Kyler Murray became the latest quarterback to receive a massive contract, agreeing to a five-year, $230.5 million deal that makes him the second-highest-paid player in the NFL in terms of average annual value. Murray’s total contract amount is the third highest in the NFL while his $160 million guaranteed is the second most in NFL history.
While Murray’s deal didn’t reset the market like Deshaun Watson’s fully guaranteed $230 million deal did earlier this year, it set a barometer for what franchise quarterbacks will be seeking in the coming months. There are quite a few quarterbacks that are set to cash in with massive contracts, whether that will be prior to this season or this coming offseason.
Which quarterbacks are in line to receive that franchise-altering extension? With Murray signed, sealed, and delivered, these are the quarterbacks to keep on the lookout to land a new contract over the coming months.
Jackson is the franchise quarterback from the 2018 draft class that hasn’t signed a long-term extension yet, playing out his fifth-year option with the Baltimore Ravens at $23.016 million. Josh Allen signed his deal (same draft class as Jackson) at $43,005,667 per season in 2020 (which is currently the fifth-highest-paid contract in the NFL).
Jackson is expected to get a much higher salary than that thanks to the Watson and Murray deals this offseason, banking on himself to get a top three salary of his own. All Baltimore has done is win since Jackson became the starting quarterback in Week 11 of the 2018 season, as the Ravens are 37-12 during that stretch. Jackson is also the first quarterback in NFL history to reach 35 regular-season wins before the age of 25.
Jackson has completed 64.2% of his passes for 9,880 yards with 83 touchdowns to 31 interceptions (98.0 rating) since becoming the Ravens starter — while rushing for 3,564 yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground. He’s the fastest quarterback in league history to reach 5,000 passing yards and 2,000 rushing yards (35 games), and his 10 100-yard rushing games are tied with Michael Vick for the most in league history.
Whether Jackson gets paid by the Ravens is to be determined, but a massive contract is coming. Perhaps that mega deal comes in the coming weeks.
The talented quarterbacks from the 2020 draft class are entering their third season, meaning the countdown is on for their massive extensions. Herbert is a record-setting quarterback after his first two seasons, so it’s a matter of “when” the Los Angeles Chargers and Herbert agree on a long-term deal.
Herbert has the most completions (839), passing yards (9,350), and passing touchdowns (69) through the first two seasons of a career in league history, while also being the first quarterback to throw 30-plus touchdown passes in each of his first two seasons — arguably the greatest start for any quarterback.
How much Herbert will get will likely reset the market,he and the Chargers “haven’t discussed anything” in regards to an extension.
“I love that I was drafted here and that I have been able to play here,” Herbert said back in June. “I think we’re doing all the right things. I believe in the staff, all the teammates, the front office. So all I can do is hope for the best. It’s out of my control, but I’ll keep playing football.”
Like Herbert, Burrow is in line for a massive extension as he enters his third year in the league. The biggest question will be whether Herbert or Burrow sign first and set the precedent for the other.
Burrow established himself as one of the game’s best quarterbacks, a year after coming off ACL surgery. He completed a league-high 70.4% of his passes for 4,611 yards with 34 touchdowns to 14 interceptions for a 108.4 passer rating last season. Burrow also led the NFL in yards per attempt (8.9) despite being sacked a league-high 51 times in the regular season. He led the NFL in 30-plus-yard touchdown passes in 2021 (15), seven more than Tom Brady (who was second). When pressured, Burrow was first in the league in completion percentage (61%), yards per attempt (8.6) and quarterback rating (92.4).
Another massive season and deep playoff run for Burrow may lead toward him becoming the highest-paid quarterback in football. Burrow only needs 4,500 passing yards to become the first player in NFL history to record at least that amount in two of his first three seasons, more incentive for him to have a massive 2022 season.
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Easy to forget Brady is in line for a new contract of his own, as the seven-time Super Bowl champion is set to hit free agency this offseason. Brady did retire this offseason, only to reverse the decision 40 days later and play the final year of his contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Will Brady re-sign with Tampa Bay or will he test the free agent waters again? Brady has been linked to the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers in the past, but there will be other teams interested in his services if he decides to play in 2023.
Making $25 million a year, Brady is currently the 14th-highest-paid quarterback in the league. Even if Brady takes a discount in free agency, he’ll surely be receiving a pay raise next offseason if he decides to play.
Brady had one of his greatest seasons as a passer at the age of 44, becoming the first player since Peyton Manning in 2013 — and just the third player since 1991 (Drew Brees is the other, in 2008) — to lead the league in completions (485), attempts (719), passing yards (5,316), and passing touchdowns (43). There’s no sign Brady’s game is diminishing, and he can prove that once again in 2022.
Wilson was traded to the Denver Broncos this offseason to be their franchise quarterback, having two years and $51 million remaining on a four-year, $140 million deal he signed in 2019. A pay raise with the Broncos is coming, as Wilson is ninth among NFL players in terms of average annual value ($35 million per season).
One of four quarterbacks with a career passer rating over 100, Wilson has 113 career wins through his first 10 seasons in the league — the most for any quarterback in NFL history (including playoffs). His 317 touchdown passes through 10 seasons trail only Peyton Manning (327) for the most in league history (including playoffs).
Prior to his finger injury last season, Wilson led the NFL in yards per attempt (9.6), touchdown-to-interception ratio (10-1), and passer rating (125.3). He completed 64.8% of his passes for 3,113 yards with 25 touchdowns to six interceptions for a 103.1 passer rating in 2021 — his final season with the Seattle Seahawks. Wilson is the only quarterback with a 100-plus passer rating in each of the last four seasons.
A new contract is coming Wilson’s way. Like Herbert, it’s a matter of “when” Wilson gets his deal.
Hurts is the wild card in the 2020 draft class in terms of getting a massive extension, specifically since he’s only made 19 career starts in his two seasons. The Philadelphia Eagles are committed to Hurts for 2022, but his future as a franchise quarterback is to be determined.
Hurts completed 61.3% of his passes for 3,144 yards with 16 touchdowns to nine interceptions for an 87.2 rating last season, and he’s just the second quarterback in Eagles history to throw for 3,000 yards and rush for 750 yards in a season — and the eighth to reach those numbers in NFL history. This was in his first season as the full-time starting quarterback.
The only player in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in his first 20 starts, Hurts has shown he’s capable of being a starting quarterback in the NFL. The Eagles put the pieces on offense around Hurts to succeed in 2022, giving them a much better read on whether he deserves a contract extension past the 2023 season.
Just like Hurts, Tagovailoa needs to improve his play on the field if the Miami Dolphins want to ensure he’s their quarterback for the next several years. Unlike Hurts, Tagovailoa has a fifth-year option on his rookie deal the Dolphins can exercise for 2024.
Miami gave Tagovailoa all the skill position players he needs to take his game to the next level. Whether the offensive line is better is the ultimate question mark toward Tagovailoa’s future. The source of their offensive inconsistency in 2021, Miami was 30th in the league in rushing (92.2 yards per game) and 31st in yards per carry (3.5 yards per carry). The Dolphins had three offensive linemen allow over 45 pressures last year in Liam Eichenberg (62), Jesse Davis (57) and Austin Jackson (49) — all ranked among the top 10 in most pressures allowed in the league.
Tagovailoa completed 67.8% of his passes for 2,653 yards with 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions despite the constant pressure in his face — and he’s 13-8 as a starting quarterback despite having three offensive coordinators coach him in his two seasons.
This is the make-or-break season for Tagovailoa. If he has a big third season, a massive contract extension may be next on the docket.