Patrick Mahomes will be among the highest-paid players in the NFL this year. But the Chiefs quarterback and former MVP has earned it by leading his team to Super Bowl appearances.
Other quarterbacks, meanwhile, haven’t been worth the price. The season is just a few months away, NFL betting lines are already available, and some teams are spending too much on below-average play behind center.
Here’s a look at the teams that overspend for quarterbacks.
NFL Quarterback Spending
The Chiefs lead the league in quarterback spending at $40.6 million, according to Spotrac. Mahomes, whose NFL odds to win Offensive Player of the Year are +2000, has a cap hit of $35.8 million.
|Team||Quarterback spending||Total spending|
|Kansas City Chiefs||40.6M||218.7M|
|San Francisco 49ers||37.4M||231.8M|
|Green Bay Packers||32.6M||200.4M|
|Las Vegas Raiders||23.0M||187.0M|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||17.1M||199.9M|
|Los Angeles Rams||15.2M||205.1M|
|New York Jets||13.9M||232.8M|
|New York Giants||12.0M||195.5M|
|Los Angeles Chargers||11.0M||225.8M|
|New Orleans Saints||8.0M||192.1M|
|New England Patriots||6.2M||227.7M|
Most Underpaid and Overpaid NFL Players
Underpaid Quarterbacks | Overpaid Running Backs | Underpaid Running Backs | Overpaid Wide Receivers | Underpaid Wide Receivers | Overpaid Offensive Linemen | Underpaid Offensive Linemen | Overpaid Defensive Linemen | Underpaid Defensive Linemen | Overpaid Linebackers | Underpaid Linebackers | Overpaid Defensive Backs | Underpaid Defensive Backs
Most Overpaid Quarterback Groups
While the Chiefs lead the way in paying for signal callers, the Titans are second with much less production.
Ryan Tannehill has the largest cap hit for any player at any position in 2022 at $38.6 million. That’s almost $3 million more than Mahomes, who’s among the best quarterbacks in the league.
Tannehill’s four-year deal with a total of $118 million, $91 million guaranteed, runs through 2023. He has a dead cap hit of $57.4 million this year and $18.8 million next year.
Ryan Tannehill threads the needle to Corey Davis! 6️⃣ points on the board!
— PFF (@PFF) October 20, 2019
Tannehill was impressive to begin his Titans tenure, which prompted Tennessee to offer the contract it did.
In 2019, he passed for 2,742 yards, 22 touchdowns and six picks, while completing 70.3% of his passes in 10 starts. He was named the Comeback Player of the Year.
But since then, his contributions have dwindled. In 2021, he was 27th in DYAR and DVOA, Football Outsiders metrics that measure value.
Tannehill will be 34 years old by the time the 2022 season begins. And while solid positional players surround him, putting together another career resurgence may be tough.
San Francisco 49ers
If the 49ers don’t make any moves, a quarterback who might not even be their starter might take up nearly 13% of their cap. But this is a situation they could more easily get out of than other teams.
Jimmy Garoppolo is set to take up almost $27 million in cap space in 2022. His five-year, $137.5 million deal with $74 million guaranteed ends after the 2022 season.
If the 49ers want to hang on to Garoppolo, they will maintain their position as the third-highest team in QB spending. But he only has $1.4 million in dead cap, so they might not want to.
FINAL: @JimmyG_10 throws 4 TDs in the @49ers' comeback win! #AZvsSF pic.twitter.com/6eeF2wFfTo
— NFL (@NFL) November 18, 2019
San Francisco traded up to take Trey Lance third overall in last year’s draft. Plenty of signs point to him being ready to take on that starting job.
The 49ers seemed like they were headed toward trading Garoppolo. But with Baker Mayfield going to the Panthers — who are 10th in QB spending at $25.3 million with $18.9 million going to Sam Darnold — potential suitors for a trade have dwindled.
The 49ers could keep Garoppolo on the roster, simply as a veteran backup, but doing so would eat up a lot of cash.
The Lions are fifth in the league in quarterback spending at $34.3 million. And their starter is arguably in the lower third among others in the NFL.
Jared Goff has a $31.2 million cap hit in 2022. That’s 14.3% of Detroit’s cap.
Something to keep in mind: Goff didn’t sign this contract with the Lions. He made this deal with the Los Angeles Rams, the team that drafted him first overall in 2016 and traded him, two first-round picks and a third-rounder away for Matthew Stafford last offseason.
Goff’s four-year, $134 million deal included $110 million guaranteed. So while the Lions didn’t construct the contract, they’re still on the hook for paying Goff.
Jared Goff making his introduction to Detroit 🙌
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) September 12, 2021
While he was surrounded by subpar talent in his first year in Detroit, Goff threw for 3,245 yards, 19 touchdowns and eight picks with a 67% completion rate in 2021.
He was 20th by DYAR and DVOA and 28th by Pro Football Focus in 2021. Since 2019, he hasn’t been higher than 15th in any of those categories.
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