Almost every team in the NFL would trade its starting quarterback for LA Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert. After all, Herbert is one of the best quarterbacks in the entire sport and only has three years of NFL experience under his belt.
The biggest storyline this summer is a potential Herbert contract extension as the window to sign him to a new deal officially opened ahead of his fourth season. Herbert and the Chargers haven't agreed to a new deal yet but fans shouldn't worry. Herbert himself ruled out any possibility of a hold-in and history tells us exactly when the deal will be made.
That hasn't stopped other fanbases from dreaming and quite frankly, it is comedy gold for Chargers fans. Adam Carlson of The Viking Age named Herbert as a potential veteran quarterback that could replace Kirk Cousins in 2024. In the article, Carlson penned the following:
"The Chargers are an organization that is notorious for not wanting to spend too much salary cap space on one player, as evidenced by their peculiar handling of running back Austin Ekeler this offseason. [...] While it is unlikely the Chargers see their future without Justin Herbert, there is a possibility that their organization might be it's own worst enemy and an entertaining and high-quality young quarterback becomes available."
Joe Burrow — who is on the same timeline as Herbert and also has not signed a contract extension yet this summer — was not named as a candidate to replace Cousins.
Spoiler alert: Justin Herbert isn't leaving the Chargers to join the Vikings
There are a few things wrong with this prediction. First, Carlson's claim that the Chargers are notorious for not wanting to spend too much salary cap on one player. That is inherently false, and all fans have to do is look at the Chargers' books to see how that isn't true.
Joey Bosa, Derwin James and Keenan Allen all got massive extensions before the final year of their contracts. The team also traded for Khalil Mack and his massive salary-cap hit. They also made Corey Linsley the highest-paid center of all time back in 2021.
The idea that the Chargers are penny pinchers just because they didn't want to overpay Austin Ekeler when other running backs also aren't getting paid much is silly.
And perhaps the biggest issue of all: Herbert physically couldn't be on the Minnesota Vikings in 2024. Even in the worst possible scenario if contract talks fall apart (they won't), Herbert is still under contract for the 2024 season. This is not a contract year for Herbert. The Chargers already picked up the fifth-year option on Herbert's rookie deal that will pay him just under $30 million in 2024.
The perceived gap in negotiations between Justin Herbert and the Chargers is getting blown out of proportion. The Chargers historically get these contracts done in August and it benefits Herbert and his camp to wait this process out. It is pretty clear that Herbert and Burrow are in a staring match as the second quarterback to sign an extension is going to get more as it will reset the market.
But hey, we can't fault any other fanbase for dreaming about what it would be like to see Herbert be their starting quarterback. It is a pretty awesome feeling.