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Cincinnati Bengals make Joe Burrow highest-paid player in NFL history

Joe Burrow contract

The long-awaited contract extension for Cincinnati Bengals star quarterback Joe Burrow came to fruition mere minutes after the 2023 NFL season officially opened.

According to multiple media reports, Cincinnati has inked Burrow to a contract that makes him the highest-paid player in NFL history.

NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reports that the deal is for $275 million over five seasons. The contract is said to include $219.01 million in total guarantees.

Burrow and the Bengals had been in negotiations about a contract extension throughout the entire offseason. It seemed to be a common belief that the former Heisman winner and No. 1 pick from LSU would set the new mark around the NFL, besting fellow 2020 NFL Draft classmate Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers.

Burrow, 26, led the Bengals to a Super Bowl appearance as a sophomore in 2021 before the team fell to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game this past season. By making this announcement Thursday evening, Cincinnati is overshadowing the Chiefs’ season opener against the Detroit Lions.

Joe Burrow contract details

joe burrow
Cara Owsley/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

The $55 million Burrow is earning on his new contract ranks No. 1 in NFL history, $2.5 million more than the aforementioned Herbert.

His $275 million in total value is also first in the history of the league. As for the $219.01 million in total guarantees, it’s second behind Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns.

There was some thought that Burrow and the Bengals would have issues with negotiations given Cincinnati’s MO with contracts in the past. But the organization realized that it needed to make the franchise quarterback happy.

After putting up one of the best seasons in college football history with LSU back in 2019, Burrow was the first pick of the Bengals months later. He suffered a torn ACL 10 games into his rookie season, creating some questions about the quarterback’s long-term viability.

Burrow answered these questions in more ways than one, tallying 4,611 yards with 34 touchdowns and 14 interceptions as a sophomore. That season saw him lead Cincinnati to its first Super Bowl appearance since January of 1989.

With Burrow now extended, it stands to reason that Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence will be the next youngster to get that Brinks Truck. Lawrence is eligible for an extension following the 2023 season.

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