Did the Saints Sign the Worst QB Contract in the NFL?

Did the Saints Sign the Worst QB Contract in the NFL?
Fact Checked by Blake Weishaar

There is no position more important to the Saints playoff chances than the quarterback. The dream scenario for any team is to have an elite level performing quarterback on a rookie contract. However, having a franchise quarterback who has earned a huge new contract isn’t such a bad spot for an organization to be in either. The worst scenario for an NFL team is to be desperate enough that they hand out a large contract to a quarterback whose productions doesn’t necessarily equate to the number they received.

Below is the list of the top-5 worst current QB contracts in the NFL.

RankPlayer (Team)Contract
1Daniel Jones, NYG4yr, $160m
2Derek Carr, NO4yr, $150m
3Lamar Jackson, BAL5yr, $260m
4Russell Wilson, DEN5yr, $245m
5Matthew Stafford, LAR4yr, $160m

To calculate the most overpaid quarterbacks in the NFL, I used overthecap.com to find the player’s total career earnings through the 2022 season and their current contract average per year (APY). I also used Pro-Football-Reference.com to find the player’s total career touchdown number and their touchdown average in career starts. For each of the 14 QBs currently making $30M+ APY, I calculated their average earnings per career touchdown and estimated earnings per touchdown for the 2023 season.

1. DANIEL JONESStatsNFL Rank
Career Earnings / TD$862.9K2nd Most
Current APY$40.0M9th Most
Career TD Avg / Starts1.4Fewest
Estimated Earnings / TD (2023)$1.7MMost
2. DEREK CARRStatsNFL Rank
Career Earnings / TD$735.5K7th Most
Current APY$37.5M12th Most
Career TD Avg / Starts1.62nd Fewest
Estimated Earnings / TD (2023)$1.4M6th Most
3. LAMAR JACKSONStatsNFL Rank
Career Earnings / TD$839.9K3rd Most
Current APY$52.0MMost
Career TD Avg / Starts2.06th Most
Estimated Earnings / TD (2023)$1.5M7th Most
4. RUSSELL WILSONStatsNFL Rank
Career Earnings / TD$711.5K8th Most
Current APY$49.0M4th Most
Career TD Avg / Starts1.96th Fewest
Estimated Earnings / TD (2023)$1.5M7th Most
5. MATTHEW STAFFORDStatsNFL Rank
Career Earnings / TD$863.5KMost
Current APY$40.0M9th Most
Career TD Avg / Starts1.84th Fewest
Estimated Earnings / TD (2023)$1.3M10th Most

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Saints' Might Regret Carr's Contract

Surprisingly, Derek Carr received a 4-year, $150 million contract from the New Orleans Saints this offseason after being released by the Raiders. Unsurprisingly, this has landed Carr in the #2 spot on my list of most overrated QB contracts this season. Did New Orleans overpay Carr?

  • Carr had a losing season in seven of nine years, zero playoff wins, and he threw for 30+ touchdowns in a season just one time in his career (2015).
  • In 2022, Carr had his worst season statistically since his 2014 rookie year and the Raiders finally decided it was best to move on from him. 
  • Carr has averaged just 1.6 touchdowns per start over his nine career seasons, which ranks 13th out of the top-14 highest paid quarterbacks, better than only Giants’ QB Daniel Jones. To compare just how bad Carr has been in the touchdown department: he and Vikings QB Kirk Cousins both rank top-5 in pass attempts since 2017… but Cousins has 44 more passing touchdowns than Carr over that span.
  • Using Carr’s new contract APY of $37.5 million and his 1.6 average touchdowns per career start, he is estimated to earn $1.4 million per touchdown scored in 2023. That is approximately $400,000 more per touchdown than the estimated amount that 2-time NFL MVP winner and 2-time Super Bowl winner Patrick Mahomes will receive next season.

Seems clear to me. The Saints way overpaid for an aging, average (at best) quarterback.

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Author

Michelle is an editorial researcher and fantasy writer for the NFL Network. She also is a co-host for the BallBlast Fantasy Football Podcast and the Gold Diggers Podcast on the 49ers Gold Standard Network.

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