We’ve seen some absolutely huge NFL contracts handed out over the past several weeks. It started with Fred Warner becoming the highest-paid linebacker in league history before Darius Leonard took over that title.
In Western New York, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen just received a whopping six-year, $258 million contract with $100 million fully guaranteed. Who might be next line? Below, we look at five NFL players set for huge contracts after this run of massive deals.
Baker Mayfield, quarterback Cleveland Browns
Now that Allen has signed on the dotted line for a whopping $100 million in fully-guaranteed cash, there’s every reason to believe that Mayfield will be next in line. His camp and the Browns were likely waiting to see how the market played out for Allen.
Despite a tremendously successful 2020 NFL season, this former No. 1 pick is not going to see a contract that comes close to the $258 million in total value Allen received. One year of above-averaged performances doesn’t overshadow initial struggles throughout his first two NFL seasons. Even then, Mayfield has more than proven himself to be a franchise cornerstone for the Browns. Whether it’s ahead of Week 1 or next offseason, he’ll end up making top-five quarterback money.
Baker Mayfield contract projection: Five years, $175 million with $70 million fully guaranteed
T.J. Watt, edge, Pittsburgh Steelers
Watt, 26, and the Steelers have been engaged in contract extension negotiations over the past several months. The three-time Pro Bowler is set to enter the final year of his rookie contract and has earned a payday that will eventually make him the highest-paid defender in NFL history.
A product of Wisconsin, Watt has recorded a whopping 111 quarterback hits, 59 tackles for loss, 49.5 sacks and 17 forced fumbles through four NFL seasons. Last year alone, he tallied 41 quarterback hits while leading the league in tackles for loss (23) and sacks (15).
T.J. Watt contract projection: Five years, $140 million with $85 million fully guaranteed
Calvin Ridley, wide receiver, Atlanta Falcons
Now that Julio Jones has moved on from Atlanta, Ridley takes over as the Falcons’ top pass-catcher. And in reality, he has a chance to be among the most-productive wide receivers in the NFL this coming season.
Catching passes from Matt Ryan a season ago, Ridley hauled in 90 passes for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns. With his targets likely set to increase, the Alabama product has a chance to shine big time moving forward. Even with Atlanta picking up his option for the 2022 NFL season, he can expect an extension to be signed at some point in the near future.
Calvin Ridley contract projection: Five years, $100 million with $50 million fully guaranteed
Nick Bosa, edge, San Francisco 49ers
Bosa will join his fellow 2019 NFL Draft classmates in being eligible for an extension next offseason. Sure the former No. 2 pick missed all but two games of his sophomore campaign. But his importance to the 49ers’ defense can’t be overstated.
Back in 2019 when Bosa won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, San Francisco yielded the eighth-fewest points in the league en route to earning a trip to the Super Bowl. Last season, the 49ers ranked in the middle of the pack by yielding an average of 24.4 points per game. The stats are there. The previous success is there. If Bosa rebounds this season, he’ll end up becoming one of the highest-paid defenders in NFL history.
Nick Bosa contract projection: Five years, $120 million with $65 million fully guaranteed
Lamar Jackson, quarterback, Baltimore Ravens
Unlike Mayfield, there’s a decent chance Jackson will demand a contract similar to what the aforementioned Allen received with Buffalo. The 2019 NFL MVP is in the midst of an historical start to his career. In 37 career starts, he’s posted a 30-7 record while tallying 87 total touchdowns against 18 interceptions.
Still only 24 years old, Jackson is the face of the Ravens’ franchise. He’s a top-five quarterback in the NFL. Regardless of his playing style and concern over injuries, Baltimore will have to back up the Brinks Truck for the All-Pro performer. Expect that to come to fruition ahead of the Ravens’ Week 1 game against the Raiders in Las Vegas.
Lamar Jackson contract projection: Five years, $225 million with $95 million fully guaranteed