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Joe Burrow Contract Extension Is Bengals' 'Whole Focus,' Per President Mike Brown

Doric SamJuly 25, 2022

Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

After leading his team to an appearance in Super Bowl LVI, Cincinnati Bengals star Joe Burrow will command a massive payday when he becomes eligible for a contract extension.

Bengals president Mike Brown told reporters Monday the franchise will do what it takes to ensure the third-year quarterback doesn't go anywhere.

"I can tell you that we couldn't be happier with Joe Burrow," Brown said. "He's everything you would wish for, especially for a quarterback in Cincinnati. Our whole focus is going to be on keeping him here."

The No. 1 overall pick in 2020, Burrow quickly ascended to being one of the NFL's top quarterbacks. After his rookie season was cut short in Week 11 by a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee, he bounced back last season to record 4,611 yards, 34 touchdowns and 14 interceptions while completing 70.4 percent of his passes.

Burrow powered Cincinnati to its first Super Bowl in 33 years, but the Bengals lost to the Los Angeles Rams in a 23-20 thriller that came down to the last minute. Burrow threw for 263 yards and a score, but he was sacked seven times and pressured numerous others, including on the game-sealing incompletion with 43 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

In the third year of his rookie contract, Burrow is set to earn $9.9 million, per Spotrac. He's under contract for 2023, and the team has a fifth-year option for the following season, but he becomes eligible for an extension after this year. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him join the eight quarterbacks who earn $40 million or more per year on his new deal.

However, Burrow isn't the only Cincinnati player in line to get paid. Star safety Jessie Bates III wants a new deal. Receiver Tee Higgins is also eligible for an extension after this season, while 2021 Offensive Rookie of the Year Ja'Marr Chase can begin negotiations in 2024.

"This is a puzzle," Brown said. "It just doesn't all fit perfectly. We're going to have some pluses. We're going to get some guys signed that are critical to the team. And we're going to lose some guys."

Brown emphasized that the team's priority will be Burrow.

"Right now, our obvious, most important issue will be with our quarterback," he said. "It's not quite ready or ripe yet, but it's right down the track. We see the train coming."

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