Recent QB Contracts/Extensions and warning sign results

So many argue one way or another regarding Dak’s 4-year/$160M deal as to whether he deserved it and where he ranks in terms of NFL QB’s. Many also recognize that NFL QB contracts are getting out of control recently and that got me to thinking: given recent QB contracts/extensions how have those QB’s performed and is it a warning sign for Owners/GM’s for future deals of QB’s like Burrows, Herbert, Hurts, Jackson, and Lawrence???

2022: Deshaun Watson 5-year/$230M w/CLE $230M guaranteed played in only 6 games due to suspension and had the worst season of his career and his contract pays him near $55M each of the next 4 years

2022: Russell Wilson 5-year $242M w/DEN $161M guaranteed after trading numerous draft picks and players to Seattle and giving Wilson a new deal, Wilson had the worst season of his career and led what many thought was a playoff team to a 4-11 record in his games played; his contract is untouchable for at least 3 more seasons at a significant dead money cap hit when Wilson will be 38-years old

2022: Kyler Murray 5-year $230.5M w/ARI $189.5M guaranteed played in only 11 games after tearing his ACL and led ARI to a 3-8 record in games played while amassing his worst stats year of his career and is expected to be out until after the start of the 2023 season; his contract balloons to $51M in 2024 and unless he is restructured ARI can’t get out f the deal until after the 2024 season with a sizeable dead money cap hit

2022: Aaron Rodgers 3-year $150.8M w/GB $150.8M guaranteed led GB to an 8-9 season and missed the playoffs with a win and in-game vs. Detroit while putting up middle-of-the-road stats; GB rumored to have grown tired of Rodgers antics and talk of trade is throughout the league; his contract carries a $99.7M dead money hit if traded or release with the earliest out being after the 2023 season with a $24.4M dead money hit

2022: Derek Carr 3-year $121.5M w/LV $65.2M guaranteed after leading LV to a 6-9 record in games played in 2022 and having a mediocre statistical year, Carr was released by the Raiders and is now shopping for a new deal while reportedly seeking a long-term deal that averages $35M/year

2022: Matthew Stafford 4-year $160M w/LAR $130M guaranteed after leading the Rams to a Super Bowl victory in 2021 after having been traded from Detroit, Stafford led the Rams to a 3-6 record in games Played and missed 8 games due to injury in what was a terrible statistical season for Stafford; his contract is a manageable $20M in 2023 but jumps to $49.5M in 2024 with $36M in dead money remaining so the likely earliest out for a team with cap problems and no draft picks is after the 2024 season when Stafford will be 37-years old

2021: Josh Allen 6-year $258M w/BUF $150M guaranteed played at a high regular season level as the primary passing and rushing threat for the Bills but since leading the Bills to the AFC Championship game in 2020, Allen has led the Bills to a 2-2 playoff record; his contract is structured in a way where his cap hits aren’t bad for 2023 and 2024 and gives Buffalo an out after the 2025 season when his cap hit jumps to $51M and a marginal dead money cap hit

2021: Dak Prescott 4-year/$160M w/DAL $126M guaranteed after missing 11 games due to injury in 2020, Dak signed a new deal and had a good 2021 statistically but missed another 5 games in 2022 and led Dallas to 2 heartbreaking playoff losses to SF in back to back years in spite of good regular season records; his contract has a 2023 cap hit of $49.1M and will force Dallas to restructure or face a $52M 2024 cap hit with $39.9M in dead money

2020: Ryan Tannehill 4-year $118M w/TENN $91M guaranteed had a good season statistically in 2020 but has an 0-2 playoff record since signing the deal and missed 5 games in 2022; Titans can save near $18M by releasing Tannehill this off-season in what is his last year of the contract with a $36.6M cap hit

2020: Patrick Mahomes 10-year $450M w/KC $141.1M guaranteed since signing the deal Mahomes has led KC to great regular season records with 3 AFC Championship appearances, 2 Super Bowl appearances, and 1 Super Bowl win while amassing great statistical seasons; his contract has a 2023 cap hit of $46.7M with $94.8M in dead money and is structured in a way where he has $0 dead money after the 2025 season when he will be 30 years old so a restructure or two is possible given his high-level of play.

I am sure I am missing a few that could be added to the above list but of the 10 recent QB contracts/extensions, you can argue that only 1 QB (Mahomes) has truly exceeded the contract, 1 QB (Allen) has played above the level of the contract, 2 QB’s (Dak and Tannehill) have played barely at or below the contract, 5 QB’s (Watson, Rodgers, Carr, Stafford, and Wilson) have played well below the contract, and 1 QB (Murray) suffered a major injury but was playing well below the contract prior.

What that amounts to, in my two cents opinion, is 20% of the QB’s listed played above the level of the contract they were given and 60% played well below the contracts given.

While this is supposedly the "business side of the NFL and QB’s" in terms of what QB’s are being paid these days, with the likes of Burrows, Jackson, Hurts, Lawrence, and Herbert due up next, owners and GM’s better think long and hard about devoting so much revenue and salary cap resources to existing QB’s instead of looking to land a rookie QB on a rookie deal that can hopefully bring you success.

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