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PFF projects Bengals to make Joe Burrow the highest-paid player in NFL history

He’s earned every penny already.

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AFC Championship - Cincinnati Bengals v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

A hot topic surrounding the Cincinnati Bengals this off-season is the contract extension of franchise quarterback Joe Burrow.

Burrow has quarterbacked the Bengals to five postseason wins over the last two seasons, tying the total of postseason wins the franchise had before his arrival. That includes a Super Bowl appearance and back-to-back AFC Championship games.

Safe to say the Bengals would like to keep him around.

With Deshaun Watson’s record $230 million fully guaranteed contract, Burrow’s pending extension and Lamar Jackson in the thick of a stalemate with the Baltimore Ravens, the AFC North is set to shape the quarterback market for the entire NFL.

Pro Football Focus’ Brad Spielberger recently released his contract projections for quarterbacks out of the 2020 NFL Draft class and has Burrow set to sign a record-breaking deal.

Spielberger predicts Burrow will sign a four-year contract worth $53.5 per year, with $185 million guaranteed at signing. That would be the largest average annual value contract in NFL history and the second-most ever in terms of guaranteed money, second only to Watson’s deal in Cleveland.

Spielberger also talks more about the structure of the guarantees to match how the Bengals like to construct contracts:

Because of Cincinnati’s resistance to guaranteeing money beyond the first year of a contract, Burrow should also push to get a larger signing bonus than Dak Prescott’s record $66 million figure. With Burrow’s fifth-year option valued at $29.5 million, he’s scheduled to earn $35.045 million over the next two years before the extension years kick in.

The Bengals have changed their ways with their recent success. Partnerships with companies, such as Paycor purchasing naming rights for the stadium have added new revenue streams, likely because the front office saw the direction contracts were heading. This is not only for Burrow’s deal. The Bengals are also going to explore every avenue to keep Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins in town as well.

For now, the focus is on the most important position on the team. Bengals fans would be fine with this contract and essentially any contract that keeps Burrow in a striped helmet for the foreseeable future.