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Here’s why Joe Burrow’s next contract won’t look like Jalen Hurts’ deal

And it’s not about guaranteed money.

Cincinnati Bengals v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

It now looks like the Cleveland Browns failed to reshape the QB market with Deshaun Watson’s fully-guaranteed contract.

Jalen Hurts, who just took his team to the Super Bowl, signed a deal this offseason that made him the highest-paid player ever. But only $179 million of the $255 million in his contract is guaranteed.

Even better for fans of the Philadelphia Eagles is the fact that VP Howie Roseman structured the deal in a way that keeps their Super Bowl window wide open (from a cap perspective) for at least four more years. Check out these low cap hits:

So shouldn’t Duke Tobin and the Blackburns do something similar with Joe Burrow’s upcoming deal?

Well, as A to Z Sports’ John Sheeran pointed out, it’s what happens after those first four years—the first of which is the last year of Hurts’ rookie deal—that is probably impossible for the Bengals.

Philadelphia will be on the hook for massive cap hits after the 2026 season and will be forced to restructure and “kick the can down the road,” as Sheeran told us. That “can” will currently be about $180 million across 2027 and 2028.

That means two things:

1. The Eagles could find themselves in a situation similar to the Los Angeles Rams right now, where, after going all in (and it paying off with a championship), they are in cap hell and rebuilding.

That might’ve made sense for a team with an aging QB (Matthew Stafford), but this is not the path for a team with objectively one of the top quarterbacks in the game still only 26 years old.

2. The Eagles will need a lot of cash on hand to continue to restructure and convert cap hits into signing bonuses. And we already know the Bengals’ front office will struggle just to retain its top talent in the near future.

So while it would be a beautiful thing with the sky-high rate of QB salaries today, it is unlikely the Bengals will be able to get away with something as crafty as what the Eagles just did.

For more on Burrow’s upcoming contract, watch below:

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