The former No. 6 pick amassed 14,089 passing yards and 94 touchdowns with 35 interceptions during his first three seasons in the league, and last season, he led the Chargers to their first playoff berth since 2018. Last season, Herbert passed former No. 1 overall pick and Stanford QB Andrew Luck for the most passing yards by a quarterback through their first three seasons.
With those results, LA Chargers head coach Brandon Staley admitted during the NFL’s annual league meeting that the Chargers and Herbert had been working on an extension.
Those talks are ongoing,” Staley said. “We’re at the beginning of all that, but all know how we feel about him.”
The Chargers could go in several directions with their first round pick, but a speedy target for Justin Herbert should be atop the list.
Because of Herbert’s impressive resume so early into his NFL career, it’s easy to see why extension negotiations are ongoing. With the rise of quarterback play and the growth of pass-heavy offenses, quarterbacks have never been more valuable in the sport.
Herbert will become one of the first quarterbacks to benefit significantly from this development in the NFL, as contract estimates have approached $500 million or over $50 million per year. Only one quarterback in the NFL makes $50 million, and it’s Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers. Two-time Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes set the precedence of quarterback contracts, signing a 10-year, $447 million contract in July 2020.
Current Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is a restricted free agent, looking for his own contract and a fully guaranteed deal, similar to Deshaun Watson’s 5-year, $230 million fully guaranteed deal with the Cleveland Browns.
To say the state of quarterback contracts in the NFL is breaking new ground would be an understatement. Herbert, along with fellow 2020 NFL Draft picks Jalen Hurts and Joe Burrow, will set the new market standard for quarterbacks to come
“[We’ve got to] just be patient,” Staley said when asked if he would like a deal done before training camp. “But the major takeaway is that Justin Herbert is going to be our quarterback, and we’re so excited that he is leading our franchise.”
The Chargers, who blew a 27-point lead to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Wild Card round, looked to improve their offensive playcalling around Herbert, hiring former Boise State quarterback and Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.
Moore worked with Dak Prescott in Dallas and turned the Cowboys into one of the better offensive units in the league the past few seasons and helped Prescott become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFC.
However, Herbert and Moore will get to work after Herbert recovers from a non-throwing shoulder labrum tear, which he had surgery on in January.