Who Will Overtake Jalen Hurts’ Historical Contract?
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts received a 5-year, $255 million contract extension ($179.3 million guaranteed) on Monday, making him the highest paid player in NFL history. While the contract is well deserved based on his play this past season, there will be quarterbacks whose agents are looking to one up the deal and make their player the next highest paid. Here are the three most likely candidates I believe could surpass Hurts' contract:
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals QB
Drafted first overall in the 2020 NFL Draft by Cincinnati, Burrow is the likeliest candidate to become the next highest paid player in NFL. After suffering a torn ACL his rookie year, ending his season, the QB turned the Bengals from the worst team in the league into one of the most formidable teams. He led them to the AFC Championship game each of the past two seasons and to the Super Bowl in the first one of those seasons.
In his three seasons in the league, Burrow has passed for 11,774 yards, 82 touchdowns and 31 interceptions. He was top 10 in passing yards and passing touchdowns both of the past two seasons.
Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers QB
Picked sixth overall by Los Angeles in the same draft as Hurts and Burrow, Herbert is also a likely candidate to receive the next largest contract in the NFL due to his success so far in the league. Herbert showed off his star talent as soon as he was named the starter a few weeks into his rookie season. He finished his first season in the league by breaking rookie QB records for the most passing touchdowns (31), the most passing yards per game (289.1), and the most completions (396), all of which culminated in him winning the 2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.
In his three seasons in the NFL, Herbert threw for 14,089 yards, 94 touchdowns and 35 interceptions. In each of the past two seasons, he ended up being top five in passing yards and top 10 in passing touchdowns. While his passing numbers are better than Burrow's, Burrow has led his team to more success than Herbert in both winning division titles (2-0) and playoff games (5-0), which is why I believe Burrow is a bit more deserving of a bigger contract.
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens QB
With his contract negotiations with Baltimore being one of the top stories of the offseason, Jackson is also a candidate for receiving a contract larger than Hurts. Depending on how you look at it, the dual-threat QB is the most accomplished of the three candidates in large part due to him winning the 2019 NFL MVP Award, along with many other accomplishments such as the most single-season rushing yards by a QB (1,206), most 1,000-yard rushing seasons by a QB (2), and tied for the most games with a perfect passer rating in the same season (2).
In his five seasons in the league, Jackson passed for 12,209 yards, 101 touchdowns and 38 interceptions, as well as rushed for 4,437 yards and 24 touchdowns. While being a dual-threat QB gives Jackson more versatility than the other two candidates, with the main assumption being that he wants a fully guaranteed contract around the amount of Deshaun Watson's contract, I believe he has the least likely chance of the three to top Hurts.