A pair of starting quarterbacks signed long-term extensions with their clubs in recent weeks, as the Dolphins and Panthers locked up Ryan Tannehill and Cam Newton respectively. With Ben Roethlisberger signing a multiyear deal of his own with the Steelers back in March, a few of the signal-callers we expected to see extended this offseason have already taken care of business.
Several more notable quarterbacks are still without new deals though, and are seemingly preparing to enter the final year of their respective contracts without an extension in place. Of course, we still have about three months until the regular season gets underway, so there’s plenty of time between now and then for these QBs to work out agreements with their teams.
Sam Bradford and Nick Foles are among the quarterbacks whose contracts expire after the 2015 season, but neither player is a top-tier NFL starter, and both Bradford and Foles are coming off significant injuries that shortened their 2014 seasons. So while they may sign extensions at some point, we’re not including them in this discussion, since they’re not quite in the same class as a few other contract-year QBs.
We’ll also remove Andrew Luck from this conversation, since the Colts have explicitly stated that they don’t intend to negotiate an extension with the former No. 1 pick until 2016. Like Tannehill, Luck was a first-round pick in 2012, which makes him eligible for an extension now, but since Indianapolis holds a fifth-year option for the ’16 season, there’s no rush for the team to get something done.
That leaves us with three top quarterbacks entering contract years: Russell Wilson, Philip Rivers, and Eli Manning. Like Roethlisberger, Rivers and Manning are each in the final year of a veteran contract. However, Rivers seems somewhat hesitant about re-upping with the Chargers given the uncertain future of the franchise, which resulted in some trade rumors earlier in the offseason. It doesn’t appear that Rivers is going anywhere, but the two sides don’t seem to be close to an extension either, despite some optimism from the Bolts.
As for Manning, we heard earlier this week that contract talks between the two-time Super Bowl MVP and the Giants haven’t begun yet, and he’s not sure when they will. The latest report on the situation suggests that the club may be willing to wait until after the season, with Manning using the 2015 campaign to prove his worth once more.
Wilson, meanwhile, is coming off a rookie contract, which perhaps makes his situation the trickiest of the three. Having built a talented roster around Wilson, the Seahawks are now facing the possibility of their quarterback’s cap hit jumping from the $1MM range to something much, much higher. So far, the two sides are at an impasse, and by all accounts, Wilson is willing to play out the 2015 season and force Seattle to use the franchise tag if he feels like he’s being low-balled by the team in extension discussions.
It’s possible that all three of these quarterbacks will head into the 2015 regular season without having signed new contracts, but I’d be surprised if that were the case. What do you think? Which of these three Pro Bowl quarterbacks will extend his contract with his current team first?