NFL's Lucrative Contracts

NFL's Lucrative Contracts

The National Football League (NFL) continues to generate staggering financial figures, with lucrative contracts becoming the norm for top-tier players. This article takes a closer look at some of the most significant deals that have been inked in recent years across various professional sports leagues, showcasing the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL.

Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars: 5 years, $275 million

In 2024, Trevor Lawrence signed a monumental contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, valued at $275 million over five years, with $200 million guaranteed. This contract underscores the Jaguars' commitment to Lawrence, who led the team to an 8-8 record in the 2023 season, throwing for 21 touchdowns—the second-most of his career to date. Over the past two seasons, Lawrence accumulated over 8,000 passing yards and 55 combined passing and rushing touchdowns, putting him in elite company alongside Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Jared Goff.

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals: 5 years, $275 million

Joe Burrow's 2023 contract with the Cincinnati Bengals is another illustration of the value placed on top quarterbacks. The deal, worth $275 million with $219 million guaranteed, ensures Burrow remains a cornerstone for the Bengals. During the 2022-23 season, Burrow led the team to a stellar 12-4 record. He threw for 35 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, passed for 4,475 yards, and completed 68.3% of his passes, emphasizing his immense value to the team.

Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers: 5 years, $170 million

Nick Bosa's 2023 deal with the San Francisco 49ers, which includes $122.5 million in guaranteed money, sets a new standard for non-quarterbacks in the NFL. Bosa's outstanding performance in the previous season, where he earned the Defensive Player of the Year award and led the league with 18.5 sacks, justified the substantial financial commitment from the 49ers.

Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers: 5 years, $262.5 million

The Los Angeles Chargers secured Justin Herbert with a five-year, $262.5 million contract in 2023, guaranteeing 83.3% of the total contract value. Herbert, who became the most successful rookie quarterback in terms of passing yards and completions, led the Chargers to their first playoff appearance in four years. His contract's average annual value of $52.5 million is the highest in NFL history.

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens: 5 years, $260 million

Lamar Jackson's 2023 contract with the Baltimore Ravens, which includes $185 million guaranteed, followed a protracted negotiation period. Jackson, who was the second unanimous selection as NFL MVP, chose to represent himself in these negotiations, highlighting his confidence and determination.

Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles: 5 years, $255 million

Jalen Hurts’ extension in 2023 with the Philadelphia Eagles includes a first in franchise history—a no-trade clause. With 70.3% of his $255 million contract guaranteed, Hurts aims to build on his success, which saw him lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl berth.

Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns: 5 years, $230 million

Deshaun Watson's 2022 contract with the Cleveland Browns is notable not just for the $230 million guarantee, but also for the controversies that have marred his tenure. Watson faced an 11-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, which has overshadowed his professional contributions.

Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals: 5 years, $189.5 million

Kyler Murray's 2022 contract with the Arizona Cardinals includes an impressive 82.2% in guaranteed money. Despite his solid performance, his season was cut short due to injury, and the Cardinals struggled with a 4-13 record.

Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos: 5 years, $161 million

The Denver Broncos' 2022 deal with Russell Wilson might be one of the worst trades and contracts in NFL history if his first season’s performance is any indicator. Wilson struggled, barely completing 60% of his passes and throwing just 16 touchdowns.

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers: 3 years, $150.8 million

Aaron Rodgers' 2022 contract with the Green Bay Packers makes him one of the highest-paid athletes annually. Despite this, Rodgers now plays for the New York Jets following a trade that occurred after a lackluster season with the Packers.

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills: 6 years, $150 million

Josh Allen's extension, signed in 2021, guarantees him $150 million. Allen demonstrated his worth by throwing for over 9,306 yards and 74 touchdowns over the past two years, proving his value to the Buffalo Bills.

MLB’s Most Valuable Players

Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Dodgers: 10 years, $700 million

Shohei Ohtani’s 10-year, $700 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, signed in 2023, smashed predictions and cemented his status as arguably the best player in baseball. Despite being sidelined as a pitcher next season due to an elbow injury, Ohtani aims to make the playoffs for the first time in his career.

Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels: 12 years, $426.5 million

Mike Trout's 2019 deal ensured that one of baseball’s best players remained an Angel. Despite injuries, Trout has managed to play 423 games and win the 2019 MVP since signing his contract.

NBA’s Record Contracts

Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics: 5 years, $304 million

Jaylen Brown's deal, signed in 2023, stands as the largest in NBA history. Averaging 26.6 points per game, Brown has been pivotal in leading the Celtics to three of the last four Eastern Conference Finals alongside Jayson Tatum.

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets: 5 years, $272 million

Nikola Jokic, the reigning NBA Finals MVP, signed a max extension with the Denver Nuggets in 2022 worth $272 million, making it the largest contract in NBA history until Brown's record deal.

NHL’s Distinguished Deals

Shea Weber, Nashville Predators: 14 years, $110 million

Shea Weber's 14-year deal signed in 2012 has seen its share of ups and downs. While Weber has been plagued by injuries, it remains uncertain whether he will play in the NHL again.

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins: 12 years, $104.4 million

Sidney Crosby’s 2013 contract ensures that the Penguins will benefit from his skills until his age-38 season. Despite aging, Crosby continues to perform at a high level.

As these contracts show, professional athletes across all major sports leagues are earning unprecedented sums, emphasizing their pivotal roles within their respective franchises. These deals not only reward individual excellence but also underline the financial muscle of modern sports organizations.