Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley recently offered high praise for young quarterback Justin Herbert and explained how the 24-year-old has grown as a leader since fans last saw him slinging passes against a live defense. Herbert’s physical gifts are undeniable, and ESPN stats show he ended last season third among all eligible signal-callers with a 65.6 total QBR and 38 passing touchdowns. He was also second behind only Tom Brady with 5,014 yards through the air.
As Charean Williams mentioned for Pro Football Talk, Herbert was selected in the first round of the 2020 draft and, thus, will become eligible for a contract extension following the upcoming campaign. He spoke with Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports for a piece published Thursday and made it clear he’s focusing more on notching wins than on getting paid at this stage of his career.
“We haven’t discussed anything but I’ve been so fortunate to play for the Chargers,” Herbert remarked about possibly signing an extension. “Whatever happens, happens. I’m just so excited to be here and play football. This has been a great opportunity and I don’t wish it went any other way.
“I love that I was drafted here and that I have been able to play here. I think we’re doing all the right things. I believe in the staff, all the teammates, the front office. So all I can do is hope for the best. It’s out of my control, but I’ll keep playing football.”
For better or for worse, considering all that’s already happened and could still occur, the Cleveland Browns awarded quarterback Deshaun Watson with a fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract this offseason. That deal unquestionably will reset the market for the position and could lead to Herbert potentially putting pen to paper on a historic agreement of his own at some point in 2023.