In the realm of professional sports, few positions come with a more enticing paycheck than that of an NFL quarterback. Recently, the Indianapolis Colts secured Jonathan Taylor with a hefty $42 million deal – a substantial sum by all accounts. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that nine different quarterbacks will out-earn Taylor this season alone. Being an NFL quarterback, especially a starting one, undoubtedly pays off. Unless, of course, you’re Brock Purdy of the San Francisco 49ers.
In that case, you might just be the biggest steal in the history of the NFL.
At the time of this writing, Brock Purdy boasts a flawless record in regular-season games as the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. He not only leads the league in quarterback rating but has also successfully completed almost three out of every four passes. Purdy’s exceptional performance positions him as an early contender for the league MVP title. Yet, through no fault of his own, the 49ers will be paying him less than $1 million for this season – a figure that repeats next season.
From Irrelevant to NFL Star
Rewind to 2022, and Brock Purdy was the very last pick in the NFL Draft, bearing the title of “Mr. Irrelevant” as the 262nd overall selection. Initially the third-string quarterback, his destiny took an unexpected turn after injuries sidelined both Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo. As a result, Purdy was thrust into the starting role. The 49ers’ journey led them to the NFC Championship Game against the Philadelphia Eagles, where Purdy’s luck finally ran out due to an elbow injury, resulting in a 31-7 loss.
Fast forward to the present, and Purdy stands as the key player in San Francisco, with both Lance and Garoppolo donning new team jerseys. Despite offseason surgery on his elbow, Purdy has impeccably lived up to the high expectations placed upon him. His performance is akin to a seasoned quarterback with over a decade of experience, rather than a player with merely a dozen games under his belt. Yet, due to league regulations governing rookie contracts, Purdy remains locked into a predetermined salary for his first three NFL seasons.
A Lopsided Comparison
To emphasize the astounding nature of this bargain, consider the following comparisons. Purdy’s contract will yield an average of $930,000 per season. For context, Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow, who signed the most substantial deal in NFL history in terms of average annual value right before the season commenced, will be making an astonishing $55 million per year. Meanwhile, Jalen Hurts, the opposing quarterback during the NFC Championship Game, secured a $255 million contract extension this offseason, which dwarfs Purdy’s entire deal worth approximately $3.73 million. Even defensive end Travon Walker, the first pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, is set to earn $37.3 million over four years with the Jacksonville Jaguars – a staggering ten times the value of Purdy’s contract. Notably, Walker’s contract is fully guaranteed, in sharp contrast to Purdy’s deal, which only includes $77,012 in guarantees.
The Epitome of Bargain and Brilliance
Among the 84 quarterbacks in the NFL, Purdy ranks as the 80th highest-paid – a stunning fact considering his exceptional performance. He doesn’t even crack the top 1,000 in terms of salary among all NFL players. The term “Mr. Irrelevant” is typically reserved for a player who doesn’t see the field or make a meaningful impact on their team. Yet, Brock Purdy has defied convention. He’s not only an invaluable player on the field but also an unexpected financial gem for the San Francisco 49ers.
As we admire the 49ers’ adeptness at securing Purdy at an astonishingly low salary for the current and upcoming season, it’s important to note that Purdy won’t have the opportunity to renegotiate his contract until the 2024 offseason. When that time comes, it’s almost certain that the rising star will score a massive payday – rightfully so.
In the realm of NFL bargains, Brock Purdy has undoubtedly emerged as a shining star, making history both on the field and in the financial books. His journey is a testament to the unpredictability and magic of professional football. The San Francisco 49ers better savor the incredible value they’ve found in Purdy, for it won’t last forever.