Joe Burrow is staying in Cincinnati for the long haul. The Ohio native and Pro Bowl quarterback has come to terms on a record-setting long-term deal with the Bengals, who selected him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Specifically, Burrow has reached an agreement on a five-year, $275 million contract, as confirmed by CBS Sports HQ Senior Insider Josina Anderson. That makes Burrow the highest-paid player in NFL history. The extension also includes $219.01 million guaranteed, according to ESPN.
Ironically, the news broke shortly following kickoff of the NFL's opening game between the Chiefs and the Lions. Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs MVP quarterback, famously after Kansas City defeated the Bengals in January's AFC title game rematch.
Mahomes may be the NFL's best quarterback (a sentiment shared by Burrow himself), but the league's highest-paid player now resides in Cincinnati and for a team that for a long time was known for its frugality. Much has changed, however, since Burrow first arrived in Cincinnati in the spring of 2020. After winning a combined six games in 2019-20, Cincinnati won the AFC two years ago and have won the AFC North each of the last two years. Much of that success can be attributed to Burrow, who wants to continue to build upon the success he and his teammates have had over the past several years.
"My plan is to be here my whole career," Burrow said during an interview with NBC Sports during last year's postseason. "Hopefully, Zac [Taylor] is here my whole career, and hopefully a lot of our guys are around for as long as my career as they can be."
When asked about his contract on Wednesday, Burrow reinforced his desire to remain with the Bengals for the long haul. He added that, extension or no extension, he is starting Sunday's season-opener against the Browns a little over a week after returning to practice after a calf injury sidelined him for a month.
A Heisman Trophy winner and national champion at LSU, Burrow won Comeback Player of the Year in 2021 after recovering from a serious knee injury to lead the Bengals to the Super Bowl. Last season, Burrow was named to his first Pro Bowl while spearheading the Bengals' consecutive AFC Championship game appearances. Over the past two seasons, the Burrow has compiled a 22-10 regular season and 5-2 postseason record as the Bengals' starting quarterback.
The third quarterback to lead the Bengals to a Super Bowl, Burrow is hoping to join Ken Anderson and Boomer Esiason as Cincinnati quarterbacks that have won league MVP. Burrow was in the running to win the award last season before it was ultimately awarded to Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts. And despite the calf injury, Burrow said Wednesday that he is in the best shape that he has ever been in entering an NFL season. He attributed his fitness to weight lifting during his month recovering from the calf injury.
Burrow is also looking to lead the Bengals to the franchise's first Super Bowl win. Cincinnati has good odds to make that happen this season; they have the fifth-best odds to win the Super Bowl, according to Caesars Sportsbook. Burrow, in case you were wondering, has the second-best odds at winning league MVP, behind only Mahomes.
As he alluded to above, Burrow is hoping that the Bengals can keep their core in tact for many years to come. With Burrow taken care of, Cincinnati's next priority is locking up wideouts Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. Chase, a two-time Pro Bowler and 2021 Offensive Rookie of the Year, is entering the third year of his rookie contract. Higgins, a 1,000-yard receiver each of the past two seasons, is going into the final year of his rookie deal.
While those contracts still need to get done, the Bengals will likely take time to celebrate locking up Burrow, who has joined Hurts, Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson as quarterbacks who signed longterm deals this offseason.