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Grading the Joe Burrow contract extension

The Cincinnati Bengals made Joe Burrow the highest-paid player in NFL history on Thursday. Just how good of a deal was it?

It’s finally done.

As multiple outlets have reported, Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals have agreed to a historic five-year deal worth $275 million—$219.01 million of it in guaranteed money.

And it came on Paul Brown’s birthday.

This deal has been in the works for some time, and while many thought it would be completed sooner, it’s done and sets a new benchmark for quarterbacks and NFL players in general. While we wait for all of the intricate details, the deal puts his average annual value (AAV) atop all signal-callers at $55 million, while the guaranteed money also slightly edges out all quarterbacks.

Burrow was the final deal of the great young quarterbacks to fall into place this summer. Jalen Hurts, Justin Herbert, and Lamar Jackson all signed deals that ended up superseding each other’s financials, with Burrow’s topping them all.

This extension comes a few months after the team gave out the most guaranteed money in its history to Orlando Brown, Jr. Not ironically, Brown is now Burrow’s blindside protector.

Having this information leaked Thursday (it’s been held tightly under wraps by all parties) has some...coincidences. It was Paul Brown’s birthday, it’s on the week of the 100th “Battle of Ohio” contest, and was announced by various media members upon the kickoff of the Thursday Night game featuring one of Burrow and the Bengals’ biggest current rivals—the Kansas City Chiefs.


Though we have yet to get the full picture of the financials of the deal, it’s hard for me to give it anything but an “A” grade. Burrow is a unanimous top-five quarterback (often ranked in the top-two) in the NFL and has engineered two of the best seasons in franchise history.

He has become an icon for the city of Cincinnati, and inking him long-term ensures their championship window remains open for years to come. Recognizing his importance and the team shattering whatever erroneous “cheap” stigmas some people hold who haven’t been paying attention to what they have been doing earns that “A.”

Only thing stopping me from giving it an “A+”? We will have to see what this means for Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase and their extensions down the road. When you look back to the mid-2000s, the Bengals were able to keep a myriad of their stars and extend them for periods of time with top positional money for the time, be it Carson Palmer, his offensive tackles, Rudi and Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, etc.

Cincinnati will undoubtedly try and continue to work on a deal with Higgins, but a historic contract makes extending other stars more complicated. Nevertheless, this offseason has seen extensions/signings by Logan Wilson, Germaine Pratt, Brown, and now Burrow. Not bad for a spring and summer’s worth of work.


What grade do you give the Joe Burrow extension?

This poll is closed

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