Joe Burrow may not be a Super Bowl Champion, but he is certainly a champion at the bank.
The Cincinnati Bengals quarterback has agreed to a five-year contract extension that will see him become the highest-paid player in NFL history, ESPN reported on Thursday. The $275 million deal averages $55 million a year and ensures that $219 million is guaranteed.
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“This is where I want to be,” Burrow said on Wednesday, before the deal was announced. “This is where I want to be my whole career. We’re working toward making that happen. You’ve seen what the front office has done and what Zac [Taylor] has done in their time here. I’m a small part of that. I’m excited to be a part of that.”
Drafted first overall after leading LSU to a National Championship, Burrow saw his rookie season cut short due to injury. But he came back in 2021 and led the Bengals to their best season in three decades. That year, Cincinnati won its first playoff game since January 1991 and made it into the Super Bowl for the first time since 1989 where they were edged out by the Los Angeles Rams.
Those achievements cemented Burrow as key to the Bengals’ success, and it seems the team is willing to reach deep into its pocketbook to keep the quarterback around. This season, despite suffering an injury at training camp, Burrow is expected to play against Cleveland on Sunday. He fully participated in practices on Wednesday and Thursday, and seems more excited to get back on the field than he does to celebrate his major earnings.
“I’m going to keep playing well,” Burrow said during a news conference this week. “I feel great about the organization and everybody in the locker room and in the coaching staff. [The contract] is the icing on the cake to me. I’m just excited to be out here.”
This year has a seen a number of massive NFL deals, with the Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert signing a five-year contract that averages $52.5 million a year. And both the Philadelphia Eagles’ Jalen Hurts and the Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson inked extensions that briefly made them the highest-paid players in the league. But nobody has been able to beat Burrow—at least where money is concerned.