Several years ago, the process for negotiating second contracts for quarterbacks was simple. If the quarterback generally fell onto the right side of the pass/fail line of performance, he’d become the highest-paid player in league history. Until the next quarterback who was due for a new deal signed his.
That has changed, with a much broader range of contracts among the highest-paid quarterbacks in the league. Instead of tiers, it’s a scale that stretches (for now) from $30 million per year up to $50 million per year.
So where will Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts land on that scale? Eliot Shorr-Parks of WIP radio recently suggested that, after the coming season, the Eagles will give hurts a “massive” deal in the range of $35 million to $40 million per year.
Frankly, “massive” is relative. To the average person, yes. To the average highly-paid quarterback, no.
By next year, if/when Russell Wilson, Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, Joe Burrow, and/or Justin Herbert get new deals, “massive” could easily be $60 million per year. Maybe more. The challenge for the Eagles will be finding the right spot for Hurts among the other quarterbacks.
His performance this year will be a major factor. With receiver A.J. Brown on the team, Hurts will be expected to do more as a passer. If he does, he’ll earn a better deal.
The Eagles, frankly, could be hoping to carve out a quarterback budget that allows them to put plenty of great players around Hurts. And maybe Hurts will go along with that approach.
However it plays out, the Eagles will have a one-year window to get him signed, since he has only a four-year contract with no fifth-year option. If they can’t, he’ll either hit the open market or be tagged.
One thing we’ve learned in recent years is this: For teams who have quarterbacks they know they want to keep, the sooner they get them signed to a new contract, the better. The Eagles can re-sign Hurts upon the conclusion of his third NFL regular season. Waiting will only make the eventual contract more and more valuable.