The Cincinnati Bengals haven’t played a game yet in the 2023 season, but they have to already feel like winners. That is because they know that they are going to have Joe Burrow as their quarterback for a long time.
Burrow and the Bengals agreed to a record-setting extension on Thursday night. The two sides agreed to a five-year, $275 million deal with $219.01 million guaranteed. That deal makes Burrow the highest-paid player in NFL history and the guaranteed money is the second most behind Deshaun Watson, who received $230 million.
The $55 million per year tops the contract extension that Justin Herbert agreed to with the Los Angeles Chargers a few weeks ago. He took the top spot away from Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens, who dethroned Jalen Hurts’ extension with the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this offseason.
The star quarterback reiterated all throughout training camp that he wasn’t worried about an extension getting done. His focus had already shifted to preparing for the Cleveland Browns, the Bengals’ Week 1 opponent.
But, he did reveal that Cincinnati is where he wanted to be long-term. He shared that during a press conference on Wednesday, and he has now gotten that wish with this monster extension.
“This is where I want to be,” Burrow said. “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.”
In the three years that Burrow has been with the franchise, the Bengals have gone from a downtrodden cellar dweller to a perennial contender in the loaded AFC. They have made the AFC Championship Game two seasons in a row, splitting the contests with the Kansas City Chiefs.
The two sides are hoping that level of success can continue into the future and that they will eventually break through for that elusive Super Bowl title.