They say it “takes two to tango” when it comes to contract negotiations, but there’s even more nuance to it when the contract in question is of massive proportions.
For Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, there is Katie Blackburn and the Bengals front office on one side, and Burrow and his agent on the other, working towards a finish line where both parties ultimately come out happy.
But as director of player personnel Duke Tobin knows, there’s more parties hoping to come out on top here. It’s not just that Burrow deserves to be compensated as the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL, it’s the simply fact that an alternative outcome would look bad for the organization that represents Burrow and every other NFL player.
In an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show, Tobin shared some thoughts on the ongoing negotiations between the team and Burrow.
And rightfully mentioned that the player’s union, the NFLPA, will look for Burrow’s deal to keep the quarterback market rising instead of plateauing.
“He’ll be paid well and he’s earned it,” Tobin said of the quarterback he helped draft three years ago. “You know, there’s more than just the Bengals and Joe. It’s Joe’s agent. It’s the [player’s] union. It’s a lot of factors that are outside of us… there’s a lot of people that have interest in this.”
Burrow’s agency obviously gets a cut of whatever deal materializes, but the NFLPA has a battle of its own.
They spent the last year attempting to make Deshaun Watson’s fully guaranteed contract the new norm for NFL quarterbacks, and eventually all players.
New contracts for Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray, Jalen Hurts, and Lamar Jackson that ended up not following Watson’s lead has made that fight a lost cause, but there’s still more guaranteed money to be signed for. Burrow will likely exceed Jackson’s average annual value of $52 million a year and total guaranteed amount of $185 million, and the NFLPA will have a vested interest in making that happen. Such a variable doesn’t seem to be bogging down Tobin at the moment.
“Joe’s great to work with,” Tobin said. “And I know Katie and his representational will get it worked out and we’ll go forward, but we plan on Joe burrow been here a long time. He’s the straw that stirring it right now.”