The Cincinnati Bengals are planning on inking the single biggest deal, literally and figuratively, in franchise history this summer by signing quarterback Joe Burrow to a long-term contract.
In all likelihood, the deal will eclipse what Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts just signed for Monday morning. Hurts put pen-to-paper on a five-year, $255 million mega-deal, making him the highest-paid player in NFL history in terms of average annual value.
Hurts’ deal was an expected progression in the quarterback market, but it also didn’t follow the fully guaranteed deal path akin to what Deshaun Watson received last year from the Cleveland Browns.
Hurts taking Philly’s deal instead of pushing for 100% guaranteed salaries became an important step in Cincinnati’s negotiations with Burrow.
Hurts clearly had priorities throughout the process. When asked about why he didn’t try and secure a contract that’s fully guaranteed, his answer reflects how Bengals fans desire Burrow to feel about the subject.
“I think you look at all the great teams around there, and I won’t get too much into detail, but you look at all the great teams, great players, it takes a village,” said Hurts after signing the deal.
The Eagles have constructed a phenomenal roster around Hurts during his rookie contract, just as the Bengals have done so around Burrow during the same timeframe.
This will be the last year the Bengals can truly take advantage of their quarterback’s rookie deal, regardless if they get a deal done or not. Burrow’s fifth-year option in 2024 will cost them about $30 million against the salary cap.
In short, money and cap space are going to get tight around Burrow, and the Bengals would want as much flexibility with his deal as possible.
Hurts was able to reset the quarterback market while ensuring the team will have as much cap space as possible for the next few years, which will allow them to sustain the overall talent on the roster.
“Money is nice. Championships are better.”
– Jalen Hurts
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 24, 2023
It’s a popular take that Burrow would apply the same beliefs towards his own contract, but until an agreement is officially made, we won’t know for sure. The blueprint Hurts utilized will definitely become the benchmark to watch for.