Welcome to the NFL draft week! By the end of this week, most fans should know how high to set their expectations for next season, as well as for the future of their team. This year’s first round will be quarterback heavy, with many people predicting at least five of the first thirty-two picks being quarterbacks.
Fortunately for all the new quarterbacks, the recently thin market has led to some big paycheques for some mediocre quarterbacks. The precedent has been set and the new normal is paying your starting quarterback at least $20 million, no matter who it is. Here are the top three overpaid NFL quarterbacks.
Top Three Overpaid NFL Quarterbacks
3. Kirk Cousins – 3 Years/$84 Million. Fully Guaranteed
The highest paid quarterback in the NFL this season will be Kirk Cousins. The Washington Redskins spent two years debating whether or not they wanted to make Cousins the franchise guy. After humming and hawing, the team decided not to pull the trigger on the 29-year-old quarterback and the Minnesota Vikings signed him instead.
The main reason that Cousins makes this list is that of the Redskins hesitation to pull the trigger on him. If Washington and Jay Gruden truly believed Cousins was a guy that would take them a Super Bowl, they would have gotten a deal done. Instead, they chose to let him walk elsewhere, which is a bit of a red flag.
The Minnesota Vikings were the team that chose to sign the Pro Bowl quarterback. Not only did they sign Cousins, but they signed him to the highest paid salary in the NFL at $28 million a year for three years. The cherry on top of the deal was that it is fully guaranteed.
The problem is that Kirk Cousins is not the best quarterback in the NFL, even though he is being paid like he is. One could argue that Cousins isn’t even in the top 10 in the league. In three seasons as the starter in Washington, the team’s best record was 9-7. As a starter, the quarterback is 26-30-1.
These aren’t statistics that scream, “pay that guy the most money in the league”. However, football is a team game and Cousins just joined a team that is far better than the Redskins. It will be interesting to see if he is worth all that guaranteed money.
2. Cam Newton – 5 years/$103.8 Million. $41 Million guaranteed
Cam Newton is the most overrated quarterback in the NFL. He averages $20,760,000 a season and has had one good outlier season, in which he won the MVP. How did that season end? For those of you that forget, the Denver Broncos, with an old Peyton Manning, beat Cam and the Carolina Panthers 24-10. Newton went 18 of 41 for 265 yards with no touchdowns and one pick. He also chose not to dive for an important fumble and he walked out of the press conference after the game. It was classic Cam Newton.
Nobody can take away Cam Newton’s MVP season. He was outstanding that year. The problem is that it was an outlier season. Newton has thrown for over 4000 yards just once in his career. He has thrown 25 touchdowns or more just once in his career. His completion percentage average is 58.5%. His quarterback rating average is 85.3. Newton is the definition of average and yet, there are people that will argue he is a top-five quarterback in the NFL.
Cam Newton is overrated and overpaid. The constant pouting on the sidelines and walking out of press conferences just isn’t worth the money.
1. Jimmy Garoppolo – 5 years/ $137.5 Million. $48.7 Million guaranteed.
Somebody needs to explain why Jimmy Garoppolo is the second highest paid quarterback in the NFL with only seven games started in his career. What happened to a bridge deal? Kirk Cousins spent two years under a franchise tag and the Washington Redskins wouldn’t sign him long-term. Jimmy Garoppolo won the first seven games of his young starting career. Apparently, those seven games justified being the highest paid quarterback in the NFL (at the time of signing).
Jimmy Garoppolo started five games for the San Francisco 49ers last season. In five games, he threw seven touchdowns and five interceptions. Garoppolo had a 67.4 completion percentage and a 96.2 quarterback rating. He looked good but remember, seven games as a starter doesn’t give teams a lot of tape. The five games he started were also at the end of the season with a different offence so the tape wouldn’t show enough.
Jimmy Garoppolo may end up being one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. If you’re a 49ers fan, you better hope so. The fact is that San Francisco gave Jimmy G a big-time deal way too early. This season will be a great test for the young quarterback and should show if he can truly handle the spotlight.
These aren’t the only three overpaid quarterbacks in the NFL. In fact, you could probably argue that many of the starting quarterbacks are overpaid. Here are some honourable mentions that didn’t quite make the top three.
Joe Flacco might come to mind when you read the title of this article. Whether you like him or not, Flacco helped the Ravens win a Super Bowl and usually, that leads to a nice payday.
Eli Manning could also be on this list based on his skill level now. Manning is another quarterback that has earned his payday though. This is a guy who faced the GOAT in the Super Bowl and came out on top. TWICE! Not to mention, one of those victories ended a perfect season for the New England Patriots, even if it was mostly luck.
Sam Bradford has somehow fooled multiple teams into believing that he is an elite starter. He has made over $100 million playing in the NFL. Playing is maybe the wrong word to use considering he is generally on the injury report instead of in the game.
The precedent has been set and there is no going back. Soon enough, there will be a Thirty-million-dollar quarterback. The way contracts have been getting handed out, it will probably end up being Mark Sanchez that gets that big of a payday.
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