NFL quarterbacks next in line to be paid: Top candidates for new deals in 2024,

The Detroit Lions rewarded Jared Goff for his career renaissance this week, signing the quarterback to a franchise-record $212 million extension that makes him the second-highest paid signal-caller in the game, behind only the Cincinnati Bengals’ Joe Burrow. But Goff isn’t likely to be the last big-name quarterback to land a lucrative deal ahead of the 2024 NFL season, with several others primed for new contracts of their own.

Who’s next to get paid under center? Here are the top candidates, with pros and cons of anticipated big-money extensions from the team perspective:

player headshot

The contract: Rather than exercise a fifth-year option on Love’s rookie deal ahead of 2023, the Packers signed the quarterback to a one-year, $13.5 million extension last May. That contract expires after 2024, meaning Love is on track to hit free agency following this season.

Pros of an extension: Like Aaron Rodgers before him, the 2020 first-round draft pick appeared to benefit from a period of watching and waiting to start his career. His 2023 debut as Rodgers’ full-time successor started erratically, but the Utah State product finished as one of the NFL’s most dazzling gunslingers, clearing 4,100 passing yards and 30 touchdowns while guiding Green Bay to a surprise playoff run. He boasts a borderline top-10 armand his production should only increase as his young supporting cast continues to grow. At just 25, it’s hard not to envision him as the long-term face of the franchise.

Cons of an extension: The Packers thrived late in 2023 by relying on a slew of young, inexpensive weapons, so committing top dollar to Love might intensify pressure to find discounted help. More importantly, Love’s sample size of reliable play is still very small: In 18 career starts, he’s overseen a 9-9 record, and it’s only really been since the second half of 2023 that he’s been considered a dynamic starter. A lucrative extension would very clearly be a bet on what he can still become, more so than a reward for what he’s already proven.

The verdict: He’s not going anywhere. Packers brass was surprisingly candid early in 2023, admitting uncertainty about Love’s long-term future at Lambeau, but he looked precisely like a Rodgers- or Brett Favre-esque playmaker down the stretch of his first year in charge, and the club has already invested so much in his development. Love may actually prefer to play out 2024 and leverage 2025 free agency in extension talks, but either way, it’s hard to imagine the Packers allowing their next star quarterback to slip away.

player headshot

The contract: Tagovailoa will be roughly the NFL’s 15th-highest paid quarterback in 2024, thanks to a fifth-year option exercised by Miami last offseason, but his rookie deal will expire following the season.

Pros of an extension: It’s fairly simple: When healthy, and operating in current head coach Mike McDaniel’s system, Tagovailoa has been one of the league’s most efficient and dynamic pocket passers. After a muted start to his career in a previous regime, the Alabama product has repeatedly overcome injuries to grow in both confidence and downfield accuracy, flashing MVP-level production in back-to-back seasons. Besides the video-game-like aerial marks, Tagovailoa has also been a steady victor, posting six straight winning records as a starting quarterback dating back to college.

Cons of an extension: If Brock Purdy’s elite status gets questioned due to his setup with the San Francisco 49ers, it’s only right to ding Tagovailoa, who’s less impactful with his legs and also benefits from both a vaunted scheme and speedy supporting cast. Other major concerns: Tagovailoa’s all-star numbers have yet to translate to late-year results, he’s been noticeably less effective when forced off script, and his injury history is so severe he admittedly contemplated retirement in 2022.

The verdict: It’s a matter of if, not when, the Dolphins lock him up. There’s a case to be made that Miami would be better served using 2024 as a final audition for Tua, who’ll be going into Year 3 with McDaniel, but every day you don’t strike a deal at quarterback, the price potentially skyrockets. Tagovailoa’s shown enough growth in a short period of time with the current regime to secure their backing, even if bigger-picture questions remain.

player headshot

The contract: The No. 1 pick in the 2021 draft, Lawrence is technically under contract through 2025, thanks to the Jaguars exercising his fifth-year option this offseason. But after completing three NFL seasons, he’s eligible for a new deal now, and both he and Jacksonville have publicly expressed interest in an early extension.

Pros of an extension: Financially speaking, if the Jaguars have even a mild inclination to secure him long term, the time for a deal is now, considering it’ll save the club money down the road and potentially free up more immediate salary cap space. On the field, Lawrence has also shown glimpses of an MVP type, overcoming a dysfunctional rookie-year setup to guide a second-year playoff run and twice top 4,000 yards passing. Just 24 with unteachably prototypical size and arm talent, he’s theoretically still got lots of room to grow.

Cons of an extension: Even discounting the poor circumstances in which his career began, Lawrence has been rather uneven for a former No. 1 pick, enduring streaky stretches even under current coach Doug Pederson. He’s already up to 60 career turnovers in 50 games. Those numbers may even out with better protection and play-calling, but going into Year 4, Lawrence registers as more of a high-upside wild card than proven steady hand.

The verdict: The Jaguars don’t need to extend Lawrence before 2024, and if there’s any front office willing to try the fan base’s patience here, it may well be this one, headed by general manager Trent Baalke. But again, sooner generally means better when it comes to quarterback negotiations; that way, even if the deal proves to be a misfire, you can work toward getting out of it. Lawrence will be in Jacksonville, one way or another.

player headshot

The contract: Prescott and the Cowboys agreed to a four-year, $160 million extension ahead of 2021 free agency, but that deal is set to expire following the 2024 season. Despite Prescott once assuring reporters a new long-term contract would be inked this offseason, the two sides have reportedly failed to engage in meaningful negotiations, putting the ninth-year veteran on track to hit the 2025 market.

Pros of an extension: On paper, a new deal for Prescott would theoretically free up short-term money for Dallas to build around the quarterback, capitalizing on team owner Jerry Jones’ oft-mocked and oft-rephrased promise to go “all in” on a title run. Prescott himself is also one of the most established signal-callers in franchise history, guiding five different playoff runs, earning three Pro Bowl nods and thrice topping 30 touchdown passes as a savvy and respected captain. At 30, in 2023, he even warranted MVP consideration for his explosive efficiency.

Cons of an extension: The Cowboys are arguably at a crossroads, with coach Mike McCarthy also under pressure. Extending Prescott would essentially be a doubling down on the current setup. And while their regular-season production has rarely lacked, Prescott’s prolific numbers haven’t exactly translated to the biggest stages; in eight years as a starter, he’s gone 2-5 in the playoffs, with just a single postseason victory over the last half-decade. He’s also missed significant time due to injury in two of his last four seasons.

The verdict: Prescott isn’t going anywhere right now. But his future beyond this season feels genuinely uncertain. It wouldn’t be crazy for the Cowboys to strike a last-minute deal with their longtime quarterback, perhaps in an effort to lessen some of the pressure on 2024. But that would run counter to everything Jones has suggested regarding the approach for this season. The bet here is Dallas lets Prescott play out his current deal, going “all in” on forcing the Prescott-McCarthy pairing to bring home — or at least sniff — meaningful hardware.

Leave a Comment