National Football League
Who's next to join Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence in the $50 Million Club?
National Football League

Who's next to join Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence in the $50 Million Club?

Published Jun. 20, 2024 2:44 p.m. ET

The quarterback market has exploded recently, with elite QBs commanding $50 million-plus annually on contract extensions. The $50 Million Club has a new member, Trevor Lawrence, who on Thursday officially signed a five-year, $275 million extension to keep him in Jacksonville through 2031.

Though the No. 1 overall pick from the 2021 draft is coming off a subpar year by the lofty standards that accompany top picks, Lawrence has played well for a coach regarded as a quarterback whisperer. Since Doug Pederson arrived in 2022, Lawrence has posted back-to-back 4,000-yard seasons with a 46:22 touchdown-to-interception ratio. In addition, he has guided the Jaguars to back-to-back winning seasons and a playoff victory after the franchise hadn't had a season above .500 in 13 of the 14 years before his arrival.

Surveying the list of the highest-paid quarterbacks, Lawrence now commands $50 million-plus annually along with Joe Burrow ($55 million), Justin Herbert ($52.5 million), Lamar Jackson ($52 million), and Jalen Hurts ($51 million). While Lawrence does not possess a résumé that rivals his predecessors in the club, his accomplishments are on par with the majority of the next tier of passers on the list, including Kyler Murray ($46.1 million), Deshaun Watson ($46 million) and Kirk Cousins ($45 million).


If you're wondering where Patrick Mahomes ranks on that list, the three-time Super Bowl champion raised the bar for quarterback pay with a 10-year, $450 million contract in 2020 that ushered in a wave of blockbuster deals for the position.

[READ MORE: What Trevor Lawrence’s extension means for Jaguars’ contention in 2024 and beyond]

With Lawrence taking the position to another level on the pay scale, the football world is paying close attention to the next collection of quarterbacks poised to break the bank. Tua Tagovailoa, Jordan Love and Dak Prescott are in line to sign deals that could push them past the doormen at the $50 Million Club, potentially even before next season. The trio has earned a golden ticket with their stellar play in a league that revolves around the quarterback.

Tagovailoa is coming off the best season of his career, with an NFL-best 4,624 passing yards and top-five finishes in completion percentage (69.3%), touchdowns (29) and passer rating (101.5). The Dolphins star is scheduled to play on a fifth-year option that will pay him $23.1 million in 2024. 

Given how well Tagovailoa meshes with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle in an offense built around quick-rhythm passing concepts that accentuate the quarterback's strengths as an RPO (run-pass option) master, the Dolphins must open up the checkbook to keep their QB1 in the fold and remain competitive in a loaded AFC.

Despite the injury concerns that have followed Tagovailoa — dislocated right hip and posterior wall fracture at Alabama and multiple concussions in 2022 — the fifth-year pro has excelled in Mike McDaniel's system. Tagovailoa has posted back-to-back seasons averaging eight-plus yards per attempt (8.9 and 8.3, respectively, in 2022 and 2023), at least 25 passing touchdowns (25 and 29) and a passer rating above 100.0 (105.5 and 101.1).

Considering the Dolphins have earned playoff berths each of those seasons, Tagovailoa can point to Lawrence's contract as a starting point based on their comparable numbers and achievements.

Should Tua Tagovailoa reset the QB market?

Love can make a similar argument based on his emergence as a top-10 quarterback following an impressive debut campaign as a starter. The fourth-year pro posted a 4,000-yard season after replacing a four-time league MVP in Green Bay. Love finished 2023 with a 64.2% completion rate, 4,159 passing yards, a 32:11 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a 96.1 passer rating.

With a sensational finish over the last seven games — including a 70% completion rate, 2,150 pass yards, and an 18:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio (112.7 passer rating) during that span to push the Packers into the postseason — Love flashed the blue-chip potential that GM Brian Gutekunst and coach Matt LaFleur wanted to see in their new franchise quarterback.

Love will seek a hefty raise over the $11 million on the books for the 2024 season and based on his top-10 quarterback talent status, his admittance into the $50 Million Club is only a matter of time.

In that club reserved for the best of the best, Prescott could have an exclusive spot in the VIP section as the NFL's first $60 million player. In 2024, he'll play out the last season of a four-year, $160 million contract. While some Cowboys fans would like to see a new quarterback in Dallas, Prescott will draw a lot of interest on the open market as a three-time Pro Bowler with a 73-41 career record (64.0%) and three seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards and 30 touchdowns.

What does Trevor Lawrence's deal mean for Dak Prescott?

Considering he has hit those marks in every season in which he has played at least 16 games since 2019, Prescott could see his value skyrocket with a stellar 2024. He possesses the leadership qualities and intangibles team-builders covet in a franchise quarterback, and his game meshes with any system. Though naysayers will point to his 2-5 playoff record as an area of concern, he owns the same postseason mark as Lamar Jackson, and the two-time MVP got the bag from the Baltimore Ravens last year after a contentious contract negotiation.

On the free-agent market at age 31, Prescott will have enough suitors to push the money into the $60 million range based on his performance, production and potential as a franchise player.

While some in the football world are struggling with the exploding quarterback market, the $50 Million Club is on the verge of gaining a few new members. 

Bucky Brooks is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. He also breaks down the game for NFL Network and as a cohost of the "Moving the Sticks" podcast. Follow him on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.

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