2013 Likely Quarterback Extensions

With the free agency season dying down and the 2013 draft right around the corner, it’s a fitting time to assess rosters and point out expiring contracts (both rookies and veterans) who will be targeted for extensions in the coming months. Our first edition takes a look at quarterbacks set to cash in.

Aaron Rodgers (QB, Packers)

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The shadow of Brett Favre has long-passed in Green Bay, with the uncanny immediate rise to stardom from their next-in-line quarterback. Rodgers wins with flare, with big stats, and with sophistication. His ability to be mobile when necessary sets him apart from the likes of a Brady or a Manning(s), and his out-of-pocket accuracy is second to none. His 6 year $63.52M deal with the Packers is set to end after the 2014 season.

His cap hits of $9.75M (8.72% of Packers 2013 cap) and $11M (13% of Packers 2014 cap) aren’t major hazards to the team’s overall salary cap, so extending Rodgers is geared more toward paying a proven star more cash now, and locking him in for nearly the remainders of his career. Our premium team has formulated a prediction for Aaron Rodgers’ next deal in Green Bay.

 

Matt Ryan (QB, Falcons)

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The Falcons won the lottery with the chance to take Ryan #1 overall in 2008, and their franchise hasn’t looked back since. He’s improved statistically in every season, and not coincidentally so have the wins and postseason runs in Atlanta. He enters the final year of his 6 year $67.5M rookie contract in 2013, but most likely will put pen to a long-term extension before the start of the season.

His current $11.25M avg/year ranks 13th among quarterbacks in 2013, but many feel $18M is a more worthy number, an increase that would place him 3rd – just above the number Tony Romo just agreed to.
Spotrac Premium analyzes a prediction for Ryan’s long-term extension.

 

Matthew Stafford (QB, Lions)

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The Lions have had a brutal offseason having to drop veterans, and restructure/chop off a half dozen contracts just to place themselves under the salary cap and in a position to build back up. Many feel they’ve done so VERY well, but one task still remains.

Stafford’s 6 year $73.5M rookie contract has two years remaining on it, but holds cap figures of $20.82M in 2013, and $19.32M in 2014. Even the elite quarterbacks are finding these numbers too rich for team’s to swallow. Add in Stafford’s stretch of injuries and poor play, and the cap hits are way too much to handle for the Lions.

Unfortunately the task at hand isn’t as easy as “adding a few more years” to spread some of this money out. With major salary restructures in both 2011 and 2012, Stafford carries $19.36M in dead money, or money that must remain against his cap, regardless of a new deal. But with base salaries of $12.5M and $11M in the next two season, an extension to reduce those alone is more than worth the effort.

 

Jay Cutler (QB, Bears)

uspw_6889572An up and down career seems to have come full circle for Cutler in Chicago – especially with last year’s acquisition of WR Brandon Marshall. The Bears are an offense on the rise heading into 2013, barring unfortunate but all-too-common injuries. Cutler will be 30 by the time the season rolls around, an age that concerns teams only in terms of the length of a new contract. His $10.3M cap figure for 2013 counts only 8.3% against the Bears total cap, so from a business stand-point he’s no threat, but his $5.86M avg/year ranks him just 19th among quarterbacks.

Category: NFL Spots

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Article by: Michael Ginnitti

Managing Editor of Spotrac