Pen-to-Paper: Joe Burrow, Bengals finalize record-setting contract

Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals have finalized the record-setting contract that keeps the franchise star in Cincinnati through the 2029 season.
Published: Sep. 9, 2023 at 10:58 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals have finalized the record-setting contract that keeps the franchise star in Cincinnati through the 2029 season.

Just as the NFL season was kicking off in the home of the Bengals newest rival, news broke that Burrow and the franchise had come to an agreement on a five-year, $275 million ($219 million guaranteed) contract extension.

The massive contract makes the 26-year-old star quarterback the highest-paid player in NFL history.

Burrow, with head coach Zac Taylor seated next to him, spoke Saturday for the first time since the new deal was signed.

During the press conference, he said “There’s a lot more work to do” and reiterated that he wants to spend his entire career in a Bengals uniform.

The Athens, Ohio, native is now signed through the 2029 season.

There is no doubt that Burrow has been the face of the Bengals and Cincinnati sports since he was drafted No. 1 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft.

His rookie season was cut short after tearing his ACL and MCL in the 10th game of the year.

Burrow came back better than ever the following season.

In 2021, he started all 16 games, setting his career high in completion percentage (70.4%) and winning AP Comeback Player of the Year.

The regular season was great for the Bengals and their fans, but that was just a glimpse at what was to come.

Cincinnati’s stellar playoff run, anchored by Burrow and great defense, culminated in a trip to Super Bowl LVI. The franchise’s first since 1989.

Even though the game did not go the Bengals’ way, it set the stage for what Burrow and his teammates could accomplish.

It was a slow start to the 2022 season for Cincinnati, perhaps dealing with the so-called Super Bowl hangover.

The team started 0-2, but heading into the Week 10 bye, they found themselves a game above .500 at 5-4.

Burrow and the Bengals took off from there.

From Oct. 8, 2022, to Jan. 22, 2023, the Bengals did not lose.

Cincinnati won nine straight games (including two playoff games) following the bye week.

The Bengals found themselves back in familiar territory in the AFC Championship game in Kansas City against the Chiefs.

After besting the Chiefs in Kansas City the previous season, the Burrow-led Bengals took the Chiefs down to the wire as they fought for back-to-back Super Bowl appearances.

The Chiefs and their star quarterback Patrick Mahomes ended up winning the game en route to another Vince Lombardi Trophy two weeks later.

Again, despite the loss, the Bengals proved to the NFL that they were going to be championship contenders for years to come with Burrow at the helm.

Burrow’s career stats & accomplishments:

  • 24-17-1 regular season record
  • 5-2 playoff record
  • 82 passing touchdowns
  • 11,774 passing yards
  • 68.2% completion percentage
  • 2022 Pro Bowl
  • No. 4 in 2022 MVP voting
  • Seven game-winning drives
  • Named one of the Most Stylish ‘People’ in 2022 by the New York Times

The contract extension now gives the Bengals and Burrow a Super Bowl window for years to come.

Burrow was at the top of the front office’s list in regards to contracts, but there are still two important deals to work out on the offensive side of the ball: Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.

Chase is under contract through 2024 while his wide receiver counterpart Higgins is only signed through this season.

The problem currently seems to be that Higgins and the Bengals are not close to working out terms of an extension, the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Kelsey Conway reported Friday.

“Unless something ‘shocking’ happens in next 24 hours, a long-term extension is not expected to happen before Sunday,” Conway wrote on the social media platform X.

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