Instead of lamenting the loss in Sunday night’s AFC title game to the Chiefsthem Cincinnati Bengals look to the 2023 season and the possibilities that lie ahead. The first step in that process is securing a contract extension for Joe Burrow, the quarterback who has played a major role in the franchise’s success over the past two years.
Bengals coach Zac Taylor said Monday that the Burrow extension discussion “starts now, internally.” Burrow has one year left on his rookie contract which will carry a cap of $11.5 million in 2023. He is expected to become a free agent in 2025 but is expected to receive a long-term extension before the start of the 2023 season.
Taylor wouldn’t go into detail regarding Burrow’s specific monetary value to the Bengals, who have won as many playoff games with Burrow (five) in the past two years as they have in the franchise’s previous 53 seasons.
“Luckily I don’t have to put this on paper, in terms of what it is,” Taylor said, via Pro Football Talk. He is a hard worker. He cares about his teammates. He cares where he’s from – Ohio. This fanbase, I think it represents us the right way.
“And so, we’re very proud to have Joe Burrow as our quarterback.”
The 2022 season has been a very successful one for Burrow, who was selected to his first Pro Bowl after helping the Bengals tie the franchise record of 12 regular season wins. He helped the Bengals win 10 straight games after the team got off to a 4-4 start. Burrow is one of five finalists for this year’s MVP award.
Prior to the start of the playoffs, Burrow was open about his desire to play long-term for the Bengals, who selected him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. A native of Ohio, Burrow played college football in neighboring Ohio before winning the Heisman Trophy and a national title at LSU.
“My plan is to be here all my career” Terrier said during an interview with NBC Sports’ Maria Taylor. “I hope Zac (Taylor) is here for my whole career, and I hope a lot of our guys are here for as long as my career can be.
“I have a lot of confidence in the front office doing their job in the offseason. We drafted well. We signed some great free agents. We called in players with no waivers who really made an impact on our team. I think we have one of the best front offices in the league.
“Zac, in my opinion, is the best coach in the league. So that gives me a lot of confidence to go out there and say that.”
Bengals owner Mike Brown, when asked about Burrow’s future with the franchise recently, made it clear that the franchise’s main goal this offseason is to agree with their quarterback on a long-term contract.
“He’s going to have a long career,” Brown told team radio during Super Wild Card Weekend, by ESPN. “We definitely want it to be here. I think his window will be his entire career. But there’s the fact that when you don’t have to pay the quarterback an extraordinary amount of money, it leaves room. to pay other players more and therefore you can keep more players who are good players.”
Burrow will certainly be rewarded as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but it looks like he’ll do his part to make sure the Bengals can keep their core together as much as possible. He’ll likely emulate Tom Brady’s approach to contacts, an approach that helped Brady become the most successful player in league history.
With Burrow, the Bengals’ intention is to keep their receiving corps in the fold for the foreseeable future. That includes second-year phenom Ja’Marr Chase and third-year veteran Tee Higgins. The Bengals will likely part ways with several notable future free agents this offseason, including linebacker Germaine Pratt and safety Jessie Bates III.
Bates, who has been instrumental in the franchise’s turnaround, expressed his desire to stay in Cincinnati as the Bengals cleaned out their lockers on Monday. He said, however, he couldn’t accept a hometown discount after playing last season on the franchise tag. Bates played this year after skipping training camp after the two teams couldn’t agree on a long-term deal.
“I could have easily taken a different path, been a Cancer,” Bates said on the 2022 season, via Cincinnati Investigator. “It had a lot to do with the people in this dressing room and the organization. They brought me here and helped me through some tough times. I was in shells. I didn’t talk to anyone sometimes. The brotherhood that we have here got me out of that.”