The news of Odell Beckham Jr.'s new deal, worth $90 million in base salary plus a possible $5 million in incentives, brought joy and dancing to the Giants' locker room and quiet to one of the team's loudest off-field concerns. It's a win for Beckham, obviously, and for the Giants, who have secured the services (and, presumably, the happiness) of their best player for the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers recently agreed to a four-year extension worth $134 million in base salary, including nearly $103 million in guarantees. Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald agreed to a six-year deal worth $135 million, including $87 million guaranteed, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. And on Khalil Mack, after being traded to the Bears, agreed to a six-year, $141 million extension.
What do those deals mean for the rest of the league?
Yes, those extensions reignite our occasional series that would be titled (if it had a title) "Who's Getting Paid Next?" This time, we'll do it position by position, starting with Rodgers' deal.
Biggest current contract: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers. Rodgers agreed Wednesday to a four-year extension worth $134 million in base salary, including nearly $103 million in guarantees.
Who's next to get paid? The QB market should cool down a bit now that Rodgers has signed. The top guys potentially on next year's free-agent market are Tyrod Taylor and Teddy Bridgewater, neither of whom is likely to rock the top-of-the-market boat.
Who'll top Rodgers' deal? Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are 2020 free agents who'll be in line for extensions this time next year. Wilson in particular could threaten the Rodgers/Matt Ryan numbers with a monster 2018 season. There are also some older QBs like Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Tom Brady who'd be up for extensions next summer, but that's a bit of a different market at this point.
Biggest current contract: Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants. Five years, $90 million (plus $5 million in potential incentives), $65 million injury guarantee, $41 million guaranteed at signing.
Who's next to get paid? Detroit's Golden Tate has one year left on his deal and is looking for a new one. Tyler Lockett is a guy Seattle could look to lock up long term (Update: Lockett agreed to a three-year contract extension). And it's possible the Bills could do something with Kelvin Benjamin before season's end. None of those players is likely to land a deal in Beckham's neighborhood, though. (Some might ask about Josh Gordon, but he's in line for restricted free agency next year, whereas these other three guys would be unrestricted. That hurts Gordon's market value, even if he does play all 16 games and perform the way he's capable of performing.)
Who'll top Beckham's deal? Julio Jones is the easy answer. He'll hit the 2019 offseason with two years left on his deal, but part of the way the Falcons got him to camp this year was by assuring him they'd renegotiate next year. He'll be 30 next summer, whereas Beckham is still only 25, but a big year by Jones could position him to break Beckham's record. The Saints' Michael Thomas, the Raiders' Amari Cooper, the Chiefs' Tyreek Hill and the Bengals' A.J. Green are among the 2020 free agents who could be looking for big new extensions next summer and could, if they light it up this year, threaten Beckham's numbers.
Who's next to get paid? The Cardinals' do-everything David Johnson is looking to get a new deal done before the season starts. He's a good enough player to ask for Gurley money, but he's also coming off a year lost to injury and his $1.8825 million 2018 salary provides a lower starting point than Gurley's $9.6 million 2019 option did and a far lower one than Le'Veon Bell's $14.544 million franchise tag does.
Who'll top Gurley's deal? As mentioned, it's not crazy to think Johnson could, but Bell is the more likely answer. The franchise player rules prohibit the Steelers from doing a deal with Bell before the end of the season, but they're not likely to be able to franchise him again in 2019, so he's in line for unrestricted free agency and a huge payday if he gets through 2018 healthy. Mark Ingram, Jay Ajayi and Johnson would join Bell on next year's market if not extended sooner. Melvin Gordon and Jordan Howard are 2020 free agents who could be looking for extensions next summer.
Biggest current contract: Depending on how you look at it, it's either Kansas City's Travis Kelce or Green Bay's Jimmy Graham. Kelce's deal is five years, $46.8 million with $20 million in injury guarantees and $10.517 million guaranteed at signing. Graham got a three-year, $30 million free-agent deal from the Packers in March, but only $11 million is guaranteed.
Who's next to get paid? Technically, Rob Gronkowski. If he reaches the new incentive clauses the Patriots just put in (as they seem to every year, to nominally keep his contract in line with the top of the market without actually doing that), he'll make $13.05 million in 2018. But his contract remains an odd year-to-year proposition that's always changing but can't be counted among the largest in the league at the position because so little is guaranteed.
Who'll top Kelce/Graham? Now that Gronk is taken care of, this market doesn't look too ripe for in-season extensions. Cincinnati's Tyler Eifert is the biggest potential name on next year's free-agent tight end market, should he (finally) be able to get through a season healthy. But the next truly big tight end deal may have to come in 2020 from someone like a Hunter Henry or an Evan Engram, if one of them hits it really big before the end of his rookie deal. Zach Ertz could be up for an extension that summer as well.
Who's next to get paid? Hard to say for sure, as teams have locked up tackles such as Lewan, Jake Matthews, Duane Brown and Rob Havenstein already this summer to keep them off next year's market. Former first-round picks Ereck Flowers of the Giants and Cedric Ogbuehi in Cincinnati would need major breakout years to land paydays next summer. Tampa Bay left tackle Donovan Smith will be a free agent as well.
Who'll top Lewan? Maybe someone like a Jack Conklin or Laremy Tunsil when their time comes, but that's not for a while. Washington's Brandon Scherff will be in line for a big extension next summer and could become the highest-paid guard, but he's not likely to threaten Lewan's top-tackle numbers.
Biggest current contract: Khalil Mack, Bears. Six years, $141 million, $90 million injury guarantee, $60 million guaranteed at signing.
Who's next to get paid? Jadeveon Clowney should be getting an extension from Houston at some point soon, Seattle's looking to sign Frank Clark long term, and franchise players DeMarcus Lawrence (Dallas) and Ezekiel Ansah (Detroit) could find themselves on next year's free-agent market.
Who'll top Mack? It's unlikely Clowney's new deal will top Mack or Aaron Donald, who are now the two highest-paid defensive players by far. And Lawrence or Ansah would need to have a monster year to get into that neighborhood. But watch out for the Chargers' Joey Bosa, whose fifth-year-option season would be 2020 and could be in line for a record-breaking deal at that time if he continues to play the way he has his first two years in the league.
Biggest current contract: Aaron Donald, Rams. Six years, $135 million, including $87 million guaranteed, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Who's next to get paid? Donald and Geno Atkins were the answers a week ago, but this market is humming. Grady Jarrett could be next in line for a big extension from the Falcons, and Minnesota's Sheldon Richardson, Green Bay's Muhammad Wilkerson and Dallas' David Irving are the top names on the 2019 free-agent market at this position.
Who'll top Donald? Nobody anytime soon, which was part of the point of the Donald deal -- to reset the defensive player market in a way that prevents the contract from being obsolete in a couple of years. Leonard Williams and DeForest Buckner are a couple of young studs at the position who could break the bank, but it may fall to someone like Jonathan Allen or Daron Payne, and one of them would have to be pretty special over the next couple of years to get there.
Who's next to get paid? Traditional linebackers -- meaning 4-3 linebackers or 3-4 inside linebackers -- aren't a premium position in terms of how teams allocate major spending, because they aren't positions where guys end up getting a lot of sacks. But some do crack that eight-figure-a-year mark, and next year's free-agent market could feature the likes of K.J. Wright, Anthony Barr and C.J. Mosley.
Who'll top Collins? Let's go with Mosley here, as he seems positioned as a key cog for a Baltimore team that has traditionally hung its hat on defense.
Biggest current contract: Josh Norman, Washington. Five years, $75 million, $50 million injury guarantee, $36 million guaranteed at signing.
Who's next to get paid? Bradley Roby in Denver and Ronald Darby in Philadelphia look from this point to be the biggest names on the potential 2019 free-agent cornerback market. Either or both could get extended during this coming season.
Who'll top Norman? Minnesota's Trae Waynes and the Rams' Marcus Peters are the names to watch for the next big cornerback deals. Each is scheduled to play 2019 on a fifth-year rookie contract option, which means the time to extend them would be next summer. Following that, look out for Jacksonville's Jalen Ramsey to top them all in the summer of 2020, if not sooner.
Who's next to get paid? Could be Earl Thomas if the Seahawks decide to give him the extension he wants or trade him to someone who will. Failing that, potential 2019 free agents in line for extensions include the Giants' Landon Collins and the Packers' Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. As the Rams' franchise player, Lamarcus Joyner can't negotiate a new deal until after this season.
Who'll top Berry? The premise of this entire article is that the Giants aren't afraid to pay top dollar for their top players, so Collins is the easy answer here. Joyner could certainly top Berry if the Rams let him onto next year's free-agent market. And who's to say what Tyrann Mathieu might be able to do if he has a healthy and productive season on his one-year deal in Houston?