One of the biggest storylines surrounding the LA Chargers this offseason is Justin Herbert's impending contract extension. The two parties do not have to get a deal done this offseason but it does benefit the Chargers to get it done as soon as possible.
Not only would it make Herbert happy and give him the proper pay raise that he deserves but it would also behoove the team to get an extension done before Jalen Hurts and Joe Burrow. Each new extension is going to reset the quarterback market. If the Chargers are last they are paying the most.
Quarterback contract projections are tough right now with Deshaun Watson's unprecedented fully-guaranteed contract as well as the current Lamar Jackson situation. There is a wide array of projections for Herbert's new deal ranging in AAV and length.
The latest projection from Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus is probably the worst-case scenario for the Chargers. Ironically enough, it would be the best case scenario for Herbert and his camp.
Justin Herbert projected to get a four-year, $208 million contract ($180 guaranteed) from Chargers.
That is a lot of money, both in average annual salary and in guaranteed money, to give one player. Justin Herbert is worth any penny. It is not the price of this contract that is bad for the Chargers as this is simply the price of a franchise quarterback in 2022.
The biggest issue for the Chargers is the length. It would benefit the Bolts to make this deal as long as physically possible for two reasons. First, there is the obvious benefit of having Herbert locked in as the franchise quarterback for 8-10 years with no worry about him leaving in the future.
More importantly, though, is how it will impact the team's long-term spending when we zoom out and look at the entire picture. If Herbert signs an extension this short the Chargers are going to have to re-up him even sooner. At that point, the quarterback market will grow once more and we could be looking at the territory of a five-year, $300 million contract.
By signing 2-3 extensions that are only four or so years in length, Herbert could maximize his total earnings in the league. That is exactly what he and his agency should be doing as he is not going to be able to play football forever.
That being said, from a logistical standpoint, it is far better for the Chargers to lock him down as long as possible with the current market price. Prices are only going to go up and the Bolts will end up paying more as a result.