Quarterback contracts are fun to look at, when your team’s not paying them, that is. Andrew Luck just signed a massive six-year, $140 million extension, worth nearly $25 million per season and includes a ridiculous $87 million in guaranteed money, though that will be unlocked at various dates.
That contract is massively different from Jameis Winston’s, that other first overall quarterback pick. Winston signed a fully guaranteed, four-year, $25 million contract as a rookie, with a fifth-year option. While the Indianapolis Colts will struggle to field a competitive team, the Bucs are fortunate enough to have a good quarterback, and even a potentially elite one, for one fifth of the price the Colts are paying for Andrew Luck.
That also means the Bucs have a relatively narrow window within which to build a highly competitive and expensive team, before Winston earns a new contract and his cap hits start crippling the team’s ability to spend too much money at other positions. Such is the life of NFL teams: have no quarterback and you have no chance, have a quarterback and you have to pay them so much money that it restricts you elsewhere.
The upside of that whole situation is that every competitive NFL team faces the same problem. The only teams that aren’t paying a quarterback $20+ million per year and aren’t set to do so within a few years, are teams that desperately want to do that and have no chance of competing.