When it comes to football, the quarterback position is arguably the most valuable position on the field. Teams are willing to invest crazy amounts of money into their franchise QBs, especially when they hit the free-agent market. However, investing in a long-term QB comes with many factors to consider, such as team need, salary cap, and player performance.
Deshaun Watson’s Record Contract and the Bar It Set
Last offseason, Deshaun Watson was the quarterback in line to get paid, and he was guaranteed a whopping $230 million by the Cleveland Browns. Despite his undeniable talent, his circumstances and the charges against him made it unheard of to guarantee a player that amount of money. Nevertheless, this contract set the bar high for any other franchise looking to lock up their QB of the future.
Lamar Jackson’s Impressive Resume and High Salary Expectations
This offseason, two big names are due for a contract: Ravens QB Lamar Jackson and Giants QB Daniel Jones. Given the Watson contract from last season, Lamar should request around the same amount of money, which could be anywhere within the $45-50 million dollar range. Lamar has an astonishingly better resume than Watson, including being a former first-rounder, former MVP, and the 2016 Heisman trophy winner. However, the Ravens may face difficulties within the salary cap if they are unable to make a deal, and they may look to trade him. Teams like the Falcons, Jets, and Panthers could make sense for Lamar.
Daniel Jones’ Case and His Worth
Daniel Jones is an interesting case, having faced criticism since day one in New York. However, given the situation he was drafted into, there may have been too much criticism. With an average offensive line, a bad receiving corps, and a bad head coach, the Giants were not an exciting team in 2018. Nevertheless, Jones managed to throw for 3,000 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. He followed his rookie year with a below-average sophomore season and an average third season. However, his 2022 season was a make-or-break season, and he threw for 3,200 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. He also added seven rushing touchdowns, solidifying his mobility.
The question now is: “What is Jones truly worth?” A recent report suggests that Jones will ask for somewhere in the $45 million dollar range. The Giants have to be careful not to overpay him and reset the QB market once again.
Matthew Stafford’s Record Contract and the Increase in the QB Market
The Detroit Lions faced a similar situation with former QB Matthew Stafford in 2017 when he was due for an extension. He got it, and his five-year, $135-million-dollar deal was the largest in NFL history at the time. The Lions paid him because of all he did for them, but other teams may not have been willing to do the same. Since 2017, it’s been crazy to see how much more the market has increased since the Stafford deal.
Conclusion: The High Stakes of Investing in a Quarterback Contract
In today’s NFL, the stakes are high when it comes to investing in a quarterback contract. A franchise’s decision to pay or not to pay can have a significant impact on the team’s future success. As Lamar Jackson and Daniel Jones hit the free-agent market, the question remains: what will be the final price tag for their contracts, and how will it impact the teams that sign them?
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