Bengals make Joe Burrow highest-paid player in NFL history

Just as the 2023 NFL season kicked off in Kansas City on Thursday night, the Cincinnati Bengals were finalizing a deal with quarterback Joe Burrow to make him the highest paid player in NFL history.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Burrow and the Bengals reached an agreement on a new five-year contract worth $275 million that includes more than $219 million in guarantees.

This deal has been in the works for a while and it seemed inevitable that Burrow was set to get a massive extension. He has completely transformed the Bengals since his arrival at the start of the 2020 season and helped turn them into one of the best teams in the NFL. They have already been to one Super Bowl and another AFC Championship Game with him as their starting quarterback.In his three years he has completed 68% of his passes for 82 touchdowns and only 31 interceptions.

He suffered a calf injury early in training camp that forced him to miss the entire preseason and has left his Week 1 availability in question. Even if he is not able to go, it is not an injury that is expected to be long-term.

Burrow and the Bengals have certainly set a high bar for themselves over the first three years of his career, but the new contract is going to bring a whole new set of expectations and headaches for the team. One of the big advantages the Bengals had in the first three years of Burrow’s career is that he was playing like a franchise quarterback on a rookie contract. That created significant salary-cap flexibility and allowed them to build an exceptionally strong team around him.But that advantage is going to go away with this new deal and force the Bengals into making some tough decisions, especially as they have to also deal with contracts for wide receivers Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins. It is going to be nearly impossible for them to keep everybody and add to the roster.

That puts pressure and expectation on everybody involved to get the Bengals their first championship before they have to start making those decisions. As good as Burrow is and as young as he still is, the clock might be ticking on their window with that extension in place.



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