Joe Burrow

AFC North Rumors: Bengals, Battle, Watson, Steelers

The Bengals have already announced that starting quarterback Joe Burrow‘s season is over after he suffered a thumb ligament tear. The only information left to report on Burrow’s situation is that he is set to undergo wrist surgery tomorrow, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The expectation is that Burrow will be able to make a full recovery in time for the 2024 season.

On the administrative side of things, Rapoport also reports that the league is “investigating if Cincinnati should have listed Burrow on its injury report prior to” the game in which he seemingly suffered the season-ending injury. The night before the team’s matchup in Baltimore, Burrow was shown on a team social media post with an apparatus on his right wrist before the post was taken down. That same wrist is the one receiving surgery tomorrow. Rapoport says that the Bengals have “turned in hours of footage to the NFL showing that Burrow was healthy prior to the game.” The team’s doctors claim that the injury was acute and not one that happened over time.

The team opted to run Burrow’s offense and playbook in Jake Browning‘s first career start. The Bengals coaches had full confidence in Browning running the offense but still planned to run the ball a bit more than usual to take some pressure off his shoulders. Browning and the Bengals would lose to Pittsburgh, but Browning would complete 19 of 26 pass attempts for 227 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. The plan to run the ball a bit more fell through as limited possession time and offensive success led to only 11 carries.

Here are a few other rumors from around the AFC North, staying in Cincinnati for a beat:

  • Another position for the Bengals experienced a change in starter as defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo announced rookie third-round pick Jordan Battle as the team’s starting strong safety over Nick Scott earlier this week, per Kelsey Conway of USA Today. Scott still had a role in today’s game but played a clear second fiddle to Battle. Asked what about Battle made him the choice at starter, Anarumo claimed it was his tackling ability.
  • Another AFC North starting quarterback underwent surgery for their season-ending injury as the BrownsDeshaun Watson had a procedure done on his shoulder earlier this week, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. Watson is expected to be healed in time to start the 2024 season.
  • A big story in the struggles of the Steelers’ offense this year has been the frustration of wide receiver Diontae Johnson. Those frustrations reportedly boiled over after last week’s loss to the Browns, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, leading to a heated argument with star safety Minkah Fitzpatrick that needed to be broken up by teammates Cameron Heyward and T.J. Watt. Johnson only had two catches on the day and was visibly upset on the sideline as he engaged in an animated conversation with head coach Mike Tomlin. Johnson’s annoyance would continue as he was later seen “chirping” at the coaches all the way to the locker room after the game before being confronted by Fitzpatrick. Perhaps the firing of former offensive coordinator Matt Canada helped to cool Johnson down, as Johnson received eight targets today.

Bengals’ Joe Burrow Placed On IR

NOVEMBER 25: The Bengals announced today that they have officially placed Burrow on injured reserve. In addition to placing their newest franchise quarterback on IR, the team filled his roster spot by activating fifth-round rookie running back Chase Brown off of IR. Brown made an appearance in five games before being placed on IR with a hamstring injury. He played extremely sparingly on offense, only tallying two carries and three receptions, but was a consistent presence on special teams.

The team also announced practice squad quarterback A.J. McCarron as Cincinnati’s only standard gameday elevation for tomorrow. With Burrow out, McCarron will be available to serve as Browning’s backup.

NOVEMBER 17: The carnage from Thursday night’s game will hit the Bengals as well. Following the news of Mark Andrews likely being done for the season, Zac Taylor announced Friday that Joe Burrow has suffered a torn thumb ligament.

Burrow will miss the rest of the season with the wrist injury, Taylor revealed Friday. This is a devastating blow for the Bengals, who have seen Burrow change their trajectory over the past four seasons. Burrow entered Thursday having not missed a game due to injury since his rookie-year ACL tear.

After playing through calf trouble early this season, Burrow had recovered. The Bengals’ fortunes reversed. The team won four straight, including victories over the 49ers and Bills, and had moved into a showdown with the Ravens. But Burrow arrived in Baltimore sporting a brace on his right wrist. The Bengals did not list their star quarterback on the Week 11 injury report, creating speculation the AFC North team was attempting to conceal a malady. As a result,’s Adam Schefter indicates the NFL is investigating the Bengals.

While putting two and two together points to Burrow having an issue coming into Thursday night’s matchup, Taylor adds (via’s Mike Garafolo) the injury the fourth-year standout sustained is “completely unrelated” to the wrap he wore earlier in the day. When speaking publicly on the matter, Burrow confirmed as much (via ESPN’s Ben Baby). While attention around the league will turn to the league’s probe into the Bengals, Cincinnati will be forced to make a late run at the postseason with a major question mark under center.

Jake Browning, who took over for Burrow to close out last night’s contest, will assume starting duties for the rest of the season. The former UDFA had attempted one regular season pass in the NFL prior to Week 11, but he did enough in training camp and the preseason to earn a low-cost No. 2 job. Risk was incurred on the Bengals’ part by entrusting a relative unknown to serve as Burrow’s fill-in option, but Browning will now be tasked with leading the team toward a wild-card spot.

The Bengals entered Thursday’s loss ranked last in the league in rushing yards per game, so transitioning to a ground-heavy attack led by Joe Mixon may not offer a viable strategy. The team’s defense has delivered consecutive poor performances as well, so that unit will be hard-pressed to handle, in all likelihood, a larger workload with respect to having a role in victories down the stretch. Cincinnati sits at 5-5 on the year with an 0-3 record against the AFC North. A strong showing in the coming weeks will be needed for the team to remain in the hunt for what would now be considered an underdog postseason run.

Prior to the start of the 2023 season, Burrow inked a five-year, $275MM extension. That deal made him the latest in a line of young passers to land market-altering deals, and ensured his long-term future in Cincinnati. The 26-year-old will remain the foundation of the Bengals’ franchise for years to come, but today’s news will add another season-ending injury to his NFL career.

Adam La Rose contributed to this post.

AFC North Notes: Bengals, Steelers, Chubb

The Bengals and Steelers were not among the teams who made deals at the trade deadline, but each contender looked into buyer’s moves on defense. Specifically, the AFC North rivals were among the teams to pursue cornerback help, Jeremy Fowler of notes. Both the 49ers and Bills discussed Jaylon Johnson with the Bears, and Buffalo ended up parting with a third-round pick (in a pick-swap move) to obtain Green Bay’s Rasul Douglas. That marked the only move for a corner at the deadline, though the Chargers did send J.C. Jackson to the Patriots in early October.

Chidobe Awuzie‘s return from ACL surgery has not resulted in the veteran regaining his form, and the Bengals have used younger corners Cam Taylor-Britt and DJ Turner as their starters alongside slot Mike Hilton in recent weeks. Pro Football Focus does not grade any of Cincy’s corners in the top 60 at the position. The Bengals rank 25th against the pass. More reliant on their defense without a Joe Burrow-like pilot on offense, the Steelers sit 27th. Joey Porter Jr. has replaced Levi Wallace opposite Patrick Peterson, who is in his age-33 season. With Wallace, Peterson and Chandon Sullivan short-term fixes, Porter represents Pittsburgh’s only long-term cog here post-Cameron Sutton.

Here is the latest from the AFC North:

  • Joe Burrow has improved since the summer calf injury significantly restricted him early this season, but ahead of a pivotal Thursday-night matchup against the Ravens, the superstar Bengals QB was spotted wearing a brace or sleeve on his throwing hand. The Bengals shared video of their arrival in Baltimore but later deleted the tweet, though WCPO’s Caleb Noe spotted the fourth-year passer with the brace. This may not be especially important, as Burrow has not missed an NFL game due to injury since his rookie-year ACL tear. Seeing as the Bengals did not disclose a Burrow hand injury and deleted a video that may indicate one, this is worth monitoring.
  • The Steelers are 6-3 despite being outgained in all nine games this season. Kenny Pickett ranks 28th in QBR, and while he has been without Diontae Johnson and Pat Freiermuth for extended stretches, the 2022 first-round pick has not shown tremendous progress in Year 2. The subject of Matt Canada‘s job security continues to come up, after Mike Tomlin gave him a third year following Pickett progress late last season. With the offense still a chief concern in Pittsburgh, The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly does not expect Canada to be retained for a fourth year. That said, the veteran reporter indicates (subscription required) a dramatic Pickett improvement would be Canada’s vehicle to staying. If Canada is let go, he will be the second three-and-done Steelers OC. The team initially promoted Canada from within to replace Randy Fichtner in 2021.
  • On the subject of Steelers assistants, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac notes the team did not offer Brian Flores a promotion opportunity to convince him to stay. The Steelers did not dangle their DC job to keep Flores, whom Tomlin hired as linebackers coach following a surprising Dolphins dismissal. Viewed as a way for Flores to reestablish his value amid an ongoing discrimination lawsuit against the NFL and select teams, the Steelers stint proved effective. Despite the ongoing suit, Flores interviewed for the Cardinals’ HC job and received steady DC interest ahead of his Vikings hire. Teryl Austin is in his second season as Pittsburgh’s DC but has been with the team since 2019.
  • Head Browns physician James Voos performed Nick Chubb‘s second ACL surgery, the Browns announced this week. The team revealed the operation was successful, and the procedure will put Chubb on track to return in 2024. While two knee surgeries at this juncture of his career will introduce some hurdles for Chubb, a 2024 return was previously floated out as realistic. Chubb’s three-year, $36.6MM contract runs through 2024.

AFC North Notes: Burrow, Lamar, Ravens

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow took a big step towards a return to normalcy with a strong performance in today’s win over the Cardinals. Still, he is not back to 100 percent and, according to Dianna Russini of The Athletic, he’s likely still a few weeks away from that.

Cincinnati has been working with the understanding that Burrow’s calf injury is continually improving with time, as long as he doesn’t tweak it, per ESPN’s Dan Graziano. They’re risking reinjury by continuing to put him on the field, but they aren’t hindering his recovery, and they likely feel his presence, even if not fully healthy, is more impactful than the QB2, Jake Browning‘s.

With one more game standing between them and a bye week, the Bengals will be counting on Burrow to avoid reaggravating his calf for one more week in order to get to a two-week rest that should really help him get back to full-strength.

Here are a few other rumors from around the AFC North, starting with another injured Bengal:

  • Cincinnati rookie return man Charlie Jones was placed on injured reserve a little over a week ago after sustaining a thumb injury. Jones underwent surgery a few days ago, per Jay Morrison of Pro Football Network, and expects to make a return as soon as he is eligible after the four-week period. This should put Jones back on the active roster in time for the team’s Week 9 matchup against the Bills.
  • Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has remained healthy through five weeks this season, but it sounds like Baltimore isn’t taking any chances. According to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, head coach John Harbaugh reiterated that the team is committed to keeping three quarterbacks on their roster. With the injuries in recent years to Jackson, and subsequently to the backup quarterbacks, having multiple backup options has likely become a necessity.
  • Baltimore long snapper Nick Moore was set to play out a contract year in 2023 before suffering a torn Achilles tendon in offseason training. Since Moore will be spending the entire season on the team’s reserve/non-football injury list, the Ravens decided to sign him to a one-year extension, pushing his free agency until after the 2024 season.

Bengals Not Planning To Rest Joe Burrow

Through four weeks, Joe Burrow sits 29th in Total QBR and last in passer rating. The recently extended passer’s 4.8 yards per attempt also check in at the bottom of the league. The Bengals have seen Burrow’s training camp calf injury define the first quarter of their season.

His mobility compromised by the setback he suffered in Week 2, Burrow has been unable to shake off this particular camp issue in the way he did after missing extended summer stretches in 2021 (ACL rehab) and 2022 (appendectomy). This lingering issue has led to the Bengals dropping to 1-3. But Zac Taylor quickly brushed off the prospect of the team resting Burrow, indicating (via’s Jay Morrison) the Pro Bowl QB can operate an effective offense despite his injury and would remain in place for Week 5.

Also completing just 57.6% of his passes, Burrow had entered his fourth season as the most accurate passer in NFL history (among those with at least 1,500 attempts), Morrison adds. The former Super Bowl starter is 2-for-22 on throws beyond 15 yards and is the first QB in NFL history to throw 150 passes through four games at less than five yards per attempt, The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. adds. The Bengals’ 27-3 loss to the Titans moved this to a crisis point, but Cincinnati’s options are limited. While the organization was believed to be divided on Burrow playing at less than 100%, improvement ahead of Week 3 kept the starter at the controls.

The Bengals have never rostered an upper-echelon backup behind Burrow, going mostly with Brandon Allen during the former No. 1 overall pick’s career. The team let its multiyear backup sign with the 49ers in May; Allen is now San Francisco’s third-stringer. Cincinnati signed Trevor Siemian on the same day Browning inked the San Francisco deal, but Siemian is now back with the Jets after failing to beat out Jake Browning for the Bengals’ QB2 gig. Browning has been with the Bengals since 2021 and entered the NFL as a 2019 UDFA. But the 27-year-old passer has one regular-season attempt on his resume.

While Cincy released Reid Sinnett from its practice squad Monday, A.J. McCarron still resides on the 16-man P-squad. McCarron has not attempted a pass since 2020, but the former national championship-winning QB spent seven years in the NFL before a 2021 ACL tear nixed his effort to become a Falcons backup. The ex-Andy Dalton Bengal backup returned to action in the XFL this season. Neither Browning nor McCarron qualify as a passable stopgap at this point, however.

Cincinnati’s Week 7 bye supports a case for Burrow sitting. The team faces the Cardinals and Seahawks before its week off. The Bengals could face a steeper uphill battle if Browning starts in one or both of those games, but this version of Burrow has reduced this explosive offense’s capabilities. The team ranks 31st in scoring offense (12.3 points per game). This unexpected chapter threatens the Bengals’ chances to win a third straight AFC North crown, but for the time being, they will stick with their injured starter.

Bengals’ Joe Burrow Active For Week 3

5:51pm: The increased rumblings of Burrow progress will lead to the fourth-year star suiting up for the Bengals against the Rams tonight. Burrow is in uniform and active for Cincinnati’s Week 3 game.

12:23pm: Throughout the week, questions have lingered regarding whether or not Joe Burrow will be able to suit up for the Bengals’ upcoming Monday night contest. An answer remains elusive at this point, but the team may very well have its starting quarterback available tonight.

Burrow continues to deal with the effects of his calf injury suffered in training camp, one which was aggravated in Week 2. In the time since Cincinnati’s second straight loss to open the campaign, it has become clear Burrow will need to play through considerable pain to be available in the immediate future. Given the team’s 0-2 start on one hand, and the enormous long-term commitment made in Burrow on the other, opinions are split on how the Bengals should proceed.

Russini notes, however, that things are “trending in the right direction,” meaning the progress made over the weekend by Burrow (who has been urging team officials to let him play) has continued. Adding to that notion, Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports the team is prepared to go ahead with its franchise cornerstone under center barring a setback in advance of kickoff. The former No. 1 pick’s presence would no doubt be a welcomed sight for the Bengals as they look to avoid dropping to 0-3.

Doing so would greatly boost their postseason chances, something of importance given the franchise’s position in a Super Bowl window. If Burrow is destined to play through the nagging injury for most (if not all) of the season’s remaining games, Monday would simply represent the first full contest of meeting that challenge since aggravating his calf. The team’s options under center if Burrow is unable to finish the game are, however, a group which faces plenty of question marks.

Jake Browning is the Bengals’ only other quarterback on the active roster, and he has one regular season pass attempt to his name. Knowing Burrow’s uncertain status for Week 3, Cincinnati spent two days last week adding signal-callers (Reid Sinnett and A.J. McCarron) to the practice squad. It will be interesting to see how the team handles its two gameday elevations before kickoff, as the number of QBs dressing for the contest will go a long way in illustrating the confidence held in Burrow’s ability to suit up.

Bengals Split On Joe Burrow Playing At Less Than 100%?

8:30pm: NFL insider Jordan Schultz reports Burrow will, to no surprise, take part in a workout Monday morning to determine his pain level and help determine his availability for the game. All sides remain intent on pushing a final decision all the way until game time with plenty at stake for the Bengals as they look to avoid an 0-3 start.

4:03pm: During Fox Sports’ pregame coverage, Jay Glazer noted that Burrow’s “serious” calf issue limited him to scout team work yesterday. He was, however, able to serve with the first-team offense in a walkthrough earlier today. The extra recovery time granted by the Bengals’ matchup with the Rams coming on a Monday will no doubt play a huge role in Burrow’s ultimate availability, and all eyes will be on his health come tomorrow.

9:58am: Ranking 20th in QBR after two concerning performances, Joe Burrow is questionable for the Bengals’ Super Bowl LVI rematch against the Rams on Monday night. Cincinnati’s star quarterback has logged two limited practices ahead of that suddenly pivotal matchup, but the calf injury he suffered during training camp has clearly left him at less than 100%.

Some among the Bengals want Burrow to hold off on playing at less than 100%, according to The Athletic’s Dianna Russini, but others in the building are concerned about the prospect of dropping to 0-3 and thus would prefer the recently extended standout in the lineup regardless (subscription required).

[RELATED: Bengals Give Burrow Record-Setting Extension]

Burrow is among those taking Cincy’s 0-2 record into account, per the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Kelsey Conway. Since the NFL expanded its playoffs to six teams per conference in 1990, only four teams — the 1992 Chargers, 1995 Lions, 1998 Bills and 2018 Texans — have qualified for the postseason after starting 0-3. With the league now at seven teams per conference, that number should be expected to grow. But history certainly points to 0-3 being a barrier the Bengals would have a difficult time negotiating.

The consensus among Burrow’s teammates may not be especially bullish, with’s Jay Morrison noting Bengals players expect the fourth-year passer to be inactive for Monday’s game. That said,’s Ian Rapoport notes Burrow has improved this week, increasing his practice snaps from “just a couple” Friday to more on Saturday. While Burrow has missed the past three preseasons — due to ACL rehab, appendicitis and this calf injury, respectively — he has not missed a regular-season game due to injury since the November 2020 ACL tear cut his rookie year short.

This is expected to go down to the wire Monday, per Russini. The Bengals have Jake Browning in place as their Burrow emergency signal-caller. A 2019 Vikings UDFA, Browning has been with the Bengals since September 2021. He has yet to play in a regular-season game and spent the past two seasons as the third-stringer behind Burrow and Brandon Allen. The 49ers signed Allen in May.

Two quarterbacks — Reid Sinnett and ex-Andy Dalton backup A.J. McCarron — now reside on the Bengals’ practice squad. Sinnett joined the 16-man unit Friday, while McCarron returned Saturday. McCarron, 33, played in the XFL this past season; he has not seen NFL game action since 2020. A summer 2021 ACL tear ended McCarron’s 2021 Falcons season early. McCarron played out his rookie contract with the Bengals from 2014-17.

Joe Burrow’s Week 3 Status Uncertain

Joe Burrow finished the Bengals’ Week 2 game with soreness in his calf after reaggravating the injury he suffered in July. As a result, missed regular season time could now be in the cards.

Head coach Zac Taylor told the media it is currently “hard to say” if Burrow will be able to suit up for Cincinnati’s Week 3 game against the Rams. That contest will take place on Monday night, giving the team’s franchise signal-caller an extra day to rest. Still, much will depend on Burrow’s ability to manage the strain which cost him the entire preseason and briefly threatened to keep him out for Week 1.

“First of all we have to hear what the doctors have to say before we start to assume anything,” Taylor said of Burrow (who would have continued playing in the closing moments of Sunday’s contest had he needed to), via ESPN’s Ben Baby“Once we get that information, we have those [conversations], figure out what we’re going to do.”

Burrow and the Bengals’ offense have struggled to begin they year, with the injury likely to blame for at least some of the team’s 0-2 record out of the gate. Given the ground the defending AFC North champions have already lost in the division with losses to the Browns and Ravens, however, signficant urgency exists in the immediate future for Cincinnati. Having Burrow in place would obviously represent the preferred situation to former UDFA Jake Browning being called upon.

On the other hand, Burrow’s five-year, $275MM extension gives the Bengals plenty of cause to proceed cautiously with their franchise cornerstone. A brief absence would give him extra time to heal, though he has previously admitted to the strain being something which will require pain management throughout the campaign. Plenty of attention will be focused on his ability to participate in practice in the coming days.

If Burrow were to end up missing game action, the Bengals would rely on Browning (who attempted one pass in Week 1 after relieving Burrow in the team’s lopsided Week 1 defeat) and Will Grier, who joined the team after roster cutdowns in part due to the chance offered of a backup role given the free agent departure of Brandon Allen. Neither passer would offer anywhere near the upside of Burrow, of course, so such a scenario is one the team will aim to avoid.

NFL Injury Updates: Burrow, Richardson, Barkley, Thomas

Bengals fans have been plenty frustrated with the team’s return on investment from quarterback Joe Burrow‘s record-breaking extension. Through two games, Burrow has averaged 152 yards per game while throwing two touchdowns and an interception. People were concerned about the calf injury that forced him out of practice early in training camp this summer and how it would affect him as the season began. Burrow has pointed to that injury as a big reason for some of his early struggles, according to Jay Morrison of Pro Football Network.

Morrison noted that Burrow spoke “with a level of concern” after today’s game when addressing his right calf. He claimed to have tweaked his calf in today’s loss to the Ravens. Not only did he consider it a factor today, and likely last week, but he also thought there was a chance that it could end up being a tight rope that he is forced to walk for the remainder of the season.

It’s not difficult to see that the Burrow we’ve seen so far this year has been far from what we’re used to seeing in recent years. It will be interesting to see how the Bengals move forward with the handling of Burrow’s calf. Pushing him too hard could result in an extended absence, while a short reprieve of a week or two could help him get on top of a recovery that seems to be troubling him. There’s a lot of season left to go, and the Bengals will be keeping a close eye on Burrow in the days and weeks to come.

Here are a few other updates from around the NFL:

  • Colts rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson got off to a hot start in the second game of his NFL career, rushing for two touchdowns early in today’s divisional matchup with the Texans. Richardson had to exit the game in the first half, though, after sustaining a concussion that would hold him out for the remainder of the contest. Richardson was replaced by backup quarterback Gardner Minshew, who helped secure the team’s first win of the season. Richardson will need to go through concussion protocols in order to return to the field. This season, the protocols for return take about five days to get through, meaning Richardson absolutely has a chance to return for Week 3 if he can pass the necessary tests. If not, Minshew will continue to play in relief.
  • Giants running back Saquon Barkley was injured in the final two minutes of today’s win over the Cardinals. He was obviously kept out of the remainder of the game but was visibly upset on the sideline while surrounded by trainers. They taped Barkley’s ankle, but he continued to walk with a significant limp. According to Jordan Raanan of ESPN, an x-ray was performed after the game, while Barkley was still experiencing some swelling and discomfort. It has now been reported as a sprained ankle, according to NFL insider Jordan Schultz, meaning New York may have dodged a giant bullet, forgive the pun. While this bodes well for Barkley’s season-long prospects, the short week will not be his friend. Expect the Giants to exercise caution and, barring a miracle recovery, hold Barkley out for their Thursday night matchup against the 49ers. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Barkley will undergo an MRI tomorrow in order to determine the severity of the injury and gain an idea of just how much time he may miss.
  • Joining Richardson above, Commanders tight end Logan Thomas left the team’s win over the Broncos today with a concussion that he sustained after getting clobbered over the middle by Denver safety Kareem Jackson. Jackson was ejected for the hit. Backup tight ends John Bates and Cole Turner both got significant run in Thomas’ absence and will continue to do so if he isn’t able to return next week.
  • Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney (knee), Cowboys right guard Zack Martin (ankle), and Ravens wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle) all sustained injuries today that kept them out of their respective games. Reports from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Jane Slater and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tell us that none of these injuries are considered serious.

Latest On Bengals’ Joe Burrow Extension

Things didn’t go according to plan for the Bengals in Week 1, but the team accomplished its most important offseason goal not long before the campaign started by inking Joe Burrow to a record-breaking extension. Further details have emerged regarding the investment made in the team’s franchise quarterback.

[RELATED: Owners Proposed Player Salary Limit During CBA Talks]

Burrow’s five-year, $275MM extension gives him the title of the NFL’s highest-paid player in terms of annual compensation (one which has changed hands four times in 2023). The pact is notable not only with respect to its $55MM AAV and the $219.01MM in total guarantees, but also the up front commitment made by the Bengals in a move which bucks the organization’s norms regarding major contracts.

Per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Burrow will see roster and training camp bonuses totaling just over $44.5MM in 2023, along with a league minimum base salary. In 2024, he will receive a combined total of $65.7MM between salary and an option bonus; that total sits at $35.25MM for 2025. All of the 26-year-old’s compensation over the next three years is fully guaranteed at signing.

That makes Burrow’s pact a much more lucrative one in terms of early cash flow ($146.5MM across 2023-25) compared to Justin Herbert‘s Chargers extension, as noted by Over the Cap’s Jason Fitzgerald. It also marks a break from tradition in terms of standard practice for the Bengals, who have typically avoided including injury guarantees beyond Year 1 of an extension. Making an exception to that rule was always going to be necessary given the market for QBs on their second contracts, but this structure is certainly noteworthy.

Burrow’s pact – which runs through 2029 – also includes rolling guarantees which cover much of his compensation in 2026 and ’27. Incentives for victories in the AFC title game and Super Bowl are also present through the final five years of the pact, meaning he will be well-positioned for years to come provided he can remain healthy and play at the level he has demonstrated in previous campaigns (which differs greatly from his performance during his first game after signing the mega-pact).

Questions will be raised about how many core contributors the Bengals can retain with Burrow now on the books at a massive raise. Wideout Tee Higgins is among the players who seems destined to at least test the open market before potentially departing in free agency, but the team has cost certainty with its most important player for the foreseeable future.