On the eve of the NovaCare Complex opening its doors for another year of Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp, a huge news story dropped in the NFL. Justin Herbert received a monster five-year contract extension worth $262.5M. While this is going to obviously send ripples through the NFL, the Birds will be one team completely unaffected thanks to the foresight of Howie Roseman.
The NFL Quarterback market is moving fast
Three of the brightest young talents in the league have now pledged their futures to their respective teams. Howie Roseman knew that Jalen Hurts was not only coming off of a Super Bowl appearance but a dream season where he demonstrated immense growth in nearly every aspect. He also displayed every possible mental trait to give confidence that he could keep that trajectory going.
If Howie Roseman sat on his hands one more year, there was every chance that Hurts could cement himself as a top-5 quarterback in the NFL, and his price would skyrocket. When you factor in that Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, Lamar Jackson, and Justin Herbert were all primed to receive a big payday, falling behind the 8 ball while the market resets and watching Hurts eclipse some of the aforementioned names was too much of a risk for the cap-savvy GM.
The Arizona Cardinals gave Kyler Murray a five-year deal worth $230M this offseason (and a nice new clipboard), while Russell Wilson was given a five-year deal worth $245M before even playing a snap for his new team. This very much set the benchmark for Jalen Hurts, who would later temporarily become the highest-paid QB in the NFL when looking at average annual value.
Eagles GM Howie Roseman jumps the gun
Howie Roseman pulled the trigger on a deal that sees Jalen Hurts able to earn as much as $274.3 million when factoring in incentives and bonuses. He’ll make $64 million through the first new year of the contract in 2024, piggybacking off the final year of his cheap rookie deal in 2023. His average annual salary will be roughly $51 million per year, including $110 million fully guaranteed at signing. In total, his deal is worth $255M.
Lamar Jackson was the next to be paid just days later, signing a five-year deal worth $260M. Then, on Tuesday evening, Justin Herbert signed a five-year deal worth $262.5M. Each contract is subtly escalating, just to make sure their quarterback is the highest-paid in the NFL.
By jumping the market, Howie Roseman has all but ensured that every other team with a quarterback like Burrow, Tua, and even Herbert, will be overpaying because Jalen Hurts and his $255M contract became the benchmark. Realistically, Justin Herbert and his camp would look at that deal, preach to the Chargers that their man is worth more, and push the envelope ever so slightly.
A $5M jump may not sound like much, but by the time both Tua and Burrow have penned their new deals, that $5M could be $10M, and Jalen Hurts could be in a different universe in terms of ability and production.
Howie Roseman’s foresight and confidence to jump the market and pay Jalen Hurts before the storm started not only gave his team value, but prevented any potential holdouts, distractions, or potential problems for what has otherwise become a faultless team under Nick Sirianni’s guidance. As time goes on, those fruits will only grow riper and look juicier as the price of an elite quarterback continues to rise.
AP Photo/Chris Szagola, File