Joe Burrow

Bengals, Joe Burrow Begin Extension Talks

Just like fellow 2019 draft class quarterback Justin Herbert, Bengals signal-caller Joe Burrow is eligible for a massive extension this offseason. To no surprise, the legwork for putting together a second contract is underway for both players.

The Bengals are turning their attention towards a second contract for Burrow, as noted this week by top contract negotiator Katie Blackburn. With the first few waves of free agency complete, Cincinnati’s top priority is maintaining as many members of their young core as possible, beginning of course with the former No. 1 pick.

“We’ve been thinking about it,” Blackburn said on the subject of a Burrow extension, via Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “We’ve had some preliminary discussions, but there’s free agency and such. So, we’ll see if we can get into it a little bit more maybe… it’s hard to say exactly what the pace [is] but we hope that there’s something that can get done.”

Burrow, 26, has put aside all doubt about his potential after his rookie season ended with an ACL tear. Helping lead the Bengals to consecutive AFC title games (and one Super Bowl appearance) over the past two years, he has established himself as one of the top passers in the league. That has him on track to become one of, if not the highest-paid players in the league once an extension is in place.

Regarding the structure of the Pro Bowler’s next accord, something similar to the one signed by Patrick Mahomes could be in the cards. Bengals owner Mike Brown pointed to that deal (10 years, $450MM in base value) as a favorable blueprint, as noted by Conway in a separate piece. The length of the Mahomes contract remains unrivaled in the NFL, but the Chiefs have enjoyed plenty of success to date with him on the books. Burrow’s age and production suggests a long-term investment would be relatively safe.

The particulars of what the LSU product is seeking, however, remain to be seen at this point. Not much urgency exists in one sense since Burrow can be kept under contract through the 2024 campaign via the fifth-year option. However, the Bengals (just like the Chargers with Herbert, and the Eagles with Jalen Hurts) would likely be well-served to get a deal done before the QB market undergoes its next upward surge with extensions for the latter two.

Five QBs currently average $45MM or more per season on their existing contracts. That figure is likely the floor for any Burrow extension, with a strong potential existing for an AAV notably higher than that. Over the coming weeks and months, the progress which is made in contract talks will be a key storyline for the Bengals and the rest of the quarterback landscape.

QB Rumors: Packers, Carr, Burrow, Colts

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is expected to play in 2023, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (video link). Fowler cites the ~$60MM balloon payment that Rodgers is due between March and the start of the 2023 regular season as a motivating factor for the four-time MVP, and assuming he does want to suit up, Green Bay will have to decide if it wants him back or wants to seek a trade.

The club’s top power brokers, GM Brian Gutekunst and HC Matt LaFleur, have publicly indicated they want Rodgers back in Wisconsin, which could — in Fowler’s estimation — force Jordan Love to request a trade. The 2020 first-rounder believes he is ready to become a QB1, and as he is entering the final year of his rookie deal, now would be a good time for him to get that chance.

Here are more QB rumors from around the league:

  • In the same piece linked above, Fowler says that the Derek Carr sweepstakes will start to heat up as we get closer to the Super Bowl. Carr, whose contract with the Raiders includes a no-trade clause, is beginning to do his homework on possible landing spots, and Fowler hears (unsurprisingly) that the Jets, Saints, and Commanders are expected to have interest. Several clubs have already reached out to Las Vegas to lay the groundwork for trade talks.
  • Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow will be eligible for an extension when Cincinnati’s season comes to an end, and Ian Rapoport of reports that the club wants to get a new deal done this offseason. A Burrow extension will be hugely expensive, and owner Mike Brown and Burrow himself acknowledged the challenges that such a deal creates for roster construction (via Ben Baby of Of course, the Bengals will have to operate within the same salary cap confines as every other team in the league, but as Rapoport observes, the small-market franchise does have more cash on hand these days thanks in large part to the success that the team has enjoyed with Burrow under center.
  • In a comprehensive piece that is well-worth a read for Colts fans, a piece that details owner Jim Irsay‘s increasingly impulsive decision-making and the ensuing fallout, Zak Keefer of The Athletic (subscription required) says that Irsay wanted to draft and develop a rookie QB in the 2021 draft. However, then-head coach Frank Reich convinced Irsay that he could resuscitate Carson Wentz‘s career. When that experiment went awry, Irsay began to lose faith in Reich, who apologized to his boss for his misstep. The team again opted for an established passer last offseason when it engineered the Matt Ryan trade, and in light of that failure, Adam Jahns of The Athletic (subscription required) believes Indianapolis is finally going to eschew the veteran QB route. The Colts, armed with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2023 draft, are in prime position to select a top collegiate signal-caller and could trade up to land the player of their choice.
  • Dolphins GM Chris Grier recently confirmed reports that Tua Tagovailoa will be the team’s starting quarterback in 2023, as Daniel Oyefusi of the Miami Herald writes. Grier says the medical professionals he has consulted have told him that the concussions Tagovailoa suffered this season will not make him more prone to concussions going forward. He also said “everything’s on the table for us” when asked if the team would exercise Tagovailoa’s fifth-year option for 2024 and/or engage in extension talks.
  • The Jets may keep 2021 first-rounder Zach Wilson on the roster in 2023, but the team is widely expected to pursue a veteran like Carr or Rodgers to upgrade the quarterback position. Apparently, that will be a welcome development for some of Wilson’s teammates and coaches, who “rejoiced” when Wilson was benched in favor of Mike White in November and who were disappointed when Wilson was reinserted into the lineup following White’s rib injuries (via Zack Rosenblatt of The Athletic (subscription required)). Regardless of whether Wilson’s apologies to his teammates in the wake of his failure to accept much blame for his poor performance in New York’s Week 11 loss to the Patriots helped him regain the respect of the locker room, the consensus seems to be that he is not the passer who will guide the Jets back to the playoffs.

Bengals Make Three Waiver Claims

SEPTEMBER 2: To no surprise, the Bengals are indeed re-signing Allen, Thomas and Williams now that they have the open roster spots to do so, per a team announcement. Cincinnati is also placing safety Tycen Anderson and tackle Isaiah Prince on IR.

AUGUST 31: The Bengals have made some notable additions in the aftermath of yesterday’s roster cutdowns. Per the waiver wire, they have claimed tight end Devin Asiasiguard Max Scharping and defensive tackle Jay Tufele.

[RELATED: Bengals Expected To Sign TE Howard]

Asiasi came to New England with significant expectations, given his draft status and the organization’s success at the position. The third-rounder made just 10 appearances in his first two seasons, though, recording only a pair of receptions. The Patriots made a substantial free agent investment in Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith last offseason, limiting his future with the team. In Cincinnati, he will face steep competition for playing time from Hayden Hurst and, in all likelihood, O.J. Howard.

Scharping is in a similar situation to Asiasi in terms of being an underwhelming high draft choice yet to finish their rookie contract. A 2019 second-rounder, the 26-year-old started 33 of the 48 contests he appeared in with the Texans, moving from the left to right guard spot this past season. Regardless of where he lined up, the Northern Illinois alum graded out in the mid-to-high 50s with respect to PFF rating, leaving him on the roster bubble. Scharping’s vacated spot is likely to be filled by A.J. Cann; he will challenge for a backup role behind top free agent addition Alex Cappa with the Bengals.

Tufele, meanwhile, has seen the least playing time of the new trio. As a rookie last season, he made just four appearances in Jacksonville, totaling two tackles. His PFF pass rush grade of 77 indicates some upside on third downs, which dates back to his time in college. Moving on from the USC alum so soon may have come as a surprise, though the additions of Folorunso Fatukasi and Adam Gotsis along the d-line were likely to significantly lessen his chance of seeing significant playing time with the Jaguars. The Bengals lost Larry Ogunjobi in free agency, but re-upped B.J. Hill, whom Tufele will look to provide depth behind his new home.

The defending AFC champions will return many of the members of last season’s team, but these additions could prove effective at areas of relative need. Among the cuts necessary to accommodate the new arrivals is veteran quarterback Brandon Allen. The 29-year-old signed a one-year deal for the third consecutive offseason to remain in Cincinnati.

For now, Allen’s departure leaves the Bengals with only Joe Burrow under center. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo tweets, however, that Allen “will be back.” Cincinnati is also parting ways with safety Michael Thomas and running back Trayveon Williams.

Latest On Bengals QB Joe Burrow

Joe Burrow returned to Bengals practice this week after undergoing an appendectomy in late July. While initial reports seemed to indicate that Burrow underwent a standard procedure, that didn’t end up being the case. As ESPN’s Ben Baby writes, the quarterback lost weight thanks to the surgery and subsequent recovery, and it sounds like he’s got some work to do to get into game shape for Week 1.

“It wasn’t normal appendicitis that you hear about,” Burrow explained. “I didn’t really feel much. Just getting checked out and had some discomfort so we thought we’d get it checked out. Turns out I had it. So we had to get it fixed.”

It’s an encouraging sign that Burrow has returned to practice, and the Bengals have a plan in place to get him right for the start of the regular season. This includes a plan to add weight and get the QB’s body back “to its pre-surgery form.” Burrow isn’t expected to see the field for Cincinnati’s remaining preseason contests.

“I think it will be OK,” Burrow said. “We have a good plan as far as nutrition and weight room and all that stuff. I feel good right now and just going to keep feeling better.”

Burrow isn’t the only key Bengals player to return to practice. Wideout Tee Higgins participated in team drills for the first time on Sunday, per Baby. The receiver had his labrum worked on this offseason, but it sounds like he’ll be good to go for the start of the regular season.

Injury Updates: Patriots, Burrow, Poyer, Giants, Falcons

James White remains without a return timetable. The veteran is still sidelined following hip surgery, and Jeff Howe of The Athletic tweets that it’s uncertain when the long-time Patriots RB will return to the field.

The longest-tenured member of the Patriots offense could ultimately land on PUP, but Howe notes that the organization will wait a few more weeks to evaluate White’s progress. The RB suffered a hip subluxation injury last September, limiting him to only three games during the 2021 season. White had 496 yards from scrimmage during his first non-Tom Brady season in 2020, but he topped 1,000 yards from scrimmage in both 2019 and 2018.

Fortunately for the Patriots, the organization still has Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson atop their depth chart, but it’s tough to replace the pass-catching prowess of White. The organization also used a pair of draft picks on RBs Pierre Strong Jr. (fourth round) and Kevin Harris (sixth round).

More injury notes from around the NFL…

  • Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow had an appendectomy last week, and it’s unlikely we see him until the regular season. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweets that Burrow likely won’t play during the preseason. Rapoport estimates that the QB could return two to four weeks after his initially surgery, and he’ll likely participate in throwing sessions while limiting his hits during practice.
  • Bills All-Pro safety Jordan Poyer hyperextended his elbow yesterday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). While the injury will keep Poyer off the field for a few weeks, he’s expected to be ready for the start of the regular season. The veteran defensive back has only missed a pair of regular season games since joining the Bills in 2017.
  • Giants fourth-round safety Dane Belton suffered a broken collarbone, reports ESPN’s Jordan Raanan (via Twitter). While the rookie will be sidelined for the foreseeable future, the organization is holding out hope that he’ll be good to go for the start of the season. There’s a better chance he lands on IR following final cuts and will then be activated at some point in October. The Iowa product had already made a strong impression at training camp, according to Raanan.
  • Falcons defensive tackle Vincent Taylor ruptured his Achilles, according to ESPN’s Michael Rothstein (on Twitter). The injury will force Taylor to miss the 2022 season. The 28-year-old joined the Falcons back in April. The journeyman has appeared in 40 career games, including a single start with the Texans in 2021.

Latest On Jessie Bates, Bengals Extensions

The Bengals didn’t sign Jessie Bates prior to the extension deadline, and despite having little leverage to avoid playing on the franchise tag in 2022, the safety is still away from the team as training camp starts. Speaking to reporters, Director of Player Personnel Duke Tobin acknowledged that the two sides “just didn’t come together” on a new deal and there are “no hard feelings” (via ESPN’s Ben Baby on Twitter).

[RELATED: Jessie Bates Absent From Training Camps]

Predictably, Tobin revealed that the front office would be willing to resume negotiations with Bates following the upcoming season. Bates has not yet signed his tender — which means that he cannot be fined for skipping training camp — but he will either need to sign it at some point or sit out the entire 2022 campaign, which seems highly unlikely. The most likely route sees Bates return to the field for the 2022 season and then hit unrestricted free agent next offseason. For what it’s worth, a trade isn’t expected.

Meanwhile, the Bengals front office will soon have to shift focus to extending their franchise quarterback. Speaking to reporters, team president Mike Brown made it clear that the Bengals want to keep Joe Burrow long-term.

“I can tell you that we couldn’t be happier with Joe Burrow,” Brown said (via Baby). “He’s everything you would wish for, especially for a quarterback in Cincinnati. Our whole focus is going to be on keeping him here.”

Burrow is entering the third year of his rookie contract, meaning there’s still plenty of time to negotiate a new pact. As Baby notes, the Bengals will also have to figure out how to proceed with an extension for wide receiver Tee Higgins, although Brown was clear that QB is the team’s priority.

“Right now, our obvious, most important issue will be with our quarterback,” Brown said. “It’s not quite ready or ripe yet, but it’s right down the track. We see the train coming.”

MCL Sprain For Bengals’ Joe Burrow

After the Bengals announced a brand new deal for head coach Zac Taylor, they delivered even more good news on Wednesday. Quarterback Joe Burrow is only dealing with an MCL sprain, according to doctors, which means that he won’t need surgery this offseason. 

[RELATED: Bengals Sign Zac Taylor To Extension]

Burrow went down in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl clutching his right knee. He was clearly in pain after the takedown from Von Miller, but still managed to finish out the game. Fortunately, this shouldn’t hamper him in the 2022 season.

Burrow has dealt with much worse in the past, including the 2020 offseason when he had to rehab from a torn ACL (and MCL). Since then, the Bengals have prioritized their offensive line, but it’s safe to say that they’ll do even more on that front this spring.

In the regular season, Burrow played in 16 games and led the league with 70.4% of his throws completed. His TD/INT ratio (34-14) further positioned him as one of the NFL’s brightest young talents. Even though he didn’t capture a ring on Sunday, it stands to reason that he’ll have plenty more opportunities in the years to come, starting with the ’22 campaign.

Bengals QB Joe Burrow Avoided Serious Injury During Super Bowl

Joe Burrow suffered a knee injury during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. Fortunately, it sounds like the Bengals QB avoided a serious injury. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (and passed along by’s Chase Goodbread), Burrow suffered a sprain that will not require surgery.

Burrow suffered the injury with 11:55 remaining in the game. The QB was sacked by Rams defender Von Miller, and replays showed Burrow yelling in pain after landing on the ground. The former first-overall pick limped to the sideline, but he was able to return to the field and finish the game.

All of Cincinnati surely held their breath while Burrow limped off the field, especially following a 2020 campaign when Burrow was knocked out by a torn ACL and MCL. Fortunately, Burrow escaped serious injury this time around, but the knee sprain just emphasizes the Bengals’ need for more protection in front of their franchise quarterback.

Burrow got into 16 games during his sophomore season, completing a league-leading 70.4 percent of his passes while tossing 34 touchdowns vs. 14 interceptions. The 25-year-old also had a strong postseason, throwing another five touchdowns.

Dolphins Were Prepared To Trade All Three 2020 First-Round Picks To Bengals For Joe Burrow

The Dolphins’ pursuit of the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft was well-documented. Though the team was connected to Alabama passer Tua Tagovailoa for much of the 2019 season — Tank For Tua, anyone? — Joe Burrow‘s transcendent 2019 performance with LSU and Tagovailoa’s injury troubles made Burrow the top-ranked QB in his class on big boards across the NFL.

The rebuilding Miami outfit was supposed to be bad enough to secure 2020’s No. 1 pick — and, by extension, Burrow — without having to make a trade, but a surprising 5-4 finish to the 2019 season resulted in the club landing the No. 5 overall selection (and as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk posits, then-head coach Brian Flores‘ refusal to heed owner Stephen Ross‘ alleged mandate to tank may have marked the beginning of the rift that eventually led to Flores’ dismissal this year). The Bengals, meanwhile, stumbled into the top pick and found themselves in pole position for Burrow.

Still armed with three first-round choices (Nos. 5, 18, and 26) thanks to myriad transactions emblematic of a rebuilding club, the Dolphins did their best to acquire the No. 1 pick from Cincinnati. That gambit included trying to prise the No. 3 overall pick from the Lions, which Miami intended to trade to the Bengals, along with its own No. 5 selection, in exchange for the No. 1 choice.

While acquiring the No. 3 pick without giving up the No. 5 always seemed like a longshot, Ian Rapoport of wrote this morning that the ‘Fins were willing to give up all three of their own first-rounders — and potentially more — to jump up to No. 1 and nab Burrow. However, Bengals brass had no interest in entertaining any offers, regardless of how tempting they might have been, and quickly rebuffed Miami’s overtures.

In hindsight, it’s hard to argue with that decision (though Florio faults Ross for not calling Bengals owner Mike Brown directly to make a pitch while also faulting Brown for not even listening to what the Dolphins were putting on the table). Burrow rebounded from a torn ACL that cut his rookie season short and enjoyed a tremendous sophomore campaign, leading the league in completion percentage (70.4%) and yards per attempt (8.9) despite being sacked a league-high 51 times. Most importantly, of course, is the fact that he has his team on the brink of its first Super Bowl appearance since 1989.

Although it’s possible to envision a scenario in which the Bengals acquired Miami’s three first-rounders and still made their current postseason run — perhaps with Justin Herbert, selected by the Chargers with 2020’s No. 6 overall pick, under center — Burrow’s success has Bengals fans perfectly content with the way things worked out. The Dolphins, meanwhile, ended up with Tagovailoa after all, and are hopeful that whomever they hire as their new head coach will help him find the consistent professional success that has thus far eluded him.

Joe Burrow Will Not Be Placed On PUP List

Joe Burrow‘s recovery from a torn ACL and MCL (and related damage) in Week 11 of the 2020 season continues to go well. The Bengals’ QB participated in OTAs this spring, and the team has announced that Burrow will not open training camp on the PUP list. 

That means, of course, that Burrow will be leading his troops when camp opens on Tuesday, and he will seek to build upon what was a promising rookie campaign. Despite dealing with a porous offensive line, Burrow completed 65.3% of his passes for 13 touchdowns against five interceptions in his ten games last season.

This offseason, Cincinnati reunited Burrow with former LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase, generally considered the top receiver in the Class of 2021. In Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd, Burrow has a loaded receiving corps to work with.

Hopefully, they’ve done enough to protect him up front as well. Free agent acquisition Riley Reiff should upgrade the right tackle slot, but while the Bengals drafted three rookie blockers — Jackson Carman, D’Ante Smith, and Trey Hill — they did not add much other proven talent. They did re-up Quinton Spain and recently claimed Lamont Gaillard off waivers from the Cardinals, so head coach Zac Taylor will at least have plenty of players to choose from in his search for a capable front five.

With quality protection for Burrow and running back Joe Mixon, the Bengals’ offense could be among the league’s best in 2021.