The championship-game hangover is not new for Hurts. He led a go-ahead scoring drive as a freshman at Alabama in the national championship game against Clemson, but Hurts was powerless to watch as Deshaun Watson drove the Tigers downfield for the game-winning score.
Sunday night, the other quarterback doing the same thing was Patrick Mahomes. Hurts’ final Hail Mary attempt in the waning seconds came up several yards shy of the closest possible target. The motivation then was the same as it’ll be now, Hurts said.
“I remember sitting there (as an) 18-year-old kid saying, ‘My sophomore year starts tomorrow,'” Hurts said, according to The Athletic’s Zach Berman. “Nothing changes now. Going into Year 4 hungrier than ever, starving for more.”
Eventually, though, that extension is expected to come — and the wait might be long. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported prior to Super Bowl LVII kickoff that — win or lose — the Eagles were prepared to open negotiations.
“As soon as (Super Bowl LVII) is over, the Eagles will turn their attention to locking in their big-time franchise QB to a massive deal,” Rapoport said.
As a second-round pick in 2020, Hurts is not eligible for the fifth-year option that comes with first-round picks, such as the quarterbacks who were drafted ahead of him — Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert and Jordan Love. That means Hurts is entering the final year of his deal, currently slated to make a base salary of a little more than $4.2 million and bonuses totaling nearly $600,000.
If an extension goes down this offseason, that salary will rise exponentially.
“There is no bigger priority for Philadelphia for getting this done,” Rapoport reported. “His price tag is only going up. The more he has won, the higher the price tag is going to be.
“He’s a good teammate, and I’m sure whatever contract he does, it’s going to be something where he can keep the pieces around him. But it’s going to be expensive.”
Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers leads all quarterback contracts at an average per year just north of $50 million. Denver’s Russell Wilson is next at $49 million, followed by Arizona’s Kyler Murray ($46.1 million APY), Cleveland’s Watson ($46 million) and Mahomes ($45 million).
Considering how Hurts has played — not only in the Super Bowl, but also this past season, when he was the MVP runner-up to Mahomes — the floor for his contract might be $47 million per year. Between the regular season and playoffs, Hurts combined for 25 TD passes and only six INTs and ran for 18 touchdowns.
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