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What’s the Going Rate for a Franchise Quarterback These Days?

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Over the past three seasons Phillip Rivers has established himself as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL.  During his first three years as a starter Rivers has led the Chargers to three straight AFC west titles, an AFC championship game and a record of 33 and 18 in the regular season.  Rivers has quickly become the face of the Chargers franchise and has offered great stability at one of footballs most important positions. 

River’s rookie contract expires at the end of the 2009 season and he will probably be looking at a hefty pay raise in his next deal.  There have been rumors that the Chargers have already started talking to Rivers about a contract extension and that they hope to have something done before the 2009 season starts.  

 

To see what it might cost the Chargers to lock up the best quarterback they have had since Dan Fouts (sorry Brees fans) lets take a look at the contracts for some of the other top quarterbacks in the league who have already signed their second or third contract.   

 

Quarterback

Contract Length(Years)

Total Money(Millions)

Guaranteed Money (Millions)

Average $/Year (Millions)

Year Signed

Palmer

6

118.75

15

19.79

2005

Manning

7

99.2

34.5

14.17

2004

Roethlisberger

8

102

33.2

12.75

2008

Romo

6

67.4

30

11.23

2007

Rodgers

6

65

20

10.83

2008

Bulger

6

65

27

10.83

2007

Brees

6

60

20

10

2006

Brady

6

60

26.5

10

2005

Garrard

6

60

18

10

2008

Hasselbeck

6

47

16

7.83

2005

 

One great thing about the Chargers is that they play in beautiful San Diego which I believe does factor into players contract decisions.  Carson Palmer is the highest paid quarterback in the league and for good reason, when he is healthy he is one of the top 3 QBs in the NFL and he has to play in Cincinnati which isn’t exactly San Diego.  This is where I think the San Diego discount comes into play could Rivers get Palmer type money if he had to move to a city like Detroit maybe but would he uproot his family from Americas finest city to go play for a bad team in a cold weather city just to get the extra cash I doubt it.  The next highest paid QB on the list is Peyton Manning, Rivers is good but he’s not Peyton good so I think it may be hard for the Rivers camp to get the Chargers to pay him more.  This brings us to the next level of QB which is Ben Rothlessburger I’m not sure how much Rivers ego will get in the way here.  The Chargers chose Rivers over Rothlessburger in the draft, you could also argue that Rivers has had the better career when it comes to pure QB play but the one thing you can’t argue is that Rothlessburger has two rings and Rivers has yet to go to a superbowl.   

In the end I think Rivers will take a bit less than Rothlessburger getting a deal done sometime before the beginning of the 2009 season somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 years and $80 mil with $40 mil of it guaranteed