The three-year deal with a base value of $ 54 million gives Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles an average of $ 18 million per year. That sounds good in isolation, but it puts him near the bottom of all NFL start quarterbacks by not being constrained by a slotted rookie deal.
Here's the list of 2018 starters by yearly average, with actual numbers for those contracts and projected numbers for who are still be signed.
1. Kirk Cousins: $ 29 million per year (projected) The number can go higher on the number of suitors and the zeal with whom they pursue him.
2. Drew Brees: $ 28 million per year. Whether he signs with the Saints or any other, Brees has always been gotten paid handsomely. As he should If the Saints want to keep them, they'll probably need to match or beat the package given to the guy who has started seven largely inconsequential games.
3. Jimmy Garoppolo: $ 27.5 million per year. The highest paid player in the NFL will not be the highest paid for long. He may not be the top five for long.
4. Matthew Stafford: $ 27 million He'll have another chance to get the top of the market when he signs his fourth big-money, multi-year NFL contract in a few years.
5. Derek Carr: $ 25 million If the Raiders had not signed him last year, the Raiders would have faced a fascinating decision. Keep Carr or pursue someone like Cousins, most recently coached by Jon Gruden's younger brother?
6. Andrew Luck: $ 24.594 million He has not done much to earn his money, but that should change this year.
7. Joe Flacco: $ 22.133 million But for a crippling cap hit, the Ravens will be thinking replacing the Super Bowl MVP five years ago.
8. Aaron Rodgers: $ 22 million When it's all said and done, he'll be north of $ 30 million.
9. Russell Wilson: $ 21.9 million He's already overdue for a new deal.
10. Ben Roethlisberger: $ 21.85 million The Steelers have the potential of an extension As soon as more and more quarterbacks get paid, Roethlisbeger may demand one.
11. Alex Smith: $ 21.7 million Combining a four-year, $ 94 million expansion with a 2018 salary of $ 14.5 million puts Smith on the fringe of the top 10.
12. Eli Manning: $ 21 million A middle-of-the-pack quarterback has almost middle-of-the-pack pay.
13. Philip River: $ 20.812 million Dollar for dollar one of the biggest bargains in the league.
14. Cam Newton: $ 20.76 million The new Carolina owner's first order of business should be addressed to Newton's deal.
15. Matt Ryan: $ 20.75 million The 2016 league MVP is grossly underpaid.
16. Case Keenum: $ 20 million (projected) That's 10 times what he made a year ago.
17. Ryan Tannehill: $ 19.25 million And now you know why the dolphins are not rushing to get rid of him.
18. A.J. McCarron: $ 19 million (projected). Not bad for a guy with four career starts.
19. Blake Bortles: $ 18 million Kind of puts it the new contract in perspective, does not it?
20. Andy Dalton: $ 16 million The Red Rifle May be looking for more green, soon.
21. Tyrod Taylor: $ 15.25 million Whether he plays for the bills or any other, it's a pretty good deal.
22. Tom Brady: $ 15 million Fake Don Yee was right.
23. Mitch Trubisky: $ 7.258 million Slotted rookie deal from 2017, as the No. 2 pick.
24. Jared Goff: $ 6.984 million Slotted rookie deal from 2016, as the No. 1 pick.
25. Carson Wentz: $ 6.669 million Slotted rookie deal from 2016, as the No. 2 pick.
26. Jameis Winston: $ 6.337 million Slotted rookie deal from 2015, as the No. 1 pick.
27. Marcus Mariota: $ 6.053 million Slotted rookie deal from 2015, as the No. 2 pick.
28. Patrick Mahomes: $ 4.1 million Slotted rookie deal from 2017, as the No. 10 pick.
29. Deshaun Watson: $ 3.463 million Slotted rookie deal from 2017, as the No. 12 pick.
The list does not include 32 quarterbacks, given the possibility that one or more rookie quarterbacks will be Week One starters. Wild cards include Sam Bradford, Josh McCown, and Nick Foles, whoever could also be the start of the season.