Justin Herbert and the Chargers Are Negotiating an Extension

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Justin Herbert and the Chargers Are Negotiating an Extension


We knew Justin Herbert would be a name to watch this offseason regarding a potential contract extension.

Herbert, like Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, and Jalen Hurts became eligible for their first extension this offseason. Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley was asked about that today at the NFL’s owner’s meetings in Phoenix.

“I’m confident that Justin Herbert is going to be our quarterback for a long time and that we’ll make sure that we get a deal done.”

On Tuesday, Staley made it clear that Justin Herbert isn’t going anywhere. According to Staley, talks between Herbert and the Chargers have opened, though he didn’t clarify where they stand regarding a timeline for getting a deal done.

When could we see an extension for Herbert?

“Those talks are ongoing,” Staley said at the NFL’s annual league meeting. “We’re at the beginning of all that, but all know how we feel about him.”

Herbert, 25, led the Chargers to the playoffs in 2022. He passed Andrew Luck for the most passing yards through a quarterback’s first three seasons. Herbert has thrown for 14,089 passing yards and 94 touchdowns with only 35 interceptions.

Despite the Chargers having a playoff game to forget against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Herbert looked good. And was one of the main reasons behind the Chargers’ first playoff berth since 2018.

Herbert is in line for a contract extension to pay him north of $50 million per season. As of today, Aaron Rodgers is the only quarterback in the NFL that makes over $50 million per season. Rodgers is due to make $50.27 million this season in base salary. That’s a significant raise from the $4.23 million that Herbert is slated to make in 2023.

Brandon Staley stressed patience on the part of the Chargers fans regarding how soon a deal gets done.

“[We’ve got to] just be patient,” Staley said when asked if he would like a deal done before training camp. “But the major takeaway is that Justin Herbert is going to be our quarterback, and we’re so excited that he is leading our franchise.”

The Chargers can still exercise Herbert’s fifth-year option this offseason. That would hypothetically give them another year to work on the extension for their star quarterback. May 1 is the deadline for teams to exercise that option.

Herbert completed 68.2 percent of his passes in 2022, throwing for 4,739 yards and 25 touchdowns while battling multiple injuries.

What’s it going to cost the Chargers?

Los Angeles currently has $14.96 million in cap space per OTC. Their 2024 projections aren’t any better, but there’s time for them to work all that out. Still, Herbert’s fifth-year option (in 2024) will likely be around $30 million against the Chargers’ cap. So, the sooner, the better. 2023 is the last year that he will be cheap. 

Another factor to consider for the Chargers is this: as the cap goes up and other quarterbacks in the same tier (like Burrow and Hurts) get their extensions, the price for a Herbert extension goes up as well.

Looking at recent QB extensions, Patrick Mahomes (July 2020), Josh Allen (August 2021), and Kyler Murray (July 2022) all signed their extensions just before the start of their fourth seasons. For an example in the opposite direction, look at Lamar Jackson.

Regarding the current group of quarterbacks, the Bengals, Chargers, and Eagles should consider themselves in a race to get the first deal done. That deal will serve as the floor for the other two deals, in all likelihood.

Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.