How Derek Carr’s new 4-year, $150M deal with Saints impacts Eagles’ QB Jalen Hurts
As Fat Joe likes to say, “yesterdays price is not today’s price”, and for the Eagles, that means backing up a brinks truck for their franchise signal caller.
Derek Carr has a new home, agreeing to a four-year, $150 million deal with the Saints that includes $100 million in guaranteed money.
The $37.5 million a year keeps Carr among the top ten highest-paid quarterbacks and he’s No. 8 on the list behind Dak Prescott’s $40 million per season.
The #Saints & Derek Carr agreed on a 4-yr deal for $150M with $100M in total guarantees, per me & @MikeGarafolo. He gets $70M effectively fully guaranteed ($60M at signing, another $10M in Year 3 vesting after Year 1). Carr structures his deal to accommodate Saints’ cap issues. pic.twitter.com/vs6qaBh7rg
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 6, 2023
Jalen Hurts is a Pro Bowl quarterback, All-Pro and 2022 MVP runner up.
The NFL is all about loading up on young, dynamic talent, and as Philadelphia continues to reload at key positions, Hurts is the one player in the NFL to watch.
A 2020 second-round pick, Hurts won’t have to worry about a fifth-year option before he can cash out and 2023 will be the final year of his rookie contract.
Howie Roseman is all about striking first and since the Eagles’ third-year quarterback’s trajectory has risen to elite status, Philadelphia could be on the hook for even more than was initially guaranteed when they signed Carson Wentz to a new deal.
After leading the Eagles to the playoffs in back-to-back years, while also vastly improving under center, Hurts will soon be one of the top 10 highest-paid signal-callers.
Here’s an early projection of what a new deal for Hurts would look like.
Eagles want to strike first
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The Eagles have always been fair and early when it comes to projecting contract extensions.
Donovan McNabb’s 9-year, $70 million deal came prior to Howie Roseman joining the organization on a full-time basis.
Roseman is a disciple of Joe Banner and learned his penchant for signing big-name players to team-friendly deals before the player hits free agency.
The next big-named quarterback was Michael Vick, who received a 2-year, $6.8 million deal upon returning to the NFL in 2009.
After McNabb was traded to Washington, Vick received the franchise tag ($16M) before Philadelphia then signed him to a six-year, $100 million contract with $40 million guaranteed.
At that time, Vick’s per year base salary of $16.7 million was only less than then Patriots quarterback Tom Brady ($18.01) and Colts quarterback Peyton Manning ($18 million), but it was more than N.Y. Giants quarterback Eli Manning ($16.25 million) and Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers ($15.3 million).
A few years after Vick moved on, Philadelphia acquired quarterback Sam Bradford from the Rams in 2015 and then signed him to a deal worth $36 million ($18M per) over two years, with $26 million guaranteed.
2023 NFL Free agency
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Philadelphia can’t have a totally clear view of what can be spent and the available money for free agents and extensions until the Hurts domino falls.
Signing Hurts frees up $2 million and allows Howie Roseman the ability to navigate a tight free-agent market.
Highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL 2023
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The NFL’s quarterback market has exploded over the last decade, as it is now the most important position in the league.
With the salary cap set to increase, the tier for salaries will increase as well.
Per Over The Cap
At $49 million a year, Russell Wilson is at No. 2 on the list, behind Aaron Rodgers.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes had the highest average salary entering the 2022 offseason at $45 million per year, but he was leapfrogged by Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson, sitting fifth on the list.
Rodgers signed a new extension worth under $50.3 million per year.
Following his trade to the Cleveland Browns, DeShaun Watson saw his rise to $46 million guaranteed per season.
Watson, Mahomes, Josh Allen, Derek Carr, Matthew Stafford, and Dak Prescott all now make at least $40 million per year while Rodgers is the only player making $50 million per season.
How Derek Carr's 4-year, $150 million extension impacts Hurts
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Before being benched and sent away by the Raiders, Carr had previously signed a three-year, $121.5 million extension.
In 2021, Carr had a career-best 4,804 passing yards and 23 touchdowns, along with a career-worst 14 interceptions and 40 sacks, the second-highest total of his eight-year career.
Las Vegas went 10-7 and made the playoffs for the second time since 2002.
This past season, Carr was 305-502 passing (60%), for 3,522 yards, with 24 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
Carr was the Raiders’ second-round draft pick in 2014, out of Fresno State, and has logged 31,700 passing yards, 193 TD passes (193), and 57 wins along that time.
During Hurts’ rookie season, Carr had 4,103 yards passing, 27 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions.
If Carr’s previous $40 million per season ave over the three years of the extension, and the $37.5 million per year average with the Saints were a barometer for Hurts, then the Pro Bowl nod, All-Pro honors and Suepr Bowl appearance should be enough to warrant going as high as 6th on the list (Josh Allen $43M) in average per season.
Hurts progression over the years
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
A 2020 second-round pick, Hurts signed a 4-year, $6,025,171 contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, including a $1,941,944 signing bonus, $2,825,815 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $1,506,293. In 2022, Hurts earned a base salary of $1,082,744 and a workout bonus of $75,000 while carrying a cap hit of $1,643,230 and a dead cap value of $970,972.
Over his first two seasons, Hurts had a 59% completion percentage with 4,063 yards passing, 21 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and 1,056 rushing yards.
In year three, he exploded for 3,701 yards passing, 22 touchdowns, six interceptions, and a 66.7 QBR. He added 760 yards on the ground and 13 rushing touchdowns as well.
Hurts, Josh Allen and Kyler Murray share similar numbers over their first two years, with the Cardinals star being the more efficient passer.
Now only Allen and Patrick Mahomes can be viewed as better players at the position currently, with Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow in that elite circle as well.
Projecting a Hurts deal
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He’s improved every season and the 2022 campaign will be his first with the same offensive play-caller since his days at Channelview High School.
Using the franchise tag on Hurts after the 2023 season could cost the Eagles upwards of $31 million according to Over The Cap while a fair value extension would be less taxing on the salary cap.
Thirteen current NFL quarterbacks are signed to deals worth more than $100 million, and guys like Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, and Tua Tagovailoa will all have some say in resetting the market as well.
Only the Packers’ Jordan Love has played less than Hurts in the 2020 class, but the Eagles star could get paid first because he was a second-round pick.
With the NFL quarterback tier no longer having a middle class, Philadelphia will either extend Hurts, allow him to walk as an already improved product, or face one-year franchise-style deals that Kirk Cousins has now made famous.
Burrow and Herbert are going to reset the market, so if the Eagles decide they believe in Hurts they’ll need to strike first and efficiently.
Hurts will still only be 24 years old come 2023, and a five-year, $200 million deal would put the talented quarterback at $40 million per season, ahead of names like Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, Kirk Cousins, and Matthew Stafford.
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If Jalen Hurts is looking “to be one of the two or three highest-paid players (based on average annual value) in the game, then the five-year, $230.5 million that Arizona gave Kyler Murray is likely the basement of any deal, with the five-year, $245,000,000 deal that Russell Wilson signed with Denver as an appropriate ceiling for a quarterback looking to maintain room to upgrade the roster.