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NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles

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In a deal celebrated across the NFL, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts becomes the highest-paid player in NFL history. And that’s not the only history that his contract made. His agent, Nicole Lynn of Klutch Sports, is believed to have become the first Black female agent in major sports to negotiate a deal that lucrative.

Hurts agreed on Monday to a five-year NFL contract worth $255 million. The deal reportedly includes $179 million (or $179.304 to be exact) guaranteed and the first no-trade clause in Philadelphia Eagles history. By virtue of the average annual value, Hurts’ deal is the biggest contract ever awarded to an NFL player.

The 24-year-old took the Eagles to Super Bowl LVII. The Kansas City Chiefs won 38-35, partly because of a contested holding call. In the 2022-23 season, Hurts improved in all major QB categories, jumping 15 spots from 19th to fourth (54.6 to 66.4) in his QBR rating and from 26 (61.3 percent) to 11 (66.5 percent) in completion percentage in his second year as a full-time starter.

More than those statistics, though, his intangibles were likely the reason why the Eagles committed to Hurts. He’s well known for his gracious response to adversity after being famously benched during Alabama’s championship win in 2018.

He was replaced by Tua Tagovailoa, to who he ultimately lost his starting job. Hurts moved on to Oklahoma, becoming a Heisman finalist and was drafted number 53 in the second round by the Eagles in 2020.

In 2021, head coach Nick Sirianni replaced Doug Pederson, who’d led the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory just a few years before. Though Hurts earned the starting job by the end of the pandemic-affected 2020 season, some believed he wouldn’t improve under a rookie coach.

But Hurts grew up in Channelview, Texas, as the son of a high school football coach. His father, Averion Hurts must have instilled coachability as well as grit in his youngest son, as the Eagles made the playoffs in 2021 after a 2-5 start.

Hurts was active in the Philadelphia community as well, visiting hospital workers at a trauma ICU to thank them for their work and spending time at a local high school to raise spirits when a student who was an innocent bystander was shot and killed outside a football game.

In the 2022-23 season, the Eagles won the most games in franchise history, with Hurts as the starter for all but two games after a shoulder injury in week 15. After the season, Philadelphia Inquirer sports columnist Marcus Hayes opined that Hurts’ play should net him a $250 million contract given the quarterback’s evolution, work ethic and resilience. He was only $5 million off the total contract amount.

“Hurts will be worth it,” Hayes wrote after Hurts’ masterful Super Bowl performance.“He proved that Feb. 12 in Glendale, Ariz. He completed 27 of 38 passes with no interceptions and just one intercept-able. He was sacked twice, but not really, since it cost 2 yards total. He ran 15 times for 70 yards, three touchdowns, and a two-point conversion. It was masterful, from cleats to brains.” 

Hayes also admitted he and others never saw this coming. But Hurts did. He told Danyel Smith for his Essence men’s cover that dropped the day his contract was announced, “For a very long time, I’ve been told what I’m not gonna do. Been told what I can’t do. But I never put a limit on myself.”

See how twitter’s reacting to his new monumental contract below.