Who Will Be The First $50 Million Per Year NFL Quarterback? | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com
As the amount on quarterback contracts are rising faster than a lottery payout, the NFL is slowly approaching the time when quarterbacks will reach salary levels once thought unimaginable. So, with Dak Prescott in the $40 million a year club, and Patrick Mahomes still setting the pace among quarterbacks, the question has become simple: Who will be the first $50 million, $75 million and even $100 million per year NFL quarterback?
It is official that in the NFL, when a team wants to keep their franchise quarterback, the salary cap is just an excuse to draw up a contract that takes a team of experts to translate for the average fan. Nevertheless, it never fails to amaze us when players as good as Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers break the bank, and makes us wonder when players like Jared Goff and Carson Wentz are also given contracts with lots of commas. In the end, the NFL salary cap is meaningless when teams want to sign certain players, especially quarterbacks.
Now, as the eight-figure contract and average annual value has become commonplace in the NFL, many are wondering if a nine-figure contract is that far off. As pointed out by Jay Busbee of Yahoo Sports, we are three decades removed from Dan Marino breaking the bank in Miami with a contract worth $3.9 Million per season.
As time went on, Michael Vick broke new ground with a contract averaging $10.3 million a year just twenty years ago, and ten years ago it was Peyton Manning who signed a five-year deal with the Colts that averaged $18 Million/Year. So, with that trend in mind, is a member of the quarterback class of the 2021 draft on target to becoming the first member of the $50 Million, $75 Million or $100 Million per year club?
With the NFL salary cap expected to be adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic for the 2021 seasons, and probably a year or two beyond that, some quarterbacks, namely Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady, are already providing teams with cap friendly deals by reworking their current contracts. As a result, the growth in contract values being paid out may have temporarily peaked with Mahomes’ deal in Kansas City, with the new wave of quarterbacks from the 2021 NFL Draft expected to push the limits of what teams are willing to do to keep their franchise players.
Since teams are granted a fifth-year option on players selected in the first round of the draft, by the time the second half of this decade arrives, the timing may be right for those who are successful from this year’s draft class being able to exceed salary numbers never before reached in the NFL.
The timing will mean the return to the time when the NFL salary cap goes up year by year as the full force of the television contracts kicks in, including revenue streams that the league doesn’t even have yet. For example, the reported billion dollars a year outlets like Amazon and Apple are willing to pay to live stream regular season games. As a result, seeing a quarterback making $65 million a year out of a $300 million salary cap is not out of the question, since Dak Prescott is taking up nearly the same percentage ($40 Million of a $182.5 Million Salary Cap) in 2021. Over time, as the cap reaches $350 Million, and then $400 Million, reach $75 Million/year for, say, Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson or another surprise from an upcoming draft is conceivable.
The easy bet is to say that Urban Meyer will lock up his likely franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence in Jacksonville, because if the presumptive top overall pick in this year’s draft is a flop, Meyer will be working at Fox Sports faster than he left their studios to move back to Florida.
There is, however, normally a surprise quarterback the comes out of the second or third round of a draft that finds the right team, and is able to have superstar success in the NFL. Perhaps it will be that still unnamed quarterback that beats Lawrence to the nine figure salary clue, or it will be a name we hear called on the first night of this year’s NFL Draft.
Regardless, there will one day be an NFL quarterback that makes as much money in one season and Taylor Swift makes singing in a year or Roger Federer has made off the court from his endorsement deals. By then, however, the league’s salary cap will be so high that it will mimic the mega-deals being signed by MLB players in recent years, and people in the NFL media will debate if those players are underpaid, overpaid, or being paid just what they are deserved, with wins, loses and Super Bowl rings breaking all ties in that debate.
Who do you think will reach the next plateaus in the NFL, and how many of them will and won’t deserve it? Only time will give us the answer to both questions.
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Who Will Be The First $50 Million Per Year NFL Quarterback? | TooAthletic.com
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