Quarterback Three Year Salary Cap Values

Over at the Athletic Football Show the hosts had their 2024 QB Draft yesterday, which you can watch over at Youtube to hear the hosts thoughts on each of their selections. Contracts are included and since I saw some posts discussing the selections and lack of a certain 49ers QB from being selected I thought I would post the listing of annual cap values from 2024 to 2026 for the current projected starters in the NFL.

I broke the salary cap counts down into two sections. One is based just on the average cap per year based on the years remaining, up to a maximum of three years. The second takes into account any dead money that will hit the books in 2025 or 2026 for the players. The numbers are based solely on the current structure of the contract and how each team has decided to take the cap charges these next few years. I also have listed total remaining years under contract. Options are not included unless it was already exercised.

PlayerTeamYears RemainingActive Cap (24-26)24-26 Active Cap/YearDead Money (25-26)24-26 Cap/Year (with Dead)
Deshaun WatsonBrowns3$191,728,678$63,909,559$0$63,909,559
Patrick MahomesChiefs8$171,931,426$57,310,475$0$57,310,475
Dak PrescottCowboys1$55,132,647$55,132,647$40,137,647$95,270,294
Lamar JacksonRavens4$150,700,000$50,233,333$0$50,233,333
Matt StaffordRams3$149,500,000$49,833,333$0$49,833,333
Daniel JonesGiants3$148,065,000$49,355,000$0$49,355,000
Kyler MurrayCardinals5$145,704,531$48,568,177$0$48,568,177
Josh AllenBills5$137,526,562$45,842,187$0$45,842,187
Derek CarrSaints3$125,584,000$41,861,333$0$41,861,333
Joe BurrowBengals6$124,214,982$41,404,994$0$41,404,994
Kirk CousinsFalcons4$122,500,000$40,833,333$0$40,833,333
Justin HerbertChargers6$103,037,025$34,345,675$0$34,345,675
Geno SmithSeahawks2$64,900,000$32,450,000$0$32,450,000
Jared GoffLions1$32,300,064$32,300,064$0$32,300,064
Baker MayfieldBuccaneers3$88,450,000$29,483,333$0$29,483,333
Tua TagovailoaDolphins1$23,171,000$23,171,000$0$23,171,000
Jalen HurtsEagles5$67,100,400$22,366,800$0$22,366,800
Aaron RodgersJets2$40,661,112$20,330,556$63,000,000$51,830,556
Trevor LawrenceJaguars2$37,371,018$18,685,509$0$18,685,509
Jordan LovePackers1$12,757,731$12,757,731$5,273,193$18,030,924
Gardner MinshewRaiders2$22,000,000$11,000,000$3,000,000$12,500,000
Bryce YoungPanthers3$31,054,152$10,351,384$0$10,351,384
C.J. StroudTexans3$29,683,019$9,894,340$0$9,894,340
Anthony RichardsonColts3$27,813,297$9,271,099$0$9,271,099
Caleb WilliamsBears4$26,922,312$8,974,104$0$8,974,104
Jayden DanielsCommanders4$25,736,352$8,578,784$0$8,578,784
Drake MayePatriots4$24,981,654$8,327,218$0$8,327,218
J.J. McCarthyVikings4$14,900,997$4,966,999$0$4,966,999
Bo NixBroncos4$12,690,789$4,230,263$0$4,230,263
Will LevisTitans3$7,807,224$2,602,408$0$2,602,408
Russell WilsonSteelers1$1,210,000$1,210,000$0$1,210,000
Brock Purdy49ers2$2,123,506$1,061,753$0$1,061,753

I think Mahomes at number one, even with the big salary cap numbers is an easy choice. He is under contact forever and is the best QB in the NFL. Josh Allen at number 2 is also an easy choice. The Bills have his contract structured over the next few years to be reasonable with the cap and he ranks 4th in years of contract control. I think he is universally accepted as second to only Mahomes when it comes to on field play.

Jackson/Herbert is an interesting decision. Both have been banged up a bit but Herbert’s contract runs longer and is easier on the salary cap because the Chargers extended him early while Jackson made it to free agency. I am surprised Burrow was not right there with these two but he missed so much time last year I can see why you would drop him.

In my opinion once you get past these five the needle should begin to move toward the rookie contract players. Stroud should easily get the nod as the top option, which is where the Athletic had him. After that I think it just depends on who you are bullish on from Stroud’s class and this one.

I would put Purdy in that same group even if the ceiling is more limited. In Purdy’s case you know there is a floor and any of these players who were drafted this year could turn into Zach Wilson or look like Bryce Young last season. Even if you factor in Purdy being extended his 3Y cap would probably wind up around $10M a season. Jordan Love is the other player that belongs in here and he showed a lot of upside last year. His contract would be higher, with my assumption being a 3Y cap around $22-25M a year. So much more expensive but reasonable relative to the top end.

The biggest question mark to me is Dak Prescott. Im not sure what upside there is and we have to account for $95M in cap charges if his contract expires. That is a minefield. Timing would have to be everything on an extension to make this cap remotely reasonable and anything done after the year is going to be a cap per year of $45M+. That should be a hard pass.

Jalen Hurts could be higher depending on long term being a factor. His contract runs a long time and is dirt cheap on the cap but there is a massive bill to pay at the end if things go sideways. If just picking short term though it is fair to put him with the Love group.

The other name I think I would have thought about including is Jared Goff. Though he is going to get an extension I would expect it to run similar to Stafford’s deal which probably puts his three year number at $25-$30M. That is more valuable than Murray’s deal which is going to average nearly $49M per year. Murray has missed 15 games the last two years so while the upside is probably higher with Murray I think the contract and availability tips the scales easily in Goff’s favor.