Bengals' Joe Burrow Hasn't Thought Much About 2nd Contract amid 'Exploding' Market

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJune 15, 2022

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 13: Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals looks to pass against the Los Angeles Rams during Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium on February 13, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is aware of the massive contracts his peers are receiving but said it isn't at the forefront of his mind.

Speaking to Geoff Hobson of the Bengals' official website, Burrow said the following Tuesday when asked about recent NFL quarterback contracts:

"I mean, the market is just exploding. It's crazy the number that these guys are putting up, and I think it's well deserved. All those guys are playing at the top of their game. They're being paid accordingly. But I'm not worried about [it]. I like to make jokes about it, but really, I haven't thought about it much right now."

Burrow, who is coming off leading the Bengals to the Super Bowl in his second NFL season in 2021, has two years remaining on his rookie contract, plus a fifth-year team option for 2024 that will almost certainly be picked up if the two sides don't reach a long-term agreement before then.

To Burrow's point, the NFL's top quarterbacks have indeed been getting rewarded with huge contracts in recent years, including this offseason.

Per Spotrac, the two highest-paid quarterbacks on an annual basis are Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns, both of whom signed new deals this offseason.

Rodgers signed a three-year contract worth more than $50 million per year, while Watson made history with a fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million deal after getting traded from the Houston Texans to Cleveland.

Following Rodgers and Watson in terms of average annual salary are Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs and Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills, who both signed their deals recently as well.

Mahomes inked a 10-year, $450 million contract in September 2020, and Allen signed for six years and over $258 million last August.

If Burrow remains on his current trajectory, he will be among those highest-paid signal-callers and will perhaps even top the list.

Cincinnati made Burrow the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft on the heels of a dominant final college season at LSU that saw him lead the Tigers to an undefeated record and a national championship. He also won the Heisman Trophy.

Burrow showed promise as a rookie, although his season was cut short after 10 games because of a torn left ACL and MCL. He showed no ill effects last season, firmly establishing himself as an elite player at his position.

Joey Franchise went 10-6 as a starter and completed an NFL-best 70.4 percent of his passes to go along with 4,611 yards, 34 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

Most importantly, Burrow led the Bengals to three playoff wins and took them all the way to the Super Bowl in what was their first playoff appearance since 2015.

Although the Bengals fell 23-20 to the Los Angeles Rams, reaching Super Bowl LVI represented a huge leap forward for the franchise and put Burrow on track to cash in sooner rather than later.