Projecting second contracts for top 2019 NFL draft picks: $280 million for Kyler Murray? How much money could Nick Bosa, Deebo Samuel get?
Inglewood, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) runs after a catch against the Los Angeles Rams in the first half during the NFC Championship Game at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The 2019 NFL draft class has proven to be loaded with talent on both sides of the ball — particularly at the wide receiver position.
A few notable stars, such as A.J. Brown and Las Vegas Raiders edge defender Maxx Crosby, have already signed top-of-market deals this offseason, but the vast majority are still looking to cash in on their second contracts before Week 1 of the 2022 season kicks off in September.
Kyler Murray and Deebo Samuel‘s extensions have led the news this offseason. From Samuel requesting a trade, then seemingly making up with the San Francisco 49ers to Murray's extension talks becoming public early on in the offseason, there is much debate on these contracts and how big they might end up being.
Which players from the Class of 2019 could sign massive deals before the season begins, and who might benefit from waiting until 2023 for an extension? PFF projects what the 10 biggest deals from the class could look like, from Murray's $250-plus million deal to large payouts for the wide receivers.
The projected contracts are ranked by guaranteed money, starting with Murray:
Murray and his camp put pressure on the Cardinals to get an extension done just weeks after the Super Bowl in late February, wasting absolutely no time before bringing extension talks to the public. Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen — the only first-round quarterback from the 2018 draft who got an extension done last offseason — signed his pact on August 6, 2021, so there's still plenty of time to work out a new deal for Murray.
Because Murray earned two Pro Bowl nods in his first three seasons, his $29.7 million fifth-year option for 2023 is the largest in NFL history — and he surely wants a multi-year extension that reflects the strong start to his career.
In the meantime, the Cardinals made an aggressive move on Day 1 of the 2022 draft to acquire wide receiver Marquise Brown from the Baltimore Ravens — a college teammate of Murray's at Oklahoma — to be the top receiving option while DeAndre Hopkins serves a six-game suspension.
Murray has earned the highest PFF grade on throws of 20-plus yards in the NFL over the last two seasons with a 98.8 mark, and the Brown addition will go a long way in continuing that trend. All signs point to a deal eventually getting done, even as Murray drives a hard bargain at the negotiating table while looking for a deal that reflects the new quarterback market, where Aaron Rodgers is now the top earner at just over $50 million per year.
Contract projection: Six years, $280 million ($46.67 million per year), $155 million total guaranteed
Bosa has been one of the league's best edge defenders from Day 1 of his career, even while missing the majority of the 2020 season with a torn ACL. Since 2019, Bosa's 18.9% PFF pass-rush win rate ranks seventh, and his 16% pressure percentage ranks third among edge defenders.
He was the 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year, and — more importantly for contract purposes — made two Pro Bowls in his first three seasons. As a result, Bosa's 2023 fifth-year option carries an increased value of $17,869,000. His brother, Los Angeles Chargers star Joey Bosa, reset the position market with his five-year, $135 million contract in 2020. Nick will almost certainly do the same. He has a good shot to become the first non-quarterback in NFL history to earn $30 million annually, and he deserves every penny.
Contract projection: Five years, $150 million ($30M per year), $105 million total guaranteed
Burns was productive at Florida State and was a favorite of many analysts prior to the 2019 draft, but he fell to the No. 16 overall pick because of questions surrounding his size and ability to defend against the run. Through three seasons these concerns appear to have some merit, as Burns has struggled against the run and as a tackler. However, that is not what gets an edge rusher paid in this league — getting after the quarterback does, and that's where Burns excels.
Burns' 107 quarterback pressures over the last two seasons rank 11th among edge defenders, his 83.8 pass-rush grade ranks 16th, and his 18 sacks are tied for 12th with Tampa Bay Buccaneers edge defender Shaquil Barrett.
Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer has made it clear that getting a long-term deal done with Burns is a top priority.
Contract projection: Five years, $120 million ($24M per year), $95 million total guaranteed
Simmons may not have been a household name prior to the 2021 season, but he definitely should be now after a dominant campaign that extended into the Titans' brief playoff appearance, where he sacked Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow three times in a narrow 19-16 defeat. Simmons tore his ACL just two months prior to the 2019 draft but has already demonstrated why he remained a top-20 draft selection with rare strength and explosiveness off the line.
A handful of interior defenders — the Giants‘ Leonard Williams, Colts‘ DeForest Buckner and Chiefs‘ Chris Jones — are new members of the $20 million per year club, but none have been able to match the great Aaron Donald‘s $22.5 million per year deal signed in 2018. Donald is looking for an extension this offseason that, even at 31 years old, could best his own record.
Therefore, Simmons could wait until this deal gets done before resuming negotiations under a new position market shortly before the 2022 season gets underway. Simmons is one of just seven interior defenders with more than 100 quarterback pressures over the last two seasons, landing at sixth with 103. The current five highest-paid interior defenders in the NFL — along with Cameron Heyward, whose deal ranks ninth and was signed when he was 31 years old — round out the group. There is no reason Simmons won't join this group of elite interior pass-rushers from a financial standpoint as well.
Contract projection: Five years, $110 million ($22M per year), $70 million total guaranteed