Justin Herbert is the highest-paid player in the NFL

Justin Herbert is the highest-paid quarterback and therefore, the highest-paid player in the NFL.

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert signed a 5-year contract that could earn him up to $262.5 million. The deal includes a no-trade clause, fully guaranteed $133.7 million, and injury guarantees of $193.7 million.

The 25-year-old player becomes the highest-paid in the NFL in terms of average annual payments. Similar large contracts were also received by quarterbacks Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson, and now we await news about Joe Burrow's contract. Last year, with Herbert as the quarterback, the Chargers made it to the playoffs for the first time. An interesting fact: in Herbert's first 3 seasons in the league, the Chargers' offense scored a record-breaking 1,233 points, while their defense allowed 1,256 points - an anti-record.

In the sense that he has only been playing for 3 years? With the "Chargers," achieving a record of 25-24 and making it to the playoffs once, but losing immediately? Is that even legal?

Yes, considering that the amounts in contracts reflect not just the player's current level of play but also the league's current economic situation and prospects.

Over the course of three seasons, Herbert has proven himself to be one of the strong and talented quarterbacks. Here are some facts:

  • Herbert has thrown for 14,089 passing yards, the most by any quarterback in their first three seasons.
  • In each of these seasons, Herbert threw for at least 4,000 passing yards, which is also a record for young quarterbacks.
  • He achieved a minimum of 25 passing touchdowns in each of his first three seasons, a feat only matched by Peyton Manning.

While team results are often used to judge quarterbacks, the Chargers' defense has not been performing well and has given up a record number of points in the NFL during these three seasons.

When a team realizes they can count on a young quarterback, they immediately offer him a big contract. Why not wait another year, considering Herbert had one year left on his rookie contract? The reason is that signing a long-term deal a year later would have cost the "Chargers" more money, as the bar keeps rising. Just look at how Patrick Mahomes' contract was perceived at the time of signing compared to now.

Herbert and Lamar Jackson received $255 million and $260 million this offseason, respectively. While they achieved more positive results with their teams, considering their playing style, Herbert might still be a safer investment even at $262.5 million.

Of course, the team could choose not to give out contracts and go back to square one in search of a new franchise quarterback a year later. However, there are no takers for that. NFL teams even hold onto average-age quarterbacks because it's better than years of searching. Herbert, on the other hand, is young and is considered to be in the top 10 at his position or very close to it.

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