Continuing the trend of some pretty eventful offseason moves around the NFL, the Chargers have locked up quarterback Philip Rivers to the tune of $84 million and $65 million guaranteed over the next four years.
Rivers numbers: new money is four years, $84 million … $65 million guaranteed.
— UTKevinAcee (@UTKevinAcee) August 16, 2015
The contract, worth $21 million per year in new money, will make Rivers the highest paid quarterback in the NFL to not win a Super Bowl, the same distinction he had when he signed his last extension in 2009. On a yearly basis Rivers will now move ahead of Cam Newton and Matt Ryan, which makes sense given Rivers consistent production. The guaranteed at $65 million will move Rivers slightly ahead of Ben Roethlisberger who received $64 million in injury guarantees in his recent extension. Though the full guarantees have not been reported yet on the deal I would think it is safe to assume they will be in the range of $31-35 million which will be in line with the recent contracts signed by Roethlisberger and Russell Wilson. The current top earner in terms of full guarantees is Aaron Rodgers at $54 million.
There had been much discussion this offseson about Rivers and San Diego perhaps parting ways, but at the end of the day this is probably the best situation for both sides. Once the Chargers did not trade him before the draft there was almost no other option for them moving forward. The franchise tag would have been costly and there was no guarantee Rivers would even report under the tag. Coming in under Roethlisberger, who Rivers had exceeded in contract value in the last go around, was likely the concession they wanted to see from him to finalize contract.
With Rivers under contract all eyes will now turn to Eli Manning of the Giants. Manning, the first round pick from the famed 2004 draft class, has already set the QB market once in his career and is used to being treated as the top player from a contractual perspective. The difference this time around is Manning is years removed from not only a Super Bowl but a playoff appearance. However, with the market so tight between Rivers at $21 million and Roethlisberger at $21.85, I think he can push strongly to be the highest paid player in the NFL, at least until Andrew Luck signs a new contract. I have to think that Manning’s camp will now push hard to get a deal done with Rivers setting the absolute floor for a negotiation. This will be an interesting one to watch.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.