Joe Burrow to Bengals: Projecting No. 1 Pick's Contract with Cincinnati

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorApril 24, 2020

FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, file photo, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow watches a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis. Burrow is a likely first round pick in the NFL Draft Thursday, April 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

The inevitable finally became official on Thursday when the Cincinnati Bengals selected LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft.

The 23-year-old led LSU to a 15-0 season that included wins over Oklahoma and Clemson in the College Football Playoff by a combined score of 105-53. He threw 60 touchdown passes and just six interceptions while completing passes at 10.8 yards per attempt.

Now Burrow is tasked with helping a Bengals franchise rebound following a disappointing 2-14 season. He figures to start right away and will have weapons at his disposal in running back Joe Mixon and wide receivers A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd, among others.

He'll be paid handsomely too. Based on the NFL's rookie wage scale for draft picks, Over The Cap estimates that Burrow will ink a four-year deal with a total value of $36,190,146, with $23,880,104 coming as prorated bonus money over the course of the contract. Those figures were also confirmed by CBS Sports' Joel Corry.

In addition, Cincinnati will hold a fifth-year option.

The figure isn't far off from what Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray received as the first overall pick in the 2019 draft. Per Over The Cap, he signed a four-year deal with a total value of $35,158,644, with $23,589,924 coming as prorated bonus money.

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The money for first overall picks these days pales in comparison to the boatload of cash players got prior to the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, which instituted the rookie wage scale.

Of note, the St. Louis Rams inked Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford to a six-year, $78 million contract in 2010. The Detroit Lions signed signal-caller Matthew Stafford to a six-season, $72 million deal the year before.

Although Burrow's contract won't be in the neighborhood of those figures, he's still going home with a nice chunk of change as he looks to lead the Bengals to their first Super Bowl appearance since the 1988 NFL season.