There was a time when I would have wagered $255 million that Jalen Hurts would never be the highest paid player in NFL history. Now I’m glad I couldn’t find somebody to take that bet. The history-making five-year contract extension Hurts landed Monday represents a career vertical liftoff that rivals anything ever witnessed at Cape Canaveral.
I’ve always liked Hurts as both as an athlete and a person dating back to his college days at Alabama and Oklahoma. Even before that, in high school, Hurts earned a reputation as a fierce competitor and an inspiring leader. But I had tremendous reservations about Jalen as an NFL starting quarterback when the Eagles selected him in the second round of the 2020 draft. To a degree, so did the Eagles, who slotted him for a backup job behind—wait for it—Carson Wentz. Job One for an NFL QB is, and will always be, to throw the ball like an NFL QB. And three years ago, he could not do that.
Now three years later, his new deal will earn him an average of $51 million annually, rocketing past Aaron Rodgers. Hurts’ guarantees total $179.304 million.
“We have liftoff!. And the tower is cleared…”
This story is not just rare, it’s unprecedented. This just doesn’t happen. Hurts, while retaining and refining his electrifying running skills, is now not just a “chucker.” He’s an NFL passer, and a top-flight one at that, as anyone who saw Super Bowl LVII attests.
Elite passing skills almost always come under the heading of, “You either got ‘em or you ain’t.” Nobody “becomes” a top-drawer passer.
Except Jalen Hurts. The Eagles just forked over $255 million. And they know they got a bargain. The agents for Joe Burrow, Josh Allen and Justin Herbert just lit up Aeurbachian-sized cigars.
Now let’s see what happens contractually with the “other” QB in Super Bowl LVII. You know, the winning one. Patrick Mahomes is woefully underpaid, at least by the NFL’s current stratospheric standards. The Chiefs will make it right. I was not the least bit surprised Monday when Mahomes disclosed that he’s still not 100 percent following that ugly high ankle sprain that he fought through in second half of the divisional win over the Jags, followed by the entireties of the AFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl. He’ll still be feeling that on rainy days 30 years from now.
It was good to see Matthew Stafford wearing a relaxed smile at a Rams news conference. I don’t think I saw him smile one time in 2022 as he dealt with a severe elbow injury as well as post-SB pressure and expectations.
Are you certain you know what the Texans will do with that #2 overall pick? I’m not. And I don’t think Houston G.M. Nick Caserio knows yet either, even as he had to spend a large part of his Monday denying rumors that he will resign after the draft to return to the Patriots, from whence he came.
Remember when running back was a coveted and showcased position in the NFL? Yeah, me, too…
First, he was Robby Anderson. Then he changed his name to Robbie Anderson. Then the WR changed his name to Chosen Anderson and Monday was “chosen” by the Dolphins who signed him to a one-year contract. I’ll say this for Anderson. You gotta be pretty secure to legally change your first name to Chosen when you’re coming off a season in which you caught a total of seven passes for a total of 76 yards in ten games with the Cardinals.
I keep trying to like Draymond Green. He keeps on making it difficult, both on me and on his Warrior teammates, who are down 0-2 to the Kings and may be without him in Game 3, thanks in large part to Green’s childish petulance and lack of self-control. Never press down hard on a person’s chest unless you are administering CPR.