Fitzgerald agreed to an eight-year deal that could pay him up to $120 million. He’ll receive $50 million in guaranteed money. He will average $15 million a year. What kind of impact will it have on Jackson, who the Chargers gave the franchise tag to this year and who is a free agent after the season?
Well, all big contracts raise the bar for future deals at the position.
However, Fitzgerald’s is a different case and I don’t think it will affect Jackson or any other receiver (the Eagles’ DeSean Jackson and the Lions’ Calvin Johnson both could be up for new deals soon). Fitzgerald’s deal does not set set the bar for anyone but himself. He is an icon in Arizona. He is the face of the organization and he is a likely future hall of famer. The Cardinals had to give Fitzgerald this deal.
If other receivers think they are going to get a similar deal, I think they will be fooling themselves. If Vincent Jackson has a big season and stays clean off the field, he will be paid large by either the Chargers or another team in free agency.
But he shouldn’t except Fitzgerald scratch.