Updated: Mar 2, 2022
It's time for the starting quarterbacks on their rookie contracts to show their team they deserve to not only be the starting QB moving forward, but that they've earned contract extensions worth big bucks. There's quite a few quarterbacks out there who have to prove in 2022 that they belong under center for their respective teams. Odds are that not all of these guys will pan out and unfortunately some of that is due to the organization they play for and the lack of talent surrounding them.
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The Chiefs played it smart and gave Patrick Mahomes the richest contract in NFL history recognizing they had a once in a generation type quarterback. The same can be said for Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills who locked up the first round pick way before they had to pay him. Most teams aren't that lucky. Justin Herbert may be that next guy in line to make top tier money and get signed by the Chargers long term before his rookie deal expires.
Next year we may see guys like Jalen Hurts, Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa in the middle of this debate. The 2022 season will be the most important of their young careers.
Let's take a look at the quarterbacks who are out to get that long term wealthy deal that will set up their great great grandchildren for life. Here are the quarterbacks that are in make or break type seasons as their potential contract rides on their performance.
The first player that immediately comes to mind is Lamar Jackson. This guy is a league MVP and has put up insane numbers in various categories. He's going into his 5th season and is playing on the extension awarded to teams that draft a player in the first round. That 5th year option can be crucial to the future of any quarterback. It's a bit of a wonder why he hasn't received a contract extension already and many people say he shouldn't even show up to camp until a deal is made. Perhaps it's the asking price of approximately $200 million over 5 years. Now that's a lot of cash but you can't find players like Lamar Jackson just walking around the corner and he's proven he can win ball games by himself. The biggest question about his career is how his running style will hold up and for how long. Jackson is a better passer than he gets credit for but what separates him from other quarterbacks is his speed and ability to take over a football game on his own. The Ravens have no choice but to sign Action Jackson to at least a very rich four year deal.
The Cleveland Browns have a pretty solid team with a good head coach and play caller. They have solid players on defense with a great run game behind a top level offensive line. The question is, do they have the right quarterback? The jury still seems to be out on this one. Some like Baker Mayfield because he's a gamer and a tough kid who gives it his all every game. On the other hand, people say while he tries his best, his best isn't good enough and isn't worth a $40 million a year contract. If the Browns stick with Mayfield and pay him top dollar, they will ruin any chance of making a significant playoff run with all that cash tied up into Baker's contract.
courtesy of The Oklahoman
Kyler Murray is basically demanding a contract extension or he may not show up to training camp. That's no good! But it looks like Murray has the upper hand here. Much like Lamar Jackson in Baltimore, where are the Cardinals going to find a better quarterback to replace Murray? And let us not forget that Arizona was the best team in football during the first half of the season and Kyler Murray was an early MVP candidtae. He may be small but he makes up for that with speed, awareness, agility and intellect. The question is if he is worth all of that money? And the ultimate question is can Murray lead his team deep into the playoffs and win a Super Bowl?
Forget about a make or break year. For Daniel Jones this could be a make or break halfway through the season. This kid still has a lot to prove and he has to stay healthy in order to do it. Daniel Jones needs to stay on the field and show he can make it through the whole season. And while Jones is playing, above all he must stop turning over the football. He throws intereptions and he has slippery fingers. Daniel Jones hasn't shown us that he can make mistakes in a game and learn from them. I think he has the ability to be a good player in this league as long as he can get a grip on turning over the ball. He has sneaky athletic ability and a good arm. Perhaps new head coach Brian Daboll can do what he did with Josh Allen as the OC in Buffalo.
Which of these quarterbacks would you feel comfortable signing to a long term lucrative contract?