Jalen Hurts has earned a five-year, $255 million contract extension with the Philadelphia Eagles; the quarterback and NFL MVP runner-up took the league’s place for the highest-paid player based on average annual salary. That makes for a remarkable accomplishment for a passer who began his professional career as a second-round draft pick with no certain path to a starting role as he sat behind Carson Wentz. Even when Hurts did earn the top job, his standing was repeatedly questioned by many fans until he led the Eagles to Super Bowl 57 last season. Spring and summer in the NFL provide an opportunity for stars to reach big-money extensions, and the league’s annually expanding salary cap typically helps the latest crop of standouts fetch more lucrative paydays than those of their predecessors. That means the title of the league’s highest-paid player is a transient one, and the markets for individual positions are constantly being reset.
In light of Hurts’ deal, there are ten other NFL standout players who could be next in line for high-priced extensions. This includes the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow; he was the No. 1 pick in 2020 and has already surpassed all reasonable expectations for the early part of his career. Next is Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert. The Chargers general manager stated, “He’s earned it, but we think we can win a Super Bowl with him. That’s a good problem to have. We’ll get it done at some point, and then we’ll go from there”. The rest on the list are:
- Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson
- Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson
- San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa
- Carolina Panthers defensive end Brian Burns
- New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams
- New York Giants defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence
- Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins
- Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones
These are the players to watch this next season. They have all earned a raise from playing hard this past season, which makes them the ones to watch this season.