It pays to be pretty, according to the University of Texas economist Daniel Hamermesh. It pays, approximately, $400 thousand.
Hamermesh has studied the link between the general population, their level of beauty (as determined by facial symmetry), and their expected wealth. Recently, the Freakonomics podcast decided to have a segment that applied Hamermesh's results to NFL quarterbacks.
For a quick background, there's a computer program that will measure the dimensions of your face. The more symmetrical your features, the more beautiful you're viewed by the world. The average person has a score of 92, out of 100. His results show that below-average looking men earn 17% less than "good-looking" men, while below-average earn 12% less than their better-looking counterparts.
So Hamermesh and the Freakonomics team applied the same standards to NFL quarterbacks, and they found the same result applies.
According to his results, a difference in 3.2 means an additional $378,000 in salary for a quarterback. Not much, but maybe the Patriots were onto something by drafting Jimmy Garoppolo based upon his looks (that has to be at least, like, 80% of the reason, right?).
In the report, Matt Ryan of the Falcons leads the way at 99.8, with Russell Wilson of the Seahawks posting 99.4; Jay Cutler pulls a 98.76, which they note is "average" for a quarterback. Basically, the average quarterbacks in roughly 6.5% more symmetrical than the normal population.
More importantly, we find yet another metric that shows that Tom Brady is superior to Peyton Manning, although this result almost makes me disregard the whole study. Brady posts a 98.98 symmetry score. Manning posts a 98.97.
The homer in me is happy with the basis that Brady is over Manning. The realist in me goes, "Really? Sorry Peyton, but really?!"