When NFL defenses sack the quarterback, that's big money they're sacking.

The league Management Council has released a survey of 1977 player salaries - and Joe Namath stuck around long enough to help the QB fraternity post average remuneration some $34,000 above the average player salary, $89,354 to $55,288.

The breakdown by position, from the survey the council conducted as part of the collective bargaining agreement reached with the players association last March:[TABLE OMITTED]

The median salary - the point at which half the players earned more and half earned less - came to $45,563. Total payroll outlay for the 28 clubs was $81,605.088, which averages out to a shade under $3 million per team.

Note that 1,476 players were under contract at the close of the 1977 season - that's 52-plus per team, meaning each carried about seven on injured or inactive, but paid, status over and above the rosters of 43 plus two taxi-squadders.

Not included in the survey: postseason playoff income, which for each champion Dallas Cowboy - whatever his position - ran to $32,000 . . .

Nor extras such as the luxury cars presented in New York yesterday to Super heroes Harvey Martin and Randy White as S.B. 12's MVPs in the eyes of Sport Magazine . . . Here, the Touchdown Club doesn't have the Hickok Belt to present - the Rochester, N.Y. sponsor changed management and canceled out, making Ken Stabler's acceptance here a year ago not only the 27th annual but the last - but it's just registered another plus for Saturday night's 43rd black-tie shindig at the Sheraton Park: Jack Pardee will make a head-table spot. So NFL MVP Walter Payton can combine acceptance of the Dick McCann Memorial Trophy with a dressy farewell to his Chicago Bear Mentor. (Reservations available, 223-1542). Pardee: once a Ramskin, now a BearSkin? . . . Philadelphia's prestigious Maxwell Award as college footballer of the year went last night to Notre Dame's Ross Browner. Despite Browner's Lombardi Award and Longhorn Brad Shearer's Outland, look for the first defensive lineman taken in the NFL draft to be Kentucky's Art Still - the pros like his 6-7 stature; probably by the second-picking K.C. Chiefs, unless they trade for veteran(s) . . .