” and needing to perform at community, media, and sponsor events around the Phoenix metropolitan area. 

The Highest Paid NFL Mascot

As far as we can tell, and following the logic of the team’s popularity, Rowdy of the Dallas Cowboys is the highest-paid NFL mascot right now. 

The information comes via a lawsuit from a former cheerleader of the Cowboys who cited that the mascot was paid more than double what they were getting, with that figure being US$65,000 for Rowdy’s performer.

Given the popularity of the Cowboys and the team’s massive amount of income each year, it makes sense that their mascot would be paid the most in the NFL.

Of course, without hard figures elsewhere, we can’t be sure if another team is paying their mascot more money than Rowdy. We only know that in 2018, Rowdy was getting US$25 an hour or $65,000 per year.

This season, while the Cowboys are out at +180 to win the NFC East in the NFL odds, there’s a sense of quiet optimism that Dallas is well-equipped enough to push deep into the postseason, perhaps earning Rowdy a bit more cash.

Behind Rowdy, Pat Patriot of the New England Patriots is commonly cited as the next-highest paid NFL mascot, earning close to or the same as Dallas’ mascot at up to US$65,000 annually. 

As it stands, Blue of the Indianapolis Colts is the most popular NFL mascot on social media, and it isn’t even close. The horse’s dominance on TikTok (to the tune of eight million followers) is the source of their power.

Much of what Blue does on social media will be part of the mascot’s role of promoting the team and engaging with the community, but having such a high profile will help them to earn more money beyond their salaried duties.

On the Colts website, you can book a general appearance by Blue or even order a personalized video message. The former will set you back US$400 for 30 minutes with Blue, while the videos cost US$150 each.

Blue’s social media presence and antics on platforms like TikTok will only help to funnel in those high-paying appearance bookings, but will the crazy horse be able to buoy Indianapolis to the playoffs this season?

NFL Mascots salary 2023

In betting circles, the Colts are long shots at best to break into the playoffs. At +500 just to win the AFC South – behind the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans – it looks like Blue will have a bit more space on the calendar to cash in on private gigs.

As far as we can tell, and without very much hard evidence to go off of, we have to presume that NFL mascots earn around US$57,100 per year, with the highest earner being Rowdy at US$65,000.

*Credit for all images in this article belongs to AP Photo*

Ben is very much a sports nerd, being obsessed with statistical deep dives and the numbers behind the results and performances.

Top of the agenda are hockey, soccer, and boxing, but there's always time for the NFL, cricket, Formula One, and a bit of mixed martial arts.