Jalen Hurts' INSANE Payday Revealed!
After an outstanding performance last season, Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts had proven his worth and silenced his doubters. His All-Pro honors, MVP candidacy, and impressive Super Bowl performance against Patrick Mahomes demonstrated his talent, leaving no room for skepticism. In recognition of his production and potential, the Eagles recently announced a five-year, $255 million contract extension for Hurts, with $179.3 million in total guarantees. While his $110 million guaranteed at signing is third only to Deshaun Watson ($230 million) and Russell Wilson ($124 million), his average annual salary of $51 million makes him the highest-paid player in NFL history. However, with great financial rewards come consequences, which will undoubtedly affect both the team and the league. This edition of The First Read explores the five significant takeaways from Hurts' new deal.
Howie Roseman took a risk that paid off handsomely. When the Eagles' general manager selected Jalen Hurts in the second round of the 2020 draft, no one could have predicted what he would become. At that point, the team was still hoping that Carson Wentz could reverse his decline, which ultimately led to his trade to the Colts after the 2020 season. Hurts was a promising but raw talent who needed time to develop. Fast forward to the present day, and the Eagles have rebuilt their offense around him, resulting in a wild-card spot in his first season as a starter in 2021. By his second year, Hurts had developed into a complete quarterback, capable of beating teams both with his arm and his legs. While there were doubts about his ability to lead the team as a franchise quarterback at the start of the 2022 season, he silenced critics by outplaying Patrick Mahomes in a 38-35 loss to the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII. As Hurts moves into a higher income bracket in the coming years, the Eagles will face tougher financial challenges, but they can rest assured that he is worth the investment.
While Jalen Hurts didn't completely silence critics of dual-threat quarterbacks this past season, he came incredibly close. Despite losing both the MVP and the Super Bowl to Patrick Mahomes, he demonstrated that a running quarterback can develop into a potent passer. This performance provides more hope that quarterbacks like him will receive more opportunities in the future. In 2019, Lamar Jackson burst onto the NFL scene and felt like a unique talent. The only comparable players in recent memory were Michael Vick and Cam Newton. However, the landscape has since changed, with players like Hurts, Kyler Murray, Justin Fields, and Florida's Anthony Richardson in this year's draft class. The game is evolving, and players like Hurts are evidence that more NFL teams are embracing their unique skill sets.
The Eagles possessed the strongest team roster in football last season, and they were within striking distance of claiming the championship. While they still possess a good amount of talent, they will be unable to be as aggressive with their roster-building in the future, particularly with Hurts now earning this kind of salary. Roseman must make difficult decisions regarding which side of the ball will receive the majority of funds, and must be equally adept when it comes to drafting. It is easy to forget that Roseman selected Jalen Reagor, a wide receiver, with the 21st overall selection in the 2020 draft. Reagor now plays for Minnesota, where he shares a locker room with the All-Pro wide receiver taken just one pick after him, Justin Jefferson. You can make such mistakes when your quarterback is inexpensive (and the Eagles ultimately landed A.J. Brown), but these blunders will destroy you when your signal-caller is earning top dollar. As a result, it remains to be seen if the Eagles can contend for another championship in the early years of Hurts' massive contract. The odds are against them, but they have just locked up a rising star.