Now, the price range just elevated following a market-resetting deal from a fellow member of his 2020 NFL Draft class.
Reported on Tuesday, July 25 by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and team insider Lindsey Thiry, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert signed a blockbuster $262.5 million deal for five years with the Bolts.
But how does Tagovailoa feel about watching the QB drafted one spot below him earn his hefty paycheck? While Tagovailoa himself awaits his new deal with the Dolphins?
Tagovailoa Shares Reaction to Chargers Deal
Speaking with the Miami media a day after Herbert’s megadeal, Tagovailoa gave this strong reaction: He feels he still needs to earn his own major deal before asking to elevate the price.
“I think regardless of what it is, if they wanted to do it now, if they wanted to wait, whatever, I think for myself, I’m always a person that wants to prove to myself that I deserve whatever I get,” Tua said in day one of Dolphins camp (h/t The Palm Beach Post). “And so you know, for me, I feel like this is something that I need to work for. It’s as plain as simple as that.”
Judging by this rhetoric, sounds like the national title winner for the Tide is doing two things: Taking a “wait-and-see” approach and allowing his team to pay veteran stars like Bradley Chubb, Xavien Howard, newcomer Jalen Ramsey plus ensure Tyreek Hill gets his money for 2023 as well.
Currently, Tagovailoa has a cap hit of $9.6 million. His base salary goes to $1,010,000 for 2023 before rising to more than $23 million in the final year of his rookie deal per Spotrac.
How Herbert’s Deal Resets the Market for QBs, Including the Tide Star
Here’s an overview of what the Chargers are now giving Herbert, plus how it impacts one other past Tide standout:
- He now gets five years on his extension worth $262,500,000.
- With $52.5 million annually, Herbert now makes more in a year compared to AFC West rival Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs.
- Herbert also will make more annually compared to past Alabama star Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles and Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens, who both signed their megadeals during the offseason.
- In continuing with Hurts and Jackson, Herbert’s $218 million in guaranteed money is more than both QBs — Hurts at $179 million guaranteed and Jackson at $185 million.
Herbert, the sixth overall pick from that same draft class Tagovailoa was a part of, is officially locked away by the Bolts until 2029. But what could this now mean for Tagovailoa and the Dolphins?
Price Rises for Tagovailoa
Now, Herbert’s deal raises the stakes and price tag for Tagovailoa and the ‘Phins even higher.
Should Miami attempt to make a deal for the QB who went one pick ahead of Herbert, it’s going to mean finding a deal that pays the now fourth-year passer at least $53 million per year, which would top Herbert’s new yearly salary.
Has Tagovailoa positioned himself for a hefty deal? He did deliver his first 3,000-yard season (3,548 yards) and threw a career-best 25 touchdowns. But that also came in a season that witnessed his highly publicized concussions — which raises more questions on if he can remain healthy for an entire season and become worth more than Herbert.
But again, Tagovailoa has downplayed the contract extension talk.
“I haven’t talked about any contracts since what I’ve understood with, you know, my fifth-year extension, so I don’t think that’s a worry of mine,” Tagovailoa said. “That’s when things come, they’ll come because you either deserved it or it’s supposed to happen that way.”