The Cincinnati Bengals suffered an absolutely heartbreaking 23-20 defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game. With Cincinnati’s 2022 campaign now a thing of the past, all attention swiftly turns to a contract extension for superstar quarterback Joe Burrow. Burrow becomes eligible to sign a second contract this summer. Bengals head coach Zac Taylor acknowledged that internal discussions will now take place surrounding Burrow’s impending extension.
“Yeah, I think that starts now internally,” Taylor said during Monday’s press conference when asked about Burrow being eligible for an extension. “And so, again, I just wrapped up with the team today. And as you go forward, you get a chance to start talking about Joe and all the other players who are up,” Taylor concluded.
Burrow is currently scheduled to enter the fourth year of his rookie contract in 2023. Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin also possesses the right to exercise Burrow’s fifth-year option, which the Bengals will undoubtedly trigger. It will keep Burrow on a cost-controlled wage scale through 2024. The Bengals are expected to make Burrow one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in NFL history.
The Bengals will approach Burrow with a historic offer. Burrow is an elite quarterback that’s taken the Bengals to back-to-back AFC Championship games and one Super Bowl. Burrow could sign a contract in the neighborhood of a six-year extension worth $300 million with more than $200 million in guarantees.
Burrow’s representation will want to secure an extension that nears or even surpasses average annual earnings of $50 million. Burrow’s total contract value under such a proposal would rank second behind Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who signed a 10-year extension worth $450 million, per Spotrac. The quarterback market continues to increase with each passing season and Burrow will take advantage. It’s today’s cost of doing business.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is currently the league’s highest annual earner at $50.2 million via last offseason’s three-year extension. Burrow may or may not surpass Rodgers’ yearly salary, but he’ll certainly sign a longer extension that’s greater in total contract value and contains more guaranteed money. Cleveland Browns starting quarterback Deshaun Watson signed a fully-guaranteed $230 million contract that’s the league’s highest contract from a guaranteed money perspective.
Burrow enjoyed another high-level campaign in 2022. The No. 1 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, Burrow threw for 4,475 yards and a career-high 35 touchdowns this season. Burrow also completed a personal-best 414 passes while leading the Bengals to a 12-4 regular-season record, their best finish since 2015. Burrow also flashed more dual-threat abilities. He rushed for career-highs in yards (257) and touchdowns (5).
The Bengals have proven themselves as annual contenders. Those who called last year’s run to the Super Bowl a one-off were dismissed by a second consecutive appearance in the AFC Championship Game. Burrow has elevated the Bengals to legitimate contention.
Burrow has set a new standard in Cincinnati. It’s Super Bowl or bust every season moving forward for the Bengals. Joe Burrow should sign a record-breaking contract extension in Cincinnati this offseason.
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