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Joe Burrow is one of the NFL's most beloved quarterbacks, yet he has yet to sign a contract. But the Cincinnati Bengals want him back in orange and black.
At the end of Burrow's third year as a rookie, the team hopes to lock him into an extensive mega-money deal. This strategy has become increasingly commonplace in recent years to secure high-profile franchise quarterbacks.
According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, the Cincinnati Bengals are expected to extend quarterback Joe Burrow's rookie contract before it expires, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport. This extension would be among the largest at his position and comes after the team successfully extended former first-round pick Andy Dalton this offseason.
Burrow's current salary of $2.3 million includes an additional $2 million from endorsements and other sources, plus he may receive up to $4 million as part of this season's signing bonus.
No doubt, Burrow is the most talented player on the Bengals roster and deserves a substantial raise. However, the team may not be able to support such lavish spending indefinitely.
That is why they are considering offering Burrow a deal that is tied to the expansion of the NFL's salary cap. Although this move has been discouraged within the league, it would allow them to pay him more without creating an unnecessary cap mess for themselves.
Burrow needs a substantial amount of guaranteed money in order for his long-term deal to succeed. At present, seven quarterbacks make more than $40 million annually, including Buffalo's Josh Allen and Arizona's Kyler Murray.
Calculating how much Burrow will earn depends on his comparison to other top quarterbacks in the league, such as Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes, Buffalo's Josh Allen and Cleveland's Deshaun Watson.
Burrow has the potential to receive significantly more guaranteed money than his fellow quarterbacks if his contract value matches that of Allen or Murray's six-year deal. Assuming Burrow maintains the same performance level as Allen, his annual average salary could reach up to $44 million over the course of his deal - more than double Allen's annual average salary.
If the Cincinnati Bengals want to retain Burrow, they will need to offer him a multi-year deal similar to Jackson's. Whether or not they can afford such an agreement is another matter entirely; however, team owner Mike Brown reiterated on WLW his intention of keeping Burrow in Cincinnati throughout his entire career.
When asked about his contract, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow indicated he intends to remain in Cincinnati throughout his "entire career." With one year remaining on his rookie deal, Burrow could potentially be eligible for a long-term extension this offseason.
Burrow, 26, has been an integral part of the Bengals' recent success, helping them win back-to-back AFC North titles and reach the Super Bowl in only his second NFL season. It's no surprise that they would want to retain him for as long as possible.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the Bengals are expected to offer Burrow a significant extension this offseason. That would mark an important development, considering Burrow is already the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL on an annual basis.
He has played like an elite player, making him a prime candidate for a lucrative contract. It's an approach that other teams have utilized recently as the NFL has seen quarterback salaries soar to unprecedented heights.
In the end, the Bengals may need to pay Burrow at or above market value in order to retain him for as long as they desire. That means including a significant amount of guaranteed money - something common among deals extending QBs.
If the Bengals can come up with a deal that matches what Patrick Mahomes received and compares to Lamar Jackson's, they should be able to strike a balance for both players and their franchises. That was exactly the case when Carson Palmer signed an unprecedented six-year deal at $16.1 million annually that ended his team's postseason drought.
What's likely to happen with Burrow is he'll receive a deal similar to what Mahomes and Jackson received, meaning he'll be paid like a top-five quarterback. This is significant because it sets the bar for how much quarterbacks will be paid in the future.
Mahomes' contract, a five-year, $84 million one that is currently the fifth highest paid in the NFL, serves as an ideal example of how such deals should be structured. It's structured creatively to reduce its cap hit each season while paying Mahomes like the top-three passer he is.
It's no secret that the Cincinnati Bengals would like to wrap up Burrow's contract negotiations this offseason. He recently stated his desire to remain with Cincinnati throughout his career, which is something the team would be delighted to facilitate.
Two AFC North titles and a Super Bowl appearance later, Burrow is certainly deserving of recognition for his accomplishments. And with the Bengals having experienced such remarkable progress since Burrow joined their team, there's no reason not to reward him accordingly.
Following a disastrous 2-14 season that resulted in Carson Palmer's firing, Burrow has helped transform the Bengals into perennial playoff contenders. He's an inspiring leader with the potential to lead them to their first Super Bowl win since 1990.
Last Sunday's 23-20 loss to Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game left Burrow with a sense of unfinished business, yet he remains optimistic that he can still provide his Cincinnati Bengals with more success. To that end, Burrow hopes to remain with his team for as long as possible so he can keep reaping those big paychecks.
As the NFL's rookie salary cap enters play this offseason, Burrow's future with the Bengals will be of paramount importance. After an incredible season that saw him surpass expectations, they may be in a unique position to negotiate an impressive deal that could set the market for high-paid players across the league.
It's wise to utilize the cap space and ensure Burrow is secured in case his playing career takes an unexpected turn. However, the Bengals also need to address other key pieces of their offense as well.
Tee Higgins and Ja'Marr Chase, the top two receivers on the Bengals roster, still have one year left on their rookie deals. It is possible that the Bengals could re-sign them to lucrative extensions as well, but there are other factors that need to be taken into account as well.
The Bengals cannot afford to lose their top players, so re-signing Higgins and Chase before they become available for an excessive amount of money is a top priority. Furthermore, given the team's re-build and new sponsorship opportunities that have come along with it, this decision is financially feasible.
Burrow’s deal isn’t done yet, but Bengals owner Mike Brown says it’s a top priority this offseason. In an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio, Brown said he wants to get the LSU product locked up sooner rather than later.
That would put him alongside Buffalo’s Josh Allen and Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes as one of the NFL’s highest-paid quarterbacks. According to Spotrac, Burrow’s market value is six years at $264,002,724.
With the Bengals coming off a Super Bowl and two consecutive AFC Championship game appearances, the club is looking to lock up their franchise quarterback and star receiver Tee Higgins in 2023. That’s an important task for the Bengals, who have a group of young players — including Ja’Marr Chase, who was recently a first-round pick — that will be due for significant contract extensions over the next few seasons.
If Cincinnati can get all of their young players extended, they’ll be in the best position possible to build around their promising core for the long haul. But if they don’t get their key pieces in place, the team could be at a serious financial disadvantage going forward.
As such, if the Bengals are serious about keeping their core together over the long haul, they’ll have to work on a multi-year deal for Burrow that can fit under the salary cap. That’s not a small feat, especially when you consider that Higgins’ rookie deal is set to expire in 2023 and several other young players, including tight end Hayden Hurst, running back Samaje Perine and defensive ends Trey Hendrickson and D.J. Reader, are also due for contract extensions this offseason.
A multi-year deal would give Burrow a chance to develop with the team as they build for the future. That will help him improve his overall game and become a better player for the long term, so it’s something that the Bengals should be interested in.
When asked about his contract extension during a recent interview, Burrow was quite clear that he wants to remain with the Bengals for the foreseeable future. That’s why he is reportedly working with his agent to ensure that his deal is structured in a way that can allow the Bengals to keep their entire team intact over the long term.