Jaylen is saddened to take less guaranteed cash: ‘Money is nice. Championship is better’

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts speaks to members of the media on Monday.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Deshaun Watson contract could become the new norm for quarterbacks. Now, teams can point to the Jalen Hurts deal as a new starting point.

Hurts received a lot of money from the Philadelphia Eagles. His deal was worth $255 million over five years. But NFL fans should know by now what guaranteed money means. Hurts received $179.3 million in guarantees. Again, it’s a stroke of luck, but it wasn’t a fully guaranteed deal that Watson got.

Each player can prioritize what they want when it comes to contract negotiations, and for Hurts, it was a relief to keep the Eagles winning.

“You look at all the great teams with great players, it takes a village,” Hurts said. By Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports. “Something special is happening to us.

“We all want to do it for a long time. It was important to take that approach.”

Jalen Hurts explains his deal

What obligations do stars like Hurts have to other players when it comes to contracts? Fans love when players take a “discount”. Team owners probably love him more. But it makes it more difficult for players in future negotiations.

Watson’s contract was unusual. Watson received $230 million from the Cleveland Browns, which is fully guaranteed. It was part of a unique situation in which multiple teams were trying to trade for Watson and a bidding war ensued. NFL owners didn’t like that guaranteed deal. Lamar Jackson’s inability to land an offer from another team while on the franchise tag seems to be a clear sign that owners aren’t repeating the Watson contract and making it standard.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts speaks to members of the media on Monday.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts speaks to members of the media on Monday. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

For players like Hurts, Joe Burrow or Justin Herbert, they seem to have the leverage to ask for fully guaranteed deals. Hurts was coming off a season in which he finished second in NFL MVP voting, helped the Eagles to the Super Bowl and was brilliant in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. He could have stood firm and asked for a better deal than what Watson got. He’s had more success in the NFL and doesn’t have the off-field baggage Watson has.

Instead, a little more than 70% of Hurts’ big deals are guaranteed. That’s great, and the $179.3 million guaranteed is phenomenal. No one argues otherwise.

But teams will point to Hurts’ deal if the quarterback wants to guarantee all of their money in future negotiations.

“Money is nice. A championship is better,” Hurts said, in words that would please owners.

Should the QB take less?

Over the years, Tom Brady took less than market value with the New England Patriots, and that’s one of the reasons the Patriots had so much success during Brady’s prime years. Brady has no regrets about it. Patrick Mahomes has a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs that is huge but generally accepted as team friendly. The Chiefs just won a Super Bowl.

Other quarterbacks have tried to maximize their earning potential, trying to understand their leverage and the revenue the NFL is generating. They have reasons other than money to take a hard line in negotiations with owners who are seeing unprecedented growth in their franchises. There are also reasons for quarterbacks who have made more or less commitments to allow teams more or less salary-cap flexibility to continue signing free agents.

The problem comes when players who prefer to get the most from owners are compared to quarterbacks who prefer to get less. If a quarterback like Burrow or Herbert chooses to ask for a fully guaranteed deal that hasn’t been seen in the NFL before, you’re going to get plenty of fans and maybe even some media members saying they’re greedy. They are not.

It is not wrong to take less of the Hertz. Players like Kirk Cousins, who have taken advantage of it in a series of almost fully guaranteed deals, aren’t wrong either. But the owners were very happy that Hurts did not hold the Eagles’ feet to the fire after their spectacular season. That makes it easy to dismiss the Watson deal as an outlier.

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