Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Future quarterback contracts could use franchise tag to enhance the out years

Mike Florio and Chris Simms discuss the report that a PFT source anticipates Patrick Mahomes will become the highest-paid player in league history once again, before Week 1.

For a while now, we’ve been advocating the use of cap percentages to ensure that quarterbacks don’t have their contracts become obsolete in the later years of the deals. While recently discussing that possibility with someone who has experience negotiating significant quarterback contracts, a different approach was mentioned.

One of the upcoming quarterback contacts, we’re told, could utilize the franchise tag as a way to prevent a deal given to one of the top quarterbacks in the league from lagging behind top quarterback contracts.

Presumably, the exclusive franchise tag would be the measuring stick, given that it reflects the average of the top five current-year cap numbers. The non-exclusive tag lags dramatically behind the market; this year, it’s only $32.4 million.

It’s unclear how the protection would be incorporated. It could be as simple as identifying the quarterback’s compensation as a specific amount or the exclusive tag, whichever is greater.

Players to watch for such a term include Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Each could, or should, get new deals before the 2023 season commences.