The USC Trojans have been an NFL factory for years, and dozens of former USC players have rightfully made their way into the NFL. Many of them are very-well compensated for their effort.
In fact, if you compile a 22-person starting lineup (we'll set aside special teams for the moment) an all-USC alumni roster would net just under $150 million when considering their current NFL contracts ($149,743,635 to be exact). That means under the 2016 NFL salary cap (about $155 million), you could get the 22 highest-paid USC 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 USC alum at their position, not necessarily because of talent.
So here's a look at a 22-person starting lineup made entirely of former USC players:
Note* — All contract data reflects the average yearly salary for each player. Contract data courtesy of OverTheCap.
Offense: $69,963,035 per year
|TE||Rhett Ellison||$4,500,000||N.Y. Giants|
|WR||Robert Woods||$6,800,000||L.A. Rams|
|OL||Max Tuerk||$894,255||L.A. Chargers|
Defense: $79,780,600 per year
|DE||Leonard Williams||$4,657,717||N.Y. Jets|
|LB||Clay Matthews||$13,200,000||Green Bay|
|LB||Nick Perry||$12,000,000||Green Bay|
|LB||Malcolm Smith||$5,300,000||San Francisco|
Highest Remaining Contracts
|QB||Matt Barkley||$2,000,000||San Francisco|