It did not take long for Justin Herbert to become one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Herbert was not even meant to start for the LA Chargers in his rookie season and turned an opportunity into the best start for a quarterback in league history.
Herbert is now up there with the best of the best in the NFL and he is a true MVP candidate this season. Excitement around the Chargers is at an all-time high because of Herbert. The former Oregon Duck is a true one of one and Chargers fans are blessed to go from Philip Rivers to Justin Herbert.
Right now the Chargers have the ultimate competitive advantage of paying Herbert his rookie deal. That is why the team was able to get so aggressive this offseason. However, that is not going to last for very long. Justin Herbert is going to get paid and it will happen soon.
Kyler Murray, who was drafted a year before Herbert, just signed a five-year, $230.5 million extension with the Arizona Cardinals. This extension runs through 2028 as Murray was under contract through the 2023 season with his fifth-year option from being a first-round pick. The same will likely happen with Herbert. He will agree to an extension but still play out one more year of his rookie deal (2023) and then his fifth-year option, which will pay him around $30 million.
Many would agree that Herbert is a better quarterback than Murray as well, so this helps set the table for Herbert to work out a deal with the Bolts.
Kyler Murray's extension indicates that the Chargers will pay Justin Herbert $50 million+ per season.
Murray is making $46.1 million per season, which is the second-highest average salary in the league behind Aaron Rodgers' short-term deal that pays him $50.3 million a year. After seeing Murray get this money, with the market continuing to grow, it is pretty clear that Herbert will get a $50 million average salary.
There are fans that want Herbert to take a pay cut for the betterment of the team. While Herbert does seem to love football first and foremost and absolutely has the personality to take a pay cut, you can never blame a player for getting paid what they are worth. And for the Chargers, Herbert is worth half a billion dollars.
It sounds insane to say out loud, but if Herbert follows up his 2021 season with an even better 2022 season then it is going to be undeniable. When the time comes, Herbert is going to earn an extension that is worth at least $500 million over 10 years,
A 10-year contract would take Justin Herbert through his age 36 season. With how much he loves football and how much longer quarterbacks are playing, it would not be surprising if Herbert plays another five years on top of that. By that rate, quarterbacks might be making $60 million a year and Herbert's career earnings could creep closer and closer to $1 billion.
A 10-year, $500 million contract is Justin Herbert's market value. If the Chargers can convince Justin Herbert to take a pay cut that is one thing, but on the open market, that is what Herbert would command.