Top Extension Candidate for Every NFL Team: Justin Jefferson, Tua Tagovailoa, Jordan Love Could Get Paid This Summer

Jaylen Waddle and Nico Collins won't be the only NFL players to receive new deals this summer. We break down the best extension candidate for all 32 teams.

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle scored a new three-year contract on Thursday, joining Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff, Houston Texans wide receiver Nico Collins, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Antoine Winfield Jr. as May extension recipients.

Which other NFL players could land fresh contracts over the summer? Here’s the best extension candidate for every team in the league.

Best Extension Candidate for All 32 NFL Teams

Arizona Cardinals | C Hjalte Froholdt

Sure, Cardinals running back James Conner and safety Budda Baker are scheduled to reach free agency next spring. But Arizona might have told us it doesn’t plan to re-sign either veteran when it used a third-round pick on Florida State RB Trey Benson and a fourth-round choice on Texas Tech S Dadrion Taylor-Demerson.

The Cards didn’t draft a center to replace Hjate Froholdt, who came to the desert last offseason and proceeded to post the best season of his NFL career, starting all 17 games while displaying noticeable improvement by the end of the year. An extension could be warranted for the former journeyman made good.

Atlanta Falcons | CB A.J. Terrell

A.J. Terrell’s 2021 campaign was so outstanding — 4.8 yards per target, second-team All-Pro — that it might be challenging for the Falcons CB to get back to that level. While Terrell allowed more explosive plays and committed more penalties over the ensuing two seasons, his elite upside remains tantalizing.

Those flashes are hard to forget, especially as Terrell enters a contract year. The former first-round pick might have to show more consistency under first-year DC Jimmy Lake for Atlanta to feel comfortable extending him.

Baltimore Ravens | CB Brandon Stephens

While the Ravens just used a first-round pick on cornerback Nate Wiggins, fellow CB Brandon Stephens could remain a starter in 2023 and into the future. If Kyle Hamilton moves back to a more traditional safety role and Marlon Humphrey handles the slot, Stephens projects as a perimeter starter in Baltimore.

Humphrey will be entering his age-20 campaign in 2025 and has dealt with injuries in two of the past three seasons. The Ravens could extend Stephens — who posted career-best marks in yards per target and passer rating last year — at an affordable rate and then think about releasing Humphrey next offseason, a move that would save between $12 million and $19 million.

Buffalo Bills | EDGE Greg Rousseau

The Bills exercised Greg Rousseau’s 2025 fifth-year option earlier this month, so they don’t need to be in a rush to extend the 25-year-old pass rusher. However, Rousseau remains an underrated presence on the edge.

He finished with 18 QB hits last season, tied with more heralded edge defenders like Brian Burns and Alex Highsmith. Getting ahead of a Rousseau contract could help Buffalo prevent the salary cap trouble they dealt with this offseason.

Carolina Panthers | WR Diontae Johnson

The Panthers will pay Diontae Johnson $10 million in 2024 after acquiring him from the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for CB Donte Jackson. He’s still only 27 years old. Will Carolina contemplate extending Johnson and locking in a weapon for Bryce Young?

While Johnson’s 51-717-5 line last season marked his worst production since his rookie year, he was still effective on a per-snap basis. He ranked seventh in ESPN’s player-tracking-centric WR metrics, primarily due to his ability to create consistent separation.

Chicago Bears | G Teven Jenkins

Keenan Allen will be a free agent in 2025, but given that the Bears already have DJ Moore and just used the No. 9 overall pick on Rome Odunze, the 32-year-old Allen probably isn’t a realistic preseason extension candidate.

Instead, Chicago could consider a new deal for offensive lineman Teven Jenkins, who’s come into his own since shifting from tackle to guard. A second-round selection in 2021, Jenkins has battled injuries but has shined as a run and pass blocker when healthy.

Cincinnati Bengals | WR Ja’Marr Chase

Ja’Marr Chase has been everything the Bengals hoped for and more since entering the league in 2021. He’s tied for second in receiving touchdowns (29) and ranks seventh in receiving yards (3,717) during that span and should become one of the league’s highest-paid WRs on his next contract.

Chase is Cincinnati’s clear priority over fellow wideout Tee Higgins, who is scheduled to play on the franchise tag in 2024. The Bengals could tag Higgins again in 2025, but a long-term extension for the club’s WR2 seems unlikely.

Cleveland Browns | LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah

The Browns will have their hands full next offseason when wide receivers Amari Cooper and Elijah Moore and starting left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. are scheduled to reach free agency. Having just extended WR Jerry Jeudy, Cleveland might hold off before giving Cooper and Moore new deals, while Wills may need to show improvement in 2024 to land an extension.

Could the Browns turn their attention to the defensive side of the ball? While Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah’s stature (6’2″, 221 pounds) might get him pigeonholed as a coverage-only LB, he improved as a run defender and pass rusher in 2023. JOK’s 20 tackles for loss ranked first among linebackers, as did his 12.9% run-stop rate.

Dallas Cowboys | WR CeeDee Lamb

There’s little doubt that CeeDee Lamb should be among the NFL’s highest-paid wideouts after earning first-team All-Pro honors in 2023.

Lamb led the league with 135 receptions last season while setting new career highs in catches, yards, and touchdowns. He went over 100 yards receiving in eight games, setting a season-high with 13 catches for 227 yards in a critical Week 17 win against the Detroit Lions before managing a 13-98-2 line in the season finale.

MORE: Dak Prescott Opens Up About Contract Situation, Missing CeeDee Lamb

Dak Prescott is also a pending free agent, but the Cowboys might be willing to let him play out his deal. Future Hall of Fame guard Zack Martin projects to hit the market next offseason, while All-Pro pass rusher Micah Parsons — under team control through 2025 — can be extended anytime.

Denver Broncos | EDGE Baron Browning

Like the Cowboys, the Broncos have a plethora of extension candidates. Patrick Surtain II should become the NFL’s highest-paid CB on his next deal, but his fifth-year option will keep him in Denver through at least 2025. Offensive linemen Garett Bolles and Quinn Meinerz are also in line for new contracts.

But the Broncos might be able to land a bargain by extending pass rusher Baron Browning, who’s never played over 600 snaps in a season but has always flashed when not battling injury concerns. In 2023, Browning managed 35 pressures on just 246 pass-rushing snaps, ranking 25th in PFF‘s pass-rushing productivity metric.

Detroit Lions | DT Alim McNeill

Although Alim McNeill dealt with injury issues last season, he also broke out for a career-high five sacks in 13 games, ranked 27th among defensive tackles in pass-rush win rate, and consistently made splash plays against the run.

Interior pressure has never been more critical in the NFL, and McNeill is still ascending.

Green Bay Packers | QB Jordan Love

Jordan Love agreed to a unique extension with the Packers last season, forgoing his 2024 fifth-year option in favor of a short-term deal. Coming into the season with just one pro start in relief of former starter Aaron Rodgers, Love finished second in the NFL in touchdown passes (32), fifth in passing efficiency, and ninth in QBR while leading Green Bay to nine regular-season wins and a Wild Card rout of the Cowboys.

Love is due a significant raise. Even if the Packers aren’t willing to go to $55+ million, he probably shouldn’t consider anything below $50 million per year. A four-year, $202 million extension would put him at $50.5 million annually (just behind Jalen Hurts at $51 million), while Hurts’ $110 million in full guarantees should set Love’s baseline.

Houston Texans | DT Kurt Hinish

The Texans already locked up Collins this week. Most of their other core players are either too early in their careers to be extended or too old to warrant a new, early deal.

If Houston wants to extend someone, it might have to get creative. Defensive tackle Kurt Hinish flashed on 41% playtime in 2023, improving down the stretch while posting seven pressures over his final four games. He’ll be a restricted free agent in 2025, so a fresh contract should be affordable for the Texans.

Indianapolis Colts | G Will Fries

Guard Will Fries and center Ryan Kelly will become free agents next spring, and both could be priorities for the Colts heading into this season. While Fries doesn’t boast Kelly’s track record, he’s six years younger than the veteran pivot and could be first in line for an extension.

Fries, a seventh-round choice in 2021, showed improvement last season while playing nearly every snap for Indy’s offensive line. Yet, he needs to cut back on penalties after committing nine (fourth-most among guards) in 2023. The Colts will manage impressive OL continuity in front of QB Anthony Richardson if they can re-sign Fries and Kelly.

Jacksonville Jaguars | CB Tyson Campbell

Hampered by quad and hamstring injuries in 2023, Tyson Campbell missed six games and saw his passer rating allowed jump by 50+ points to 128.5. However, the former second-rounder looked like a lockdown CB1 in his breakout 2022 campaign and has enough upside to convince the Jaguars to extend him.

Jacksonville can also consider new deals for QB Trevor Lawrence and RB Travis Etienne Jr., but the club has both under control through 2025 thanks to their fifth-year options. Three Jags starting offensive linemen — Cam Robinson, Brandon Scherff, and Walker Little — are also poised to hit the open market in 2025.

Kansas City Chiefs | C Creed Humphrey

The Chiefs won’t be hurting for players to extend next spring. Guard Trey Smith and linebacker Nick Bolton are headed toward the open market. Free agent addition Hollywood Brown could be in line for a new deal if he impresses in his first season in Kansas City.

But center Creed Humphrey is probably the Chiefs’ top extension priority. A two-time Pro Bowler and a second-team All-Pro selection in 2022, Humphrey is arguably the NFL’s best center now that Jason Kelce has retired. He could become the league’s highest-paid pivot, but center contracts are so stagnant that he may only land $14 million annually.

Las Vegas Raiders | EDGE Malcolm Koonce

One of the NFL’s more underrated players, Malcolm Koonce posted 52 pressures on just 344 pass-rushing snaps in 2023, finishing 19th in PFF’s pass-rushing productivity. While the Raiders already have heavy investments along their defensive line (Maxx Crosby, Christian Wilkins, Tyree Wilson), Koonce’s next contract could be affordable if Las Vegas strikes early.

Los Angeles Chargers | CB Asante Samuel Jr.

Asante Samuel Jr.’s coverage metrics stayed relatively stable in 2023 despite the Chargers’ defense crumbling around him. Los Angeles is so desperate for defensive talent that Samuel could become a pressing item on the club’s to-do list, although it might want to see how he performs in new DC Jesse Minter’s scheme first.

The Bolts could also consider an extension for left tackle Rashawn Slater, who’s sandwiched two elite campaigns around an injury-ridden 2022 campaign. Slater’s fifth-year option keeps him in L.A. through 2025, so there’s no urgency for the Chargers.

Los Angeles Rams | LB Ernest Jones

The Rams have become wizards at drafting and developing mid-round defenders, and Ernest Jones is Exhibit A. The former third-round pick posted the best season of his career in 2023, posting more pressures (37) than any other linebacker in the NFL. Jones also improved in coverage, breaking up four passes and allowing zero touchdowns on 52 targets last year.

However, Los Angeles general manager Les Snead has already suggested his club will wait until after the season to address contracts for Jones, left tackle Alaric Jackson, and other pending free agents scheduled to hit the market next spring.

Miami Dolphins | QB Tua Tagovailoa

The Dolphins got Waddle’s new contract done this week. Is Tua Tagovailoa up next?

Tua led the NFL in yards per attempt (8.9) and touchdown rate (6.3%) in 2022 and paced the league in passing yards (4,624) in 2023. His statistics suggest an MVP candidate who should earn $50+ million on his extension.

MORE: Dolphins Believe Best is Yet to Come for Slimmed-Down Tua Tagovailoa

How much Mike McDaniel’s scheme aids Tagovailoa is up for debate, but Miami doesn’t have many viable paths to a new quarterback.

Minnesota Vikings | WR Justin Jefferson

Although injuries limited Justin Jefferson to 10 games in 2023, his production from 2020 to 2022 — when he got off to the hottest start of any wide receiver in NFL history — means he should become the league’s highest-paid non-quarterback on his next deal with the Vikings.

That would entail eclipsing defensive end Nick Bosa’s $34.5 million AAV with the San Francisco 49ers, which seems like a reasonable amount for the NFL’s most talented wideout, especially given that A.J. Brown now collects $32 million per year from the Philadelphia Eagles.

Jefferson, unsurprisingly, is holding out from OTAs while his camp negotiates with Minnesota. Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said the two sides came “unbelievably close” to an extension last summer, so a new deal could be around the corner.

New England Patriots | RB Rhamondre Stevenson

The Patriots have $46.5 million in 2024 cap space, plus a league-leading $97 million in projected room in 2025. New England re-signed OT Mike Onwenu in free agency, then gave DT Christian Barmore a four-year extension in April.

The club doesn’t have a ton of other candidates for new deals, which could lead them to consider a long-term pact for running back Rhamondre Stevenson, who’s been the Pats’ only consistent offensive weapon over the past few seasons.

While he ended the 2023 campaign on IR with a high ankle sprain, Stevenson is a three-down weapon that should help rookie QB Drake Maye.

New Orleans Saints | CB Paulson Adebo

The Saints say they aren’t planning to trade Marshon Lattimore, but the veteran corner’s reworked contract is designed to be dealt. If New Orleans moves on from Lattimore, could it extend another critical member of its defensive backfield?

Former third-round pick Paulson Adebo has developed into a high-end cornerback over his first three seasons with the Saints. In 2023, he allowed just a 62.7 passer rating as the nearest defender in coverage, the seventh-best mark among cornerbacks. Acting early on Adebo could help the Saints get ahead of their annual salary cap issues.

New York Giants | S Jason Pinnock

On Thursday, the Giants added $650,000 worth of new incentives to WR Darius Slayton’s contract, resolving their only outstanding contract situation and convincing the veteran pass catcher to report to OTAs.

New York has the least cap space in the NFL and has few obvious candidates for an extension. If they want to get creative, the Giants could explore a new accord for safety Jason Pinnock, who played well in his first season as a full-time starter. However, Big Blue just used a second-round pick on fellow safety Tyler Nubin, so they could hold off on a Pinnock deal.

New York Jets | CB D.J. Reed

Given that the Jets could blow things up next spring if the 2024 campaign doesn’t go as planned, we’re not expecting Gang Green to hand out many — if any — extensions over the summer.

If New York does want to sign one of its incumbent players to a new deal, cornerback D.J. Reed makes sense. One of the best free agent value signings in recent memory, Reed has been the Robin to Sauce Gardner’s Batman over the past two seasons. Reed plays much bigger than his 5’9″ stature and can handle any additional targets that QBs are afraid to send Gardner’s way.

Philadelphia Eagles | DL Milton Williams

The Eagles are no stranger to early extensions. This offseason alone, they’ve gotten ahead of the market by giving new deals to WRs A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, offensive tackle Jordan Mailata, and guard Landon Dickerson.

Could Philadelphia look to the defensive side of the ball for its next extension? Defensive tackle Milton Williams has improved in every season of his career, increasing his disruption on the interior and finishing with 25 pressures in 2023. After Fletcher Cox’s offseason retirement, the former third-round pick will be asked to take on a more significant role.

Pittsburgh Steelers | TE Pat Freiermuth

Hampered by a hamstring injury for most of the year, Pat Freiermuth posted his worst season as a pro in 2023, finishing with just 32 catches for 308 yards. The Steelers may want to see a bounce-back campaign before committing to the veteran tight end, but Freiermuth and WR George Pickens are Pittsburgh’s only consistent pass catchers at the moment.

San Francisco 49ers | WR Brandon Aiyuk

Brandon Aiyuk has steadily ascended over the past four years, earning second-team All-Pro honors in 2023 after hauling in 75 catches for 1,342 yards and seven touchdowns. Nearly every advanced metric liked Aiyuk’s production, as he ranked first in ESPN’s receiving tracking scores and sixth in yards per route run (2.65) last season.

KEEP READING: What Does Jauan Jennings Deal Mean for Brandon Aiyuk?

The 49ers will have to re-organize their WR corps at some point. San Francisco is overflowing with pass-catching options after using a first-round pick on Ricky Pearsall and extending Jauan Jennings. We’ve argued that re-upping Aiyuk and offloading Deebo Samuel via trade is the 49ers’ best path forward.

Seattle Seahawks | S Julian Love

The Seahawks released safeties Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams this offseason, meaning Julian Love will take on more responsibilities under first-year head coach Mike Macdonald. If Seattle feels Love could become Kyle Hamilton Lite in Macdonald’s scheme, it might consider offering him a cheap deal before the 2024 season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers | OT Tristan Wirfs

The Lions’ Penei Sewell reset the tackle market when he landed a $28 million AAV earlier this year — and Tristan Wirfs could be the immediate beneficiary of that contract.

Wirfs moved to left tackle in 2023 after beginning his career (and earning All-Pro nods) on the right side of Tampa Bay’s offensive line. He was just as good on the left side, which should only increase his market value.

Tied to his fifth-year option in 2024, Wirfs has a case to surpass Sewell as the NFL’s highest-paid OT. However, he’s sitting out OTAs while his representatives reportedly haven’t made progress on a new deal with the Buccaneers.

Tennessee Titans | S Elijah Molden

With a roster featuring a mix of young players on rookie contracts, offseason additions like WR Calvin Ridley, RB Tony Pollard, and CB L’Jarius Sneed, and aging veterans such as WR DeAndre Hopkins, the Titans don’t have many obvious extension candidates.

One intriguing option could be defensive back Elijah Molden, a 2021 third-rounder now entering his platform season.

Molden has played 749 snaps in the slot, 378 in the box, and 289 at free safety over three seasons in Tennessee. That versatility could be valuable for new Titans DC Dennard Wilson, who worked with malleable DBs like Kyle Hamilton and C.J. Gardner-Johnson in previous stops.

Washington Commanders | G Sam Cosmi

The Commanders have an all-new regime, so owner Josh Harris, GM Adam Peters, and HC Dan Quinn might not want to extend any of the players acquired by the franchise’s former decision-makers.

However, if there’s one Washington holdover who could be part of the club’s long-term plans, it’s probably right guard Sam Cosmi.

A right tackle over his first two pro campaigns, Cosmi moved inside in 2023 — and the shift worked out. He played every offensive snap for the Commanders while ranking second among guards in Sports Info Solutions‘ pass-blocking metric.

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