With Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson signing record contracts in the last couple years, we've seen a lot of hand wringing over how much QBs are making. If we squint at the raw figures, it sure seems like a lot - but the cap has gone up quite a bit in the last 10 years, so are these contracts really out of line?
I took a deep dive into the cap hit for the starting QBs for the winning and losing super bowl teams for the last 10 years. Check out the data here: https://docs.google.com/...ZRS05lg/edit?usp=sharing
4/10 SB winners had cap hits of over 10%. Only 1 had a cap hit below 6.6%.
The average cap space for all QBs that played in the super bowl was 8.6%. Only 5/20 had cap percentages below 5% - Russell Wilson twice, Jared Goff, and two QBs that started the season as backups: Colin Kaepernick & Nick Foles. Nick Foles' cap hit skyrocketed the next year due to the way his contract was structured.
80% of the QBs had a hit of at least 4.3%. Half had a cap hit over 10% (there was an even split between the winners and losers).
Super Bowl losing QBs were paid slightly more (9.1% vs 8.1%).
Tom Brady had the highest cap hit for winning QBs with 12.4 in 2018. Peyton Manning had the highest for the losers with 17.2% (!).
So, let's look at some myths.QBs are making too much money these days, you can't win with one player taking up so much cap space.
This is demonstrably false. In fact, most teams that win or get to the super bowl devote a big chunk of the cap to their QB. Teams with elite QBs tend to win super bowls. Additionally, paying a lot of money to franchise QBs is nothing new, as is clearly evident in the data. The cap goes up, salaries go up, it's as simple as that.The new trend is cheap QBs on rookie contracts.
The only example of a QB on a rookie contract winning the SB since the new rookie wage scale took effect is Russell Wilson, who had an especially low cap number being taken in the 3rd round. This is an aberration, not a trend, and has been corrected with Wilson's 2nd and 3rd contracts. Had the Rams won last year, Goff got paid 7.6 million dollars, cheap for elite QBs, but not exactly a bargain basement contract.
The Eagles sort of qualify here as well, given that Carson Wentz was their starter, and they didn't pay Nick Foles much since he was the backup. However, this is a pretty odd situation that is unlikely to be repeated in the near future.Aaron Rodger's new contract is totally crazy and the Packers are screwed.
Aaron Rodger's cap hit was 11.3% last year. This is par for the course for an elite QB, and half of the QBs who made it to the SB in the last 10 years had a similar cap hit. I'm not sure what his cap hit will be in the next few years, and certainly, if he starts to suck it will look bad, but so far it looks like the going market rate rather than any sort of extravagance.