Kyler Murray signed a massive extension with the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday that is going to pay him $46.1 million per season. With Murray drafted a year before Justin Herbert, this extension is foreshadowing what could happen between the LA Chargers and Justin Herbert next summer.
Herbert is a better quarterback than Murray and if Murray is getting that much per year then it is safe to say that Herbert will cross the $50 million mark. Yesterday we predicted that Herbert's future extension would start around 10 years for $500 million.
While every Chargers fan obviously wants Herbert to stay and would ultimately be okay with the team paying him whatever it takes, there is a large contingent of fans who think that Herbert could (or should) take a pay cut to help the Chargers succeed.
Herbert seems to have the personality to make this kind of move. He is a soft-spoken, good guy that has made it apparent time and time again that he just loves football. If anyone is going to take the Tom Brady approach, it is Justin Herbert, right?
Well, maybe not.
We are silly to suggest that Justin Herbert should take a pay cut from the Chargers.
Comparing this situation to Tom Brady is leaving out a lot of context. Sure, Brady broke the mold by taking pay cuts with the New England Patriots to help build a contending roster. But Brady also has a supermodel wife whose net worth is far greater than his own. That is an extremely rare circumstance to have.
Plus, there are dynamics that impact more than just Herbert with his contract. As we see in every sport, new contracts and extensions help set the market. If Herbert takes a pay cut for the Chargers then he is not doing his part for his fellow quarterbacks in setting the market. It might seem trivial but it is a real thing that the agents and player association care about.
And most importantly: who are we to expect Justin Herbert to take a pay cut? Yes, it is millions and millions of dollars and there is a lot of wiggle room when you make that much money. But where else in life are you so good at your job that you are expected to take less money so those around you can make more?
This is the kind of money that can set up generations of wealth for Herbert's family and to suggest that he should leave money on the table is selfish by fans. Sure, it is somewhat selfish for Herbert to take the absolute max, but he has deserved the right to be selfish!
Does this mean that Justin Herbert absolutely won't take a pay cut to help the Chargers? Absolutely not. If that is something that he genuinely wants to do then more power to him.
However, for fans to expect it and be upset if he doesn't? Now that is silly.