NFL

Update on Joe Burrow’s mega contract extension negotiations with the Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals are in the middle of the race to get their quarterback extended.

As Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts are all waiting for new contracts, it would be in the best interest of the Bengals to get Burrow’s deal done first.

Over the weekend, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (via Bleacher Report) mentioned that the “process is underway” for Burrow’s next contract.

“The process is underway,” Fowler reported on the show, adding the Bengals plan “to do this early, just three years into his rookie deal, to try to spread out that salary-cap hit.”

“Early” is used because the Bengals have control over Burrow’s rights for the next two seasons at least. Burrow’s fifth-year option would certainly be picked up and the Bengals could use the franchise tag to retain his rights for an additional two seasons beyond that.

Obviously, none of the parties involved want it to come to that. Players mostly prefer long-term security over the one year, high cap hit that the franchise tag brings. From an organizational standpoint, the last thing Cincinnati wants is to be in the situation Baltimore currently finds itself in with Jackson.

Looking at the decisions the front office has made recently, from the Paycor Stadium naming rights deal to Orlando Brown Jr.’s front-loaded contract, it is easy to see that the Bengals are making financial decisions with Burrow’s contract in mind.

Regardless of what Twitter may tell you, the Bengals have historically paid their quarterbacks consistent with what the market demands. Carson Palmer and Andy Dalton both received extensions with the Bengals that paid them well, based on the quarterback market at the time. Expect the same with Burrow’s deal, which will likely be historic.

Fowler also noted that extensions for Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase may be difficult, but the Bengals have declined all trade calls surrounding Higgins.

Realistically, we could see Burrow sign a deal that breaks NFL records for both full contract value and guarantees. On the other hand, would it shock any of us to see Burrow take a deal that allows him to keep his supporting cast around him?

This contract will shape the Bengals for the next decade or more, so expect all parties involved to take their time. With that said, the ball is reportedly rolling.

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