The Wisconsin Badgers have provided a ton of NFL talent over the past few decades, sending dozens upon dozens of players to the professional level.
In fact, if you compile a 22-person starting lineup (we'll set aside special teams for the moment) an all-Badgers alumni roster would make more than $104.5 million per year when considering their current NFL contracts ($104,805,113 to be exact). That means under the 2016 NFL salary cap (about $155 million), you could get the 22 highest-paid Wisconsin players at each offensive and defensive position.
It's important to note this starting lineup is entirely based on money. Because of rookie contract structures, better young players often make less money than veterans on the roster. Therefore a player or two might look out of place on this list — they're on the list because they make the most money of any Wisconsin alum at their position, not necessarily because of talent.
So here's a look at a 22-person starting lineup made entirely of former Badgers:
Note* — All contract data reflects the average yearly salary for each player. Contract data courtesy of Spotrac.com.
Offense: $76,699,874 per year
|James White||RB||$4,000,000||New England|
|Melvin Gordon||RB||$2,667,443||L.A. Chargers|
|Derek Watt||FB||$617,421||L.A. Chargers|
|Lance Kendricks||TE||$2,000,000||Green Bay|
Defense: $28,105,239 per year
|Jonathan Casillas||LB||$2,666,667||N.Y. Giants|
|Vince Biegel||LB||$773,437||Green Bay|
|Marcus Cromartie||DB||$690,000||San Francisco|
Highest remaining contracts
|Ryan Ramczyk||OT||$2,222,680||New Orleans|
|Robert Havenstein||OT||$992,505||L.A. Rams|