Jared Goff Still On Rookie Contract, But He Won’t Be For Long

Jared Goff against New Orleans
Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images

There’s a bit of a difference in the contracts between the two starting quarterbacks in Super Bowl LIII, which will be played Sunday night in Atlanta between the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots.

Tom Brady, the Patriots’ quarterback, earned a $15 million base salary in the 2018 season, which makes him the highest-paid player on his team, according to data from sports salary-tracking website Spotrac.

Jared Goff, who starts at quarterback for the Rams, earned $6.9 million this year, less than half of what Brady will earn. Goff is the 9th-highest-paid player on the Rams.

Does this mean Brady is twice as good as Goff? Not exactly. It has more to do with the odd idiosyncrasies of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement and the economics of professional football.

Goff was drafted by the Rams with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft in April of 2016 after the Rams traded up to a top position in the draft. Shortly afterward, the team signed Goff to a contract for $27.9 million over four years, with an $18.6 million signing bonus, per NFL Network.

The reason for those numbers being lower than those of more veteran players is that the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement imposed, for the first time, a rookie wage scale that reduced salaries for newly drafted players. The last top overall pick to get a huge deal under the old rules was Sam Bradford, another quarterback taken No. 1 in the draft by the Rams. Bradford had signed for six years and $86 million in 2010.

Tom Brady, on the other hand, is a veteran player who has signed several contract extensions over the course of his 19-year career and is not under any such restriction. Brady’s career earnings are believed to have crossed the $200 million mark during the 2018 season, per the Street.

There are a couple of things worth mentioning in regard to Brady’s salary. He’s thought to be less wealthy than his wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, and he has agreed various times over the years to accept less money in order to help make the Patriots remain competitive. Brady has given up more than $60 million in his career to help the team stay under the salary cap and sign other players, Business Insider determined last month.

So how long will Goff have to wait for an even bigger payday? Probably not very long. Goff is eligible for a contract extension as soon as this offseason, when Goff will have a chance to earn as much as $30 million a year, especially coming off of a Super Bowl run. Also eligible this offseason are quarterbacks from the same draft, such as the Eagles’ Carson Wentz and the Cowboys’ Dak Prescott.