Largest Contracts in NFL History — Worth It?

Jalen Hurts just had the largest payday in the history of the league. The Philadelphia Eagles gave their QB1 a massive five-year, $255 million extension which makes this the biggest contract extension in league history. It is nothing less than fitting for Hurts since he recently gave the Eagles a Super Bowl appearance.

These paydays often come at risk given that some players’ production regress immediately after. For others, it can springboard their performance due to the other incentives attached to every deal. This deal has yet to show its long-term dividends, unlike other absurdly huge contracts in the league.

Let’s dissect whether these contracts were a bang for a buck or a bank buster for franchises.

Largest Contracts in NFL History — Worth It?

1. Patrick Mahomes – $477 Million for 10 years

The longest contract signed in the league belongs to the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback. Patrick Mahomes got this deal in 2020 immediately after they won Super Bowl LIV. This could have been seen as a panic move if it were any other player but Mahomes had proven why he was worth the cash.

Over the next three years, he would lead the squad to two Super Bowl appearances. One of which followed immediately after signing his deal. Mahomes had to face Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during Super Bowl LV, where they lost. They would then lose to Joe Burrow‘s Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship in 2021. For the 2022-2023 campaign, he had his redemption season where he would win the Season MVP award, Super Bowl LVII MVP, and another chip for Kansas City.

It is safe to say that the Chiefs money was well-spent in the early years of this extension.

2. Josh Allen – $258 Million for six years

Throwing 18,397 yards and 138 touchdowns for a career with 4,283 of those happening in a single season can certainly get someone a big bag of cash. That is what happened for Josh Allen as the Buffalo Bills trust him to lead this team to victory until 2028.

Before his arrival, the Bills had one of the longest post-season droughts which occurred from 1999 to 2017. With his promising cannon of an arm and fast feet to rush on his own, he has become a specimen of what a versatile quarterback should be. Ever since they had their established quarterback, the Bills had not missed the post-season. Moreover, Josh Allen has been of the consistent front-runners for the MVP award in the past three years. NFL executives even preferred him over Aaron Rodgers in the 2022 race.

With all of this said the Bills got their wish: a superstar quarterback that they could build on top of. However, a season award and more post-season success, even a Super Bowl, would be the only solid pieces of evidence to say that the deal was a bang for Buffalo’s buck.

3. Russell Wilson – $245 Million for five years

Denver hoped for a star to lead them back to Super Bowl contention when they gave Russell Wilson this deal. While it may be early to conclude, the drop-off has been drastic for the former Super Bowl champion. For comparison, his quarterback rating is at its lowest at 84.4 which includes career lows for touchdowns (16), and touchdown percentage (3.3).

He is also getting career highs but in the wrong places. Statistics like getting sacked this season the most in his career (55) and loss of yards per sack (368 yards total, 6.69 per sack) have been at their peaks this season.

The eye test has been even worse with more unforced interceptions coming his way and no playoff appearances since 2020. It is but a question as to why the Denver Broncos gave him this expensive of a contract at 34 years old. With more years to regress as most athletes of his age, this contract may go down as the most terrible sunken cost for an NFL franchise. However, observers may never know the future — if he goes down to age gracefully like Tom Brady.

Main Image: Michael Chow/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

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