Joe Alt salary: How much will Chargers' first-round pick make in 2024?

NFL Combine
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After months of speculation around what the LA Chargers were going to do in the 2024 NFL Draft fans now have their answer. The Chargers officially selected Joe Alt with the fifth overall pick, bolstering Justin Herbert's offensive line in the process.

Earlier in Herbert's career, there was a lot of talk about the Chargers bringing in big contracts to capitalize on the fact that Herbert was on a rookie-scale contract. With Herbert's extension officially kicking in, it is now important for the Chargers to do the inverse: land franchise-altering players who themselves will be on rookie-scale contracts.

Of course, the rookie-scale contracts in 2024 are much different than in 2020 as the salary cap has grown a considerable amount (including a higher-than-expected jump for the 2024 season). That being said Alt will end up making more than Herbert did, and has officially earned life-changing money.

How much is Joe Alt's salary in 2024?

The official numbers will not come out until Alt officially signs with the team. As Chargers fans have seen in the past with Joey Bosa, sometimes these conversations can take longer than expected when it comes to bonus money and certain guarantees.

All that being said, there are fairly accurate rookie contract projections that fans can turn to as an answer. Over The Cap projects Alt to make just over $6 million in his rookie season with the Bolts. Alt is projected to make a base salary of $795,000 with a prorated bonus of $5.2 million.

Joe Alt's projected rookie contract with the Chargers:

OTC also projects that Alt four-year deal with the Chargers will be worth $33.1 million with a signing bonus that is $20.9 million.

Alt can't negotiate a higher signing bonus, instead the only thing worth negotiating is the timing of the signing bonus payments and any offset language in a rookie's contract. This is what Bosa and the Chargers negotiated for all those weeks back in 2016.

So while the official numbers are not yet out, these projections are fairly accurate representations of how much Alt is going to make throughout the course of his rookie contract with the Chargers.

Can the Chargers sign Joe Alt for longer than four years?

The Chargers are unable to sign Alt to a contract that is longer than four years, per the NFL's CBA. That being said, as a first-round pick, the Chargers do have the option to essentially make Alt's contract a five-year deal.

Teams have the ability to pick up a first-round pick's fully guaranteed fifth-year option, which in this case would be the 2028 season. The Chargers can pick up this option prior to the 2027 season, and can also enter contract extension negotiations prior to the 2027 season.

The exact figure for that fifth-year option depends on the salary cap and the performance of the player. For comparison, Rashawn Slater's fifth-year option is projected to be worth $19.04 million for the 2025 season. That number will undoubtedly go up by the 2028 season.

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