Some NFL Owners Discussing a Salary Cap for QBs to Combat Rising Market

The five-year, $275 million contract the Jacksonville Jaguars gave to quarterback Trevor Lawrence has been one of the more hotly debated topics of the NFL offseason.

Some have taken issue with Lawrence’s monster payday because they don’t feel he’s earned it, while others are more concerned with what it does to the quarterback market with salaries on the rise and some above-average passers getting paid like elite ones.

Some of the NFL’s 32 owners fall into the latter category, and according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, they’ve even discussed ways to try to limit QB contracts from getting out of control.

“There certainly have been discussions within the league among certain owners about the idea of a quarterback cap that at some point you want quarterback numbers to not go over a certain percentage of your salary cap,” Pelissero said on the "The Rich Eisen Show."

some nfl owners discussing a salary cap for qbs to combat rising market

Dec 17, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) throws the ball against the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth quarter at EverBank Stadium. Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

The argument for a quarterback salary cap isn’t a terrible idea considering 17 passers have signed deals of $100M or more, nine have been given $100M or more in guaranteed money, and the average salary for the 10 highest-paid QBs in the league is right around $50M per year.

Lawrence is just the latest signal-caller over the last few seasons to sign a new megadeal.

Jared Goff (four years, $134M) and Kirk Cousins (four years, $180M) also signed lucrative contracts this offseason, joining recent deals for Joe Burrow (five years, $275M), Justin Herbert (five years, $262.5M), Lamar Jackson (five years, $260M), Deshaun Watson (five years, $230M), Patrick Mahomes (10 years, $450M) and Josh Allen (six years, $258M.)

Dak Prescott, Jordan Love and Tua Tagovailoa are all in the final years of their deals and will likely cash in between now and next offseason, and players like C.J. Stroud, Matthew Stafford, Baker Mayfield, Bryce Young, Anthony Richardson and Will Levis will all need new deals by 2027.

“Certainly, there’s been discussion about …‘how are we paying this much money to this position and to certain guys just because they’re the next one up?’” Pelissero added. “And that’s where … Trevor Lawrence matching Joe Burrow as the highest-paid player in NFL history … it’s a reflection that the quarterback market, like the salary cap, is going to continue to go up. The longer you wait, the higher these numbers are probably going to be.”

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