Quarterback contracts are just a game of leapfrog, so it’s no surprise to see Derek Carr jumping over Andrew Luck as the highest-paid passer in the NFL.
It’s easy to see where the market is going — a few more guys will leap Carr before the Seahawks and Russell Wilson start talking extension in a couple of years.
At least four more deals are likely to exceed Carr’s $25 million a year, and the APY could be around $30 million by 2020.
Matthew Stafford seemingly is next in line, with Kirk Cousins and Drew Brees also slated to be free agents in 2018. Cousins and the 38-year-old Brees might not be paid at the top of the market, but Stafford will be.
Next offseason, Matt Ryan and young QBs Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston will be in line for big extensions.
By 2019, when Wilson and four other top veteran QBs will be up for extensions again, the price could start at $28 million a year. And Seattle surely will try to get Wilson signed before Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Eli Manning and Philip Rivers potentially push it higher.
Wilson signed a four-year extension before the 2015 season, taking him through 2019 at $21.9 million a year. At the time, it put him right behind Rodgers as the No. 2-paid QB. If Wilson does as expected and gets back on his 2015 ascension track, he will merit another top-of-the-market deal in two years.
The Seahawks, of course, will pay what they must in order to keep their franchise QB. After all, they know it’s just a game of leapfrog.