Joe Burrow brought the Bengals to within a couple of minutes of winning the franchise’s first Super Bowl title. And now the quarterback is leading Cincinnati into this year’s divisional playoff round.
Whatever happens in the playoffs, Burrow is eligible for a contract extension. Or maybe the Bengals pick up the fifth year option of the deal. Either way, big money should be flowing Joe Burrow’s way. These last two seasons make the case that Joe Burrow is deserving of a heftier deal.
Yet Mike Brown, the owner of the Bengals, talked as if he was weighing whether to award Burrow such a significant pay bump. Brown discussed all this during a radio interview with the Bengals flagship station. The segment ran Sunday before the Bengals 24-17 victory over Baltimore in the Super Wildcard round.
Joe Burrow wants to spend his entire career in Cincinnati. But can (or will) the Bengals afford him?
“He’s going to have a long career. We certainly want it to be here,” Brown said. “I think his window will extend over his whole career. But there is the fact that when you don’t have to pay the quarterback some extraordinary amount, that that leaves room to pay other players more, and therefore you can keep more players that are good players.
“That’s what people are referring to there. (Patrick) Mahomes and others of that like, they seem to make it go even after they have gotten their payday.”
The Bengals selected Joe Burrow with the first pick of the 2020 NFL draft. He’d just led LSU to a dominant, record-breaking season. Cincinnati negotiated a guaranteed, four-year $36 million contract with Burrow. The team hoped he could resurrect the Bengals and serve as a face of the franchise for years. Burrow tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee his rookie season. But he helped reboot the Bengals in 2021.
Cincy hadn’t won a playoff game since 1990. Then in last season’s playoffs, Burrow led the Bengals to a wildcard victory over Las Vegas. Check that streak off the list. Then Cincinnati upset top-seeded Tennessee for the franchise’s first-ever playoff road win. The Bengals followed that with an AFC title win at Kansas City. The last time Cincinnati played in the AFC title game was in 1988, when Boomer Esiason was throwing passes to Cris Collinsworth. And Ickey Woods was perfecting the Ickey Shuffle.
Mike Brown bleeds Bengals orange and black. His father, Paul Brown, was the team’s original owner. So surely he’ll pay Joe Burrow, right? Count on the contract negotiations to be a major plot line in the NFL off-season.