The Los Angeles Chargers and star quarterback Justin Herbert have reached an agreement on an unprecedented five-year, $262.5 million contract extension.
The deal was finalized just in time for the start of Chargers training camp and ensures that Herbert, 25, will remain the face of the franchise through the 2029 season.
The extension includes a no-trade clause, $133.7 million in full guarantees, and $193.7 million in injury guarantees.
Most notably, Herbert’s new contract makes him the highest-paid quarterback in NFL history based on average annual salary, with an astounding $52.5 million per year.
This puts him ahead of recent blockbuster deals between the Philadelphia Eagles and Jalen Hurts (five years, $255 million) and the Baltimore Ravens and Lamar Jackson (five years, $260 million).
🚨 🚨 🚨
The #Chargers and star QB Justin Herbert have agreed to terms on a blockbuster 5-year extension worth $262.5M, per me and @MikeGarafolo, including monster guarantees to protect Herbert and lock him in for the future.
💰 💰 💰 pic.twitter.com/iMyKEkYLke
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 25, 2023
The bar has been raised – and Los Angeles was more than happy to pay the hefty price.
“I sleep better at night knowing we have a franchise quarterback,” said Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco. “He’s done so much already in his young career, yet we all know there’s still a lot there because of his commitment to the game.”
Since being drafted as the sixth overall pick in 2020, Herbert has consistently surpassed significant statistical milestones and led the Chargers to their first playoff appearance since 2018.
It’s clear to everyone that Herbert is truly one of the most naturally-gifted quarterbacks in the entire league – and he has the focus and worth-ethic to drive himself to new heights each and every year.
He has thrown for an impressive 14,089 yards, surpassing Andrew Luck for the most passing yards through a quarterback’s first three NFL seasons.
With 1,316 career completions, he also holds the record for the most completions in league history through a player’s first three seasons. Additionally, his 64 Total QBR is ranked fourth best in the NFL since his rookie season in 2020.
Herbert’s outstanding performance has also been evident in his 94 career touchdown passes, achieving three consecutive seasons with at least 25 passing touchdowns – a feat only shared with legendary Hall of Famer Peyton Manning.
Despite having two seasons remaining on his rookie deal, the Chargers were eager to secure their young star’s long-term future and began negotiations shortly after the 2022 season when he became eligible.
Chargers coach Brandon Staley expressed his confidence in Herbert remaining with the team for “a long time” during the NFL annual league meeting in Phoenix earlier this offseason.
“We’re so excited that he is leading our franchise,” Staley said.
Herbert’s extension not only ensures the Chargers have their most important player locked up, but it also allows the team to concentrate on achieving another postseason appearance.
The franchise has not accomplished this feat since making four consecutive playoff appearances from 2006 to 2009.
Heading into the upcoming season, Herbert will be under the guidance of new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who joins the Chargers after four successful seasons in the same role with the Dallas Cowboys.
Moore’s offense consistently ranked in the top four in points per game (27.7), total yards per game (391), and third-down conversion percentage (44%).
With an arsenal of talented playmakers at his disposal, including Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, first-round pick Quentin Johnston, and running back Austin Ekeler, who led the NFL with 18 touchdowns last season, Herbert is poised to lead the Chargers to new heights.
His extension also sets a new benchmark for contracts in the league, and it will be interesting to see how it affects negotiations for other star quarterbacks, including Cincinnati Bengals’ Joe Burrow, who is also in talks for an extension and is assumed to be “next in line.”
Considering Herbert’s talent level and overall value, you could certainly make the argument that he is worth even more than the numbers on this deal.
Not to get off topic, but it’s pretty confusing that we live in a world where Jaylen Brown will be making more annual money than Herbert (and all other NFL players for that matter!)
What do you think about Herbert’s contract?
If this is the deal he got, what do you think is in store for Joe Burrow???