While Andy Dalton didn’t get really any guarantees on deal ($17 million guaranteed this year only) , it isn’t hard to pull out a calculator and figure out that over the course of his six-year/$115 million deal, he will collect over $19 million annually. Jay Cutler’s seven-year/$126 million deal set the market for a few months, but Dalton, who has been putrid in three career playoff games, will now set the market.
In early June, after Colin Kaepernick‘s unique deal, Adam Schefter threw out this nugget, which some people balked at. Now that we know that Dalton got $19 million per year, it isn’t hard to imagine Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson getting five or six million more per season.
Word around NFL is that when Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson get new deals next year, they will come in between $24-$25 million per year.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 5, 2014
If Nick Foles is smart, he will wait until after both Luck and Wilson get their deals, in hopes of landing more than the $18 million guaranteed Dalton got or having to take any sort of ridiculously team-friendly deal like Kaepernick did. If Aaron Rodgers got $52.5 guaranteed and Matt Ryan got $59 million guaranteed, I think it’s fair to assume that both Luck and Wilson could be looking at $65 plus guaranteed. That isn’t to say that Luck and Wilson are better than Rodgers and and Ryan, neither are better than Rodgers, but each new contract sets the market. And if they get close to $70 million guaranteed, that completely changes the type of deal that Foles is looking at.
I can’t project what type of season that Foles is going to have in 2014, it’s hard to imagine it could be better than his 2013 breakout campaign, but let’s assume his season confirms that he is the Eagles’ franchise quarterback, and the Eagles have to pay him the market value.
Right now, I think that Foles is on pace to get a little less guaranteed money than the $30 million that Joe Flacco got. Foles may (may ) be the better regular season quarterback, especially in Chip Kelly‘s offense, but Flacco got paid right after getting really hot in the playoffs, and leading the Ravens to a Superbowl. He was also only a Lee Evans drop away from playing in the Superbowl the season prior to that.
I think the Eagles COULD get really hot in the playoffs and COULD make a Superbowl run, but I don’t think that it’s likely. If Foles puts together another top-seven quarterback season like he did last year, and waits for Wilson and Luck to get paid, not winning a Superbowl might not keep him from getting more guaranteed than Flacco.
It is also worth passing along, that while Dalton has made the playoffs every single season, he hasn’t exactly been efficient in the regular season, and has played with one of the best wideouts in the league in A.J. Green. Sure, Nick Foles has played in a better overall offense, but if last year is any indication, he’s also just a better player.
So if Dalton got $19 million a year, doesn’t that set up Foles to get over $20 million per year? And again, if he waits for Wilson and Luck to get nearly $25 million, maybe that ups his annual value to $21 or $22 per year. It’s fashionable to say that guaranteed money is all that matters, but as long as Foles is here, his annual salary is a tad bit important, because the Eagles will be paying it to him.
Regardless, today’s Dalton extension raised the price for Foles, and Luck and Wilson may only drive that price even higher. Then again, Foles doesn’t come off as someone who is that concerned about his contract. Some people would argue that he has a responsibility to fellow quarterbacks to get paid, but considering his father is one of the richer men in Texas, Foles might not be worried about his unwritten responsibility, especially on a team that seems to be very wary of staying under the cap.