After three highly successful seasons, Justin Herbert has begun contract talks with the Chargers. Head coach Brandon Staley confirmed that Herbert and the team have started the process of discussing a new deal.
Staley said he is confident the 25-year-old Herbert will be the Chargers quarterback "for a very long time."
"[We've got to] just be patient," Staley said from the NFL owners meetings when asked about a possible timetable to get a deal done, via ESPN. "But the major takeaway is that Justin Herbert is going to be our quarterback, and we're so excited that he is leading our franchise."
Chargers general manager Tom Telesco feels the same way, even though he's very aware this new deal will be expensive. He calls the issue of the upcoming extension, a "good problem to have."
"There's a lot that will go into it, obviously, with these type of contracts and the numbers that it's gonna be, but it's just a good problem to have," Telesco said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. "You have a franchise quarterback that's now moving into a franchise veteran quarterback. There's a lot of good things that come with that.
"Now, the flip side is we'll build the team a little bit differently. We'll transition through that the next couple years. But I'm not losing a lot of sleep over it. Yeah, I know the numbers are gonna be big. He's earned it. But we think we can win a Super Bowl with him. So, that's a good problem to have. We'll get it done at some point, and then we'll go from there."
Herbert is expected to receive a contract that will pay him more than $50 million annually. Aaron Rodgers is currently the only quarterback who is earning more than $50 million per season. Herbert's contract will surely be monitored by Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, a fellow 2020 first-round pick who is also expected to receive an extension this offseason.
Herbert played through a painful injury early in the 2022 season that resulted in him having surgery to repair a torn labrum at the start of the offseason (he is expected to be cleared for offseason activities). He suffered a rib cartilage fracture in the Chargers' Week 2 loss to the Chiefs. Herbert played through the injury while starting in each of the Chargers' 17 regular-season games. His play throughout the season helped the team capture its first playoff berth since 2018.
Herbert threw for 273 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions in his first career playoff game, but the Chargers lost a one-point game to the Jaguars after leading 27-0 in the AFC wild-card round. The Chargers' collapse in Jacksonville led to them firing offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and quarterback coach Shane Day.
Herbert, who will play under his third different offensive coordinator when the 2023 season begins, completed a career-high 68.2% of his passes last season. He also threw for 4,739 yards despite his top-two receivers -- Keenan Allen and Mike Williams -- dealing with injuries during the season. Herbert became the first player in NFL history to start his career with three straight 4,000-yard passing seasons.
He is now projected to be one of, if not the NFL's highest-paid player assuming the Chargers make him the NFL's second $50 million quarterback.