2024 QB Contract Guarantee Tiers

2024 QB Contract Guarantee Tiers

It’s never too early to start thinking about 2024, and what better way to do so than with a dive into Quarterback contracts. This time, we’ll detail just the guaranteed money that currently exists on each player’s deal (noting wherever needed that certain triggers could add more to that figure in the coming months). We’ve broken up this group into 6 categories for you: All Good, Ready to Parlay, Grab Popcorn, The Deshaun Watson Category, Potentially Annoying, & No Current Guarantees.

ALL GOOD

Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs, 28, $204.15M)

Mahomes’ restructured deal is complex, so putting a singular “future guarantee” number out is a bit convoluted, but it’s fair to make the next 4 seasons guaranteed for practical purposes. Expect KC to chop up that $57.3M cap hit for 2024 quite a bit in order to keep a few defensive players and maybe add a weapon or two offensively next March. All good in KC.

Jalen Hurts (Eagles, 25, $155M)

Hurts is near/at the top of the MVP list heading toward the home stretch and he’s manning arguably the best team in all of football. His 2024 cap hit rings in at just $13.5M thanks to 5 prorated bonuses built into the deal. It’s all good in Philly.

Lamar Jackson (Ravens, 26, $105M)

Lamar is manning the best team in the AFC and playing good, smart football in the process. Jackson is fully guaranteed through 2025, with practical structure keeping him in the fold through 2026. He’ll only be 29 years old at that time. All good in Baltimore.

Russell Wilson (Broncos, 34, $76M)

It’s a modern miracle that Wilson gets categorized here after we all (ourselves included) tried to run him out of the league 10 months ago. But the Broncos are the hottest team in football, their coach appears to be worth every penny, and Wilson looks as capable a QB1 as he has in 3 seasons. There’s simply no reason to doubt this situation for 2024 right now, even if the $76M due over 2024/2025 seems gaudy.

Josh Allen (Bills, 27, $65M)

Allen and the Bills have had plenty of up and downs this season, and change in some capacity is forthcoming - but not with the QB1 position. All of Allen’s $30M due next year is guaranteed, & $35M of 2025 compensation will fully lock by March 17th. It’s not all good in Buffalo, but Allen is.

C.J. Stroud (Texans, 22, $12.1M)

No single player has gone from 0 to 100 this year quite like Stroud has, who continues to impress more and more on a weekly basis. He won't become extension eligible until after 2025, and Houston should carry Top 5 cap space heading into March. It’s been awhile, but it’s all good in Houston.

READY TO PARLAY

Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins, 25, $23.1M)

Tua has answered every bell this season (thus far), and can certainly further his status with a healthy postseason run in the coming weeks. He’s the #3 overall graded QB according to PFF right now, carrying a $50.2M valuation in our system to date. 

Trevor Lawrence (Jaguars, 24, $5.6M)

Jacksonville will exercise Lawrence’s 5th-Year-Option for 2025 this spring, then they’ll work on extending him to most likely one of the Top 3 largest contracts in NFL history. He’s a $50M per year player in our system right now.

GRAB POPCORN

Kyler Murray (Cardinals, 26, $90.8M)

For all intents and purposes, Murray looks great and should easily be sharpied in as Arizona’s 2024 Week 1 starter. However, any team carrying a Top 3 draft pick (currently #2 overall) has to at least be considered for going in a different direction. Until Marvin Harrison Jr. is selected to be Kyler’s new toy, this is at least a situation worth mentioning.

Daniel Jones (Giants, 26, $35.5M)

Jones completed successful surgery on his torn ACL earlier last week, putting his timeline to return at around 8-10 months. During that timespan, the Giants are very likely to select his pending replacement. It’s possible that Jones has played his last snap for the Giants, who may very well pay him $35.5M next season to act as a backup QB, but only time will tell.

Jimmy Garoppolo (Raiders, 32, $11.25M)

Garoppolo was benched in favor of Aidan O'Connell as the calendar turned to November, and - for a few reasons - it appears to be a point of no return. First, while Garoppolo’s $11.25M roster bonus for next March is already 100% fully guaranteed, his $11.25M base salary is guaranteed for injury. In other words, if Garoppolo were to suffer an injury this year that would preclude him from passing a physical next March, that salary would then be considered guaranteed as well. Second, O’Connell continues to improve, and should be given the remainder of 2023 to begin his assessment process. Garopollo’s deal doesn’t appear to be tradable right now, meaning the Raiders will likely release him out of this contract, paying him the $11.25M roster bonus, taking on a $28.3M dead cap hit either all at once, or split across 2024/2025.

Zach Wilson (Jets, 24, $5.4M)

Will Wilson be kept around to backup Aaron Rodgers in 2024? Logic says his benching to make way for Tim Boyle has already answered that question, but it will mean releasing the 24 year old with $5.4M cash to be paid on his way out. This doesn’t seem like a situation that can be resolved any other way right now.

Justin Fields (Bears, 24, $3.2M)

Health has cut a big year for Fields nearly in half, but there still have been signs of improvement (especially as it pertains to the passing efficiency numbers). So why is he here at all? At the time of this piece, the Bears currently possess the #1 & #4 overall picks in the draft AND Chicago must decide on Fields’ 5th-Year-Option by next May. Fields carries a fully guaranteed $3,233,448 salary for 2024, against a $6M cap hit.

Mac Jones (Patriots, 25, $2.7M)

It certainly seems like it’s over, so now it’s simply a matter of how do the Patriots officially close the book? If Bill Belichick is relieved of his duties, it seems likely that the first order of business for the new GM will be to decline Mac’s 5th-Year-Option and attempt to salvage any sort of late round draft pick from a trade. When that doesn’t happen, Jones may be outright released (earning the $2.7M payment on the way out the door), or kept to compete for a completely unknown QB1 role next season.

THE DESHAUN WATSON CATEGORY

Deshaun Watson (Browns, 28, $138M)

Are the Browns nearly as concerned about this as much as the mass media likes to poke at it? Probably not. In honesty a 28 year old QB with $138M guaranteed remaining on his deal is pretty common stuff these days (if we just overlook how they acquired the QB and how much they’ve paid him to be suspended or injured of course). The Browns are legitimate AFC contenders next year, and if Chubb & Watson return to full health for all 18 weeks, they’ll be a problem for nearly everyone. With that said, we still won’t see another version of this contract indefinitely.

POTENTIALLY ANNOYING

Justin Herbert (Chargers, 25, $201.6M)

There’s still plenty to love here about the player, but Herbert doesn’t appear poised to be able to elevate this current group of Chargers’ weapons. Maybe it’s play calling, maybe it’s the age of many of those weapons, or maybe it’s a ceiling that Herbert has hit. It appears as though plenty of change is coming to the franchise this offseason, so we’ll all get a fresh start with Herbert as he stares down five more years of contract guarantees.

Joe Burrow (Bengals, 26, $173.5M)

Before you run away - we’re in no way saying here that Joe Burrow isn’t worth every dime of his contract right now. However, it’s at least noteworthy to mention that his injury history is starting to pile up a bit, especially if we include his college days.

2017: Right Wrist Fracture
2020: Broken Ribs
2020: ACL/MCL Tear
2022: Appendectomy
2023: Calf Strain
2023: Torn Wrist Ligament

This isn’t to say that most QBs (or NFL players) don’t go through their fair share of injuries, but when we’re dealing with someone who still has $173.5M guaranteed going forward, it’s something to monitor. 31 other teams would still take him tomorrow if offered.

Matthew Stafford (Rams, 35, $41M)

All of Stafford’s $31M salary for 2024 is already fully guaranteed. If he’s on the roster March 15th, $10M of 2025 locks in as well. When healthy, Stafford can still produce at an above average level, though he’ll be looking for Les Snead to find him a few more weapons this offseason. Will 2024 be his last hurrah?

Derek Carr (Saints, 32, $40M)

Carr hasn’t been terrible, but the Saints expected him to improve upon the production that got him benched and subsequently run out of Las Vegas in 2022. He hasn’t, and New Orleans now likely needs to consider their options for 2025 and beyond. That process could very well begin this offseason via the draft. Contractually, Carr is fully guaranteed $30M in 2024, and $10M of his 2025 compensation locks in next March. The latter could very well be a parting gift if the Saints decide to cut bait after 2024.

Aaron Rodgers (Jets, 40, $38.1M)

The Rodgers era in NY was paused almost as quickly as it was started. Will it pick back up before season end? Maybe, but if you follow us on socials you already know our thoughts on that. Assuming he’s 100% healthy heading toward 2024, it should be worth the price of admission to see Rodgers bring his heady style of play to this offense. Maybe the Jets can pick up an extra Offensive Lineman or 5 this spring to help his cause. Rodgers carries a $17M cap hit for 2024 so no adjustments should be necessary.

Bryce Young (Panthers, 22, $12.6M)

Carolina traded their 2024 1st round pick to Chicago, who is currently on the clock with it. They’ve already fired HC Frank Reich, and there may be plenty more change to come from the front office before winter even settles in. Owner David Tepper was reportedly very high on making Young the QB of the future. It seems logical that his next hires will follow that mindset as well.

Anthony Richardson (Colts, 21, $11.5M)

He looks deadly as a versatile athlete, but the passing numbers (59% completions, 87.25 rating in 4 games) were always going to be the metrics to watch. He lands here not because he doesn’t appear able to improve, but because the overall concern was could he remain healthy being this scramble-first player. It’s a tough start to only complete a month in Year 1 with that red flag already attached.

Jordan Love (Packers, 25, $5.5M)

Love appears to have turned a corner with this offense, especially as it pertains to hopeful WR1 Christian Watson. This should be more than enough for Green Bay to swallow a sub $10M cash/cap hit (assuming he hits a few escalators to finish out 2023), and see this thing through 2024 at least. Does he appear to be on track to be Green Bay’s next 20 year QB1? No. Will his 2023 performance preclude the Packers from selecting a QB in the upcoming draft? Maybe. But until they make this contract a problem - it isn’t one.

Kenny Pickett (Steelers, 25, $4.6M)

Nothing Pickett has done across two seasons is jumping off of the page (in fact his overall production in 2023 is going to be a step back from 2022), but he’s winning, and he has trust from Mike Tomlin. That’s as good as gold in this league. Still, how good might this team be with a more capable QB1 at the helm?

Will Levis (Titans, 24, $4M)

All of Levis’ 2024 salary, 2025 salary, & $1.26M of his 2026 salary are fully guaranteed right now. He’s been wildly inconsistent since taking over the reins from Ryan Tannehill, but all signs currently point to him stepping in as the 2024 Week 1 starter.

NO CURRENT FUTURE GUARANTEES

Brock Purdy (49ers, 23)
Purdy has 2 years, $2M remaining on his rookie contract (none of it guaranteed) and can’t sign a contract extension until after 2024. Every other team in football is miserable because of it.

Dak Prescott (Cowboys, 30)
None of the remaining 1 year, $34M left on Dak’s contract is currently guaranteed, but a $5M roster bonus is due March 17th. There’s a $59.5M cap hit waiting for Dallas in 2024, so something needs to be done. It likely includes $200M more guaranteed.

Desmond Ridder (Falcons, 24)
None of Ridder’s remaining 2 years, $2.6M is guaranteed going forward.

Geno Smith (Seahawks, 33)
Smith’s 3 year, $75M contract was really a 1 year, $27.5M deal in terms of guarantee. There’s a $9.6M roster bonus due March 17th, and his entire $12.7M base salary for next season becomes fully guaranteed on that date as well. All $22.3M of that compensation is guaranteed for injury right now (which could become important if Seattle falls out of contention here soon). The Seahawks can free up $13.8M of cap space by moving on from Smith next March.

Jared Goff (Lions, 29)
None of the 1 year, $26.6M remaining on Goff’s contract is currently guaranteed, though a $5M roster bonus is due March 14th. Despite a Thanksgiving stumble, Goff has been one of the more reliable & production QBs of 2023, and still should be considered a more long term option for Detroit going forward. It’s not a lock that they extend him this offseason, but from an optics standpoint it probably makes good business sense.

A Minnesota QB
Kirk Cousins is a pending free agent (with $28.5M of voided dead cap to be left behind), Joshua Dobbs is a pending free agent, & Nick Mullens & Jaren Hall have no future contract guarantees.

A Tampa Bay QB
Baker Mayfield is a pending UFA ($2.3M of voided dead cap to be left behind), and Kyle Trask’s contract through 2024 is non-guaranteed.

A Washington QB
Sam Howell’s rookie deal through 2025 contains no full guarantees, and he can’t sign a contract extension until after 2024. He’s on a 2 year, $2M contract in Washington from here out.