Justin Herbert's contract is getting even better for the Chargers

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The LA Chargers signed Justin Herbert to a perfectly-timed five-year contract extension in July 2023. Shortly after Herbert signed his deal, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow continued to reset the quarterback market by getting slightly more than Herbert received from the Chargers.

Burrow didn't get more than Herbert because of talent, he got more because it is the nature of the beast. Elite players are responsible for resetting the position market when signing a new contract. Herbert raised the bar from where Lamar Jackson set it so Burrow could then raise it for future quarterbacks.

And it did not take long for certain quarterbacks to benefit from the bar that Jackson, Herbert and Burrow raised in 2023. Just last week Trevor Lawrence agreed to a $275 million extension with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Shortly before that, Jared Goff signed a $212 million extension with the Detroit Lions.

As great as it is to see valuable players get paid what they are worth in the NFL, these two deals also raised a lot of eyebrons and sparked intense debate around the value both teams were getting. One thing is for certain, though: the Chargers made out like bandits with Justin Herbert.

Justin Herbert's Chargers extension looks even better now thanks to Jared Goff, Trevor Lawrence

It is the nature of the sports market for elite quarterbacks to make more than the guys before them but the jury is still out on whether or not Lawrence or Goff are elite. When comparing the numbers to an elite quarterback like Herbert, though, one would assume that they are bonafide superstars.


Conract value

Total guarantees

Average salary

Justin Herbert

$262.5 million

$193.7 million

$52.5 million

Trevor Lawrence

$275 million

$200 million

$55 million

Jared Goff

$212 million

$170 million

$53 million

Lawrence surpassed the bar Herbert set last year and essentially got Burrow money from the Jaguars. Obviously, the Jaguars had to re-sign the former No. 1 overall pick and there was never a debate around paying him top-tier money.

That being said, Lawrence has not been the unmistakable superstar he was touted to be coming into the league. Herbert has been better (and by quite a margin) throughout his entire career. Lawrence has a worse touchdown rate, worse interception rate, worse passer rating, averages fewer passing yards per game and has a worse completion percentage. Yet he is earning more than Herbert across the board.

Goff's situation is slightly different as he signed a four-year deal instead of a five-year deal but he is still getting more money per season than Herbert. This is a guy who nobody in the league wanted three years ago and was traded away from a Super Bowl-caliber team that was looking to improve (and did).

If someone like Goff is getting more than Herbert it only raises the question of how many other mid-tier quarterbacks are soon going to make more.

With the NFL salary cap rapidly rising, chances are that multiple quarterbacks will cash out on big paydays that make Herbert's deal look smaller by comparison. Dak Prescott and Jordan Love will likely blow by Herbert's number even though both are worse than Herbert.

Then there is the Tua Tagovailoa discussion as he is a free agent after the 2024 season. If Goff is getting that kind of money for being a system QB then Tua may demand it, making Herbert's deal look better by comparison.