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NFL insider reveals likely cost of contract extensions for Ja’Marr Chase, CeeDee Lamb

Dallas Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb, Cincinnati Bengals receiver Ja'Marr Chase
Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

NFL revenue is skyrocketing and with that comes bigger contracts for head coaches and exploding salaries for the highest-paid NFL players. Soon, wide receivers Ja’Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson and CeeDee Lamb will cash in on that with record-setting contracts.

When the Jacksonville Jaguars first signed Christian Kirk to a four-year, $72 million contract extension in March 2022, it was viewed as a massive overpay. Just two years later, Kirk’s $18 million average annual salary ranks 18th among wide receivers.

Related: Highest-paid NFL players 2024

Tyreek Hill became the first pass-catcher to make more than $30 million annually after signing a new contract following his trade to the Miami Dolphins. It set the tone for his peers right below him with four now earning a $24-plus million AA. As the NFL salary cap climbs even higher, the likes of Chase, Lamb and Jefferson are about to cash in very soon.

  • CeeDee Lamb contract (Spotrac): $17.991 million salary in 2024, 2025 NFL free agent

The 33rd Team’s Ari Meirov shared his belief that the Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings and Cincinnati Bengals will have to pay at least $31 million per season, if not more, for Chase, Jefferson and Lamb.

“Would not surprise me if all three of the get anywehre from $31 million per year all the way as high $35, even $36 million per year, once it’s all said and done.”

Ari Meirov on the potential cost of a contract for Ja’Marr Chase, CeeDee Lamb and Justin Jefferson

Related: Why the Minnesota Vikings should trade up and draft J.J. McCarthy

  • Ja’Marr Chase contract (Spotrac): $9.806 million cap hit in 2024, 2025 fifth-year team option at $21.816 million guaranteed

The looming contract extension for Chase plays a significant role in how the Bengals are handling things with Tee Higgins. While he was franchise-tagged this offseason, it’s expected that he’ll play out the year on the tag and then depart in free agency next season. This is all because Cincinnati intends to re-sign Chase, even if it costs upwards of $34 million annually.

Related: 2024 NFL Draft wide receiver rankings

Minnesota is in a similar boat. It moved off quarterback Kirk Cousins at his price point in part because the front office knew Jefferson’s contract would likely be record-setting at the position whenever it’s signed. However, that price becomes a lot easier to pay when your starting quarterback is on a rookie-scale contract.

As for the Cowboys, the team also has to think about a contract extension for Dak Prescott and Micah Parsons. Dallas can afford to retain all three players, but that would mean devoting more than $100 million annually to three players on a 53-man roster. It’s also why Lamb will likely be franchise-tagged in 2025.

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