SEPTEMBER 9: The Bengals have made it official, with the organization announcing their extension with Burrow.
“Quarterback is the most critical position in sports, and Joe has embraced his role here with intelligence and determination,” coach Zac Taylor said in a statement. “The team responds to Joe as our quarterback, and we look forward to a bright future with Joe continuing to lead our talented roster. He makes everyone better.”
SEPTEMBER 7: With all eyes on the NFL’s season opener in Kansas City, the Bengals have stolen some attention away from their conference rival. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Bengals and quarterback Joe Burrow have agreed to a record-breaking extension.
It always seemed inevitable that Burrow would eventually get his megadeal, with offseason reports indicating that the extension would get done before the start of the regular season. Indeed, it sounds like both sides made some recent progress. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the extension was an “open secret” at Bengals practice today, and Rapoport adds that the organization was simply waiting for Burrow’s “final official yes.”
It’s been a pricey offseason for quarterback extensions, and Burrow always seemed like he’d be the final QB to sign. His $275MM contract tops the offseason deals signed by Justin Herbert ($262.5MM), Jalen Hurts ($255MM), and Lamar Jackson ($260MM). Per ESPN’s Field Yates, Burrow now paces the position “in new money average per year” at $55MM, beating Herbert ($52.5MM), Jackson ($52MM), Hurts ($51MM), and Aaron Rodgers ($49MM).
It’s been an impressive five-year run for Burrow. The LSU product won the Heisman Trophy and National Championship before being selected with the first-overall pick in the 2020 draft. He reached the Super Bowl during the 2021 campaign, and the Bengals returned to the AFC Championship Game during the 2022 season. Now, Burrow is the highest-paid player in NFL history, although he’ll surely fall down the list when the next round of extensions pop up next offseason.
Now signed to a lucrative deal, Burrow will look to build off his productive 2021 and 2022 campaigns. Burrow suffered a sprained calf back in August, putting the start of his 2023 season in doubt. However, after returning to practice last week, it sounds like the franchise QB will be good to go for Sunday’s season opener against the Browns.
While the Bengals front office can cross Burrow’s extension off their to-do list, the team has more pricey deals coming up. Tee Higgins is an impending free agent and will be a popular free agent, with the wideout topping 1,000 receiving yards in each of the past two seasons. Ja’Marr Chase is also eligible for an extension next offseason, meaning the Bengals could soon be eyeing pricey cap hits for three of their offensive stars.
Burrow’s record-breaking deal comes a day after Nick Bosa agreed to a contract that made him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history. As Schefter notes, WME Sports was responsible for negotiating both deals, with the two contracts combining for more than $445MM.