Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals are looking to reach their second consecutive AFC Championship by taking down the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on Sunday. While the organization hopes its playoff run lasts until its hoisting its first-ever Lombardi Trophy, once the offseason begins, all eyes will be on Joe Burrow.

The Bengals quarterback will become eligible for an extension this offseason and the team is eyeing this period to negotiate a lucrative extension for its franchise centerpiece, according to NFL Media. Players become extension eligible following their third season in the league, and Burrow will have crossed that threshold, thus triggering these talks. As they look to hammer out a deal, the Bengals could also place the fifth-year option on Burrow to further ensure he'll remain with the organization for years to come. 

Burrow's rookie contract was a four-year, $36.2 million deal. In 2022, he earned roughly $5.5 million in cash, making him one of the biggest bargains in the league. That will soon change with this extension, which will likely put him in the realm of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the league. 

Joe Burrow
CIN • QB • #9
View Profile

From an average annual value standpoint, Aaron Rodgers tops the position in 2023 with an AAV of $50.2 million. Behind him are Russell Wilson ($48.5 million), Kyler Murray ($46.1 million), Deshaun Watson ($46 million) and Patrick Mahomes ($45 million). Lamar Jackson will certainly factor into that equation and could boost Burrow's price if he reaches a new deal with the Baltimore Ravens as he is slated to reach free agency this offseason. 

Meanwhile, Burrow's opponent on Sunday in Josh Allen went through a similar scenario before the 2021 campaign that the Bengals quarterback is set to face this offseason. Buffalo exercised the fifth-year option on Allen's rookie contract in May of that year and then inked him to a six-year, $258 million deal that August that included $150 million fully guaranteed. In 2023, Allen has an AAV of $43 million, currently sixth in the NFL. 

Burrow has stated that he wants to play his entire career with the Bengals and it appears ownership is doing what it can to ensure that. This summer, Cincinnati reached an agreement for naming rights to what was then called Paul Brown Stadium. In making that change to Paycor Stadium, owner Mike Brown told reporters at the time that the organization sees "that train coming", referencing Burrow's contract. 

That added revenue stream should help give the Bengals more funds to work with as they look to ensure Burrow's future in Cincinnati long-term as that train Brown referenced last summer finally comes to the station this offseason.