Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has had a tough offseason. He injured his calf at the start of training camp, which kept him off the field for about six weeks. There has been some concern about his availability for Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns, but signs are pointing toward Burrow being on the field.
The other question is, will it be as the highest-paid player in the NFL? All offseason the Bengals and Joe Burrow have been discussing a contract extension. The quarterback market has boomed as Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles, Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens and Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers all signed record-setting extensions.
Herbert currently holds the record after breaking the deal Jackson signed. When Jackson put pen to paper, he broke the record Hurts set. Those deals all come on top of Daniel Jones and Derek Carr signing contracts with the New York Giants and New Orleans Saints in free agency that pay $37.5 and $40 million annually.
Those are deals that Joe Burrow is widely expected to beat. Herbert signed a five-year, $262.5 million deal, which is likely the benchmark the Bengals are going to have to clear. That deal is worth $52.5 million AAV, so it would not be a surprise if Joe Burrow’s contract reaches $53 million.
When could this deal get done? According to Dianna Russini of The Athletic, it could be before the weekend. There is some optimism that something will be completed before the Bengals take the field for the season opener against the Browns on Sunday.
“Both Burrow and the Bengals have kept major information from leaking, but based on my discussions, there’s optimism in the building and in the locker room that a deal could get done over the next few days.”
If a deal isn’t done, would Joe Burrow still be on the field Sunday? The calf injury could be used as a reason to sit out until a deal is done, but according to one of Russini’s league sources, that isn’t something that will occur.
“Joe is a competitor. He’s not missing a game against the Browns. Not worried about the contract.”
That is the sentiment that Joe Burrow has been sharing all offseason. He is focused on football and things he can control on the field. His track record and resume speak for itself, as a contract will get done in due time.