You're So Money
How will the top five highest paid quarterbacks fare this Season?
The NFL Season is only a few days away and many are making their predictions for the upcoming season. One of the interesting elements to note are the highest paid quarterbacks, some of which are surprising. Many believe that a good or even serviceable quarterback needs to be locked up but others believe that you can’t win a Super Bowl with an overpaid quarterback. This is what led to the Dak Prescott dilemma as the Cowboys don’t want to see him leave but also don’t believe he’s worth the value he requested. Let’s look at the top five highest paid quarterbacks for the upcoming season (this season alone). With this in mind we can evaluate whether the team is getting their money's worth regarding the quarterbacks talent.
Dak Prescott ($31.4 Million this year)
The Dallas Cowboys are going all in on this season. They have paid many of their stars from last season, brought in some high-risk/high-reward free agents, and most importantly got Dak Prescott to sign the franchise tender. Dak Prescott is forcing the Cowboys into a difficult cap situation which can lead to a tough and bitter off-season. The Cowboys and their fans won’t care if the team can win the Super Bowl (or even make it to the Super Bowl), the question is if Dak Prescott is good enough to take the team over the top. Dallas has one of the best rosters in the NFL, the problem is Dak Prescott hasn’t proven he is a top-five quarterback, the stats are there but Prescott has yet to prove his legitimacy on the big stage (the playoffs).
Russell Wilson ($31 Million this year)
Russell Wilson has established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. After years of being criticized for handing the ball off to Marshawn Lynch (and of course the one time he didn’t hand the ball off to Lynch), Wilson has proven that he can single-handedly carry the Seahawks. A few years ago, the Seahawks gave Wilson the extension he deserved and have since tried to work around the salary cap to once again build a Super Bowl contending roster. Last season the Seahawks looked like a Super Bowl contender until the wheels fell off in the final weeks with both the starting running backs going down to injury, entering this season, the Seahawks look to finally have the complete roster (plus the addition of one of the best safeties in Jamal Adams). Russell Wilson might cost the Seahawks a lot of their cap but it might be worth it considering the Seahawks are Super Bowl contenders.
Jared Goff ($28.8 Million this year)
This extension looks worse by the year for the Los Angeles Rams. Jared Goff cashed in after helping the Rams reach the Super Bowl but last season we saw Jared Goff exposed. The Rams quarterback was put in a system that helped in thrive and the main tool was the ability to give the ball to Todd Gurley in the backfield. Once Gurley got hurt, Goff and the offense struggled. Now Todd Gurley is no longer a Ram, and the franchise appears to be in a reboot mode. This makes the Jared Goff contract look more like a liability and forces the Rams to lose many of their star players (in trades or free agency).
Jimmy Garopollo ($26.6 Million this year)
Jimmy Garopollo is largely criticized as being a game manager and not an elite quarterback (the pinnacle of this argument is when Garopollo threw 8 passes in the NFC Championship game). The two arguments against the game manager label is that 49ers fans know what the offense (and team) looks like without him in the lineup and the style of play that Jimmy G. possesses which is unlike any other quarterback. Jimmy G. guided the 49ers to the Super Bowl but this season will be the true test of the value of the contract, like Goff the year before, we might see Garopollo exposed if the 49ers struggle.
Philip Rivers ($25 Million this year)
I genuinely still struggle to understand this signing, Philip Rivers is one the decline and to say he looked bad last season would be an understatement, yet the Colts gave him $25 Million. Many point to the offensive line as the reason for Rivers' struggles last year and hint that the Colts have one of the best offensive lines in the league but many fail to mention all the years that Philip Rivers was given a great supporting cast in San Diego. Rivers has played with some of the best rosters ever composed with Hall of Fame talent to help him out, the best he ever did was reach the AFC Championship in 2007. The Colts believe that they have a Super Bowl caliber roster and just need an average quarterback to put them over the top. Rivers can be that quarterback but it doesn’t make sense to pay him like a top quarterback. Like all the quarterbacks mentioned previously, if the Colts win the Super Bowl it will all be worth it, being that Philip Rivers is on the decline and doesn’t have the high ceiling, it doesn’t look likely.