The NFL Conference Championship games promise to be an exciting exchange of four world-class teams powered by four transcendent quarterbacks. The Tom Brady-led New England Patriots go to battle against Patrick Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs while the Los Angeles Rams and their promising quarterback Jared Goff will take on the legendary Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, all fighting for a spot at the Super Bowl.
The star-studded extravaganza boasts quarterbacks with different playing styles and skill expertise. As they compete for a chance to secure a Super Bowl spot, a surprising similarity rises from the four best starting quarterbacks of the season: their cheap contracts.
The Chiefs drafted Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes in 2017 while Los Angeles’ Jared Goff came to the Rams’ side in 2016. Their salaries combine to only $11 million, $4.1 million for Mahomes and $7 million for Goff. The two young and talented players are in their rookie contracts, a league-mandated contract that limits a newly-drafted player’s salary to a smaller amount, regardless of talent.
If the two players continue their incredible streak of playing at such driven levels, then they will likely receive big money contracts when their rookie contracts are up. For the moment, Mahomes’ and Goff’s low contracts will be profitable for their teams, giving them a chance to allocate their money on making a formidable team around their young offensive weapons.
Seattle’s Russell Wilson, San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick, Washington’s Robert Griffin III, and Baltimore’s Joe Flacco are some of the notable young quarterbacks over the past years that have known to experience team success after signing on low contracts.
The Philadelphia Eagles, last year’s Super Bowl champions, got Carson Wentz on $6.7 million. The below-average salary allows the Eagles to sign Nick Foles as the backup for the starting quarterback. Foles helped the team win the championship while replacing the injured Wentz.
Drew Brees and Tom Brady are two decorated quarterbacks on relatively small contracts for their talent. Brees, the New Orleans Saints leader only has a $25 million annual deal. While other quarterbacks are receiving well over $30 million, Brees signed a contract that will help the Saints use the extra cash for the team. During Brees’ signing, it was the most team-friendly deal in the NFL.
Tom Brady is dubbed as one of the greatest quarterbacks to have ever blessed the gridiron, but his contracts will make you doublecheck. The Patriots’ quarterback regularly takes less money and currently has a $20.5 million deal. Fifteen quarterbacks in the league make more money than Brady despite the length and success of his career.
The four quarterbacks’ cheap contracts say a lot, especially when the six most expensive quarterbacks did not make it to the NFL playoffs. Some of those quarterbacks include Kirk Cousins, who makes $28 million, and Aaron Rodgers, who takes home $33.5 million a year.
The veteran quarterbacks will help the team spend $5 or $10 million more for surrounding players, but transcendent rookies will give the team at least $20 million to bolster the group for the season.