It’s no great secret the Cincinnati Bengals boast one of the NFL’s best bargain contracts while Joe Burrow plays on a rookie deal.
That’s about to change in a big way — the Bengals have justified urgency in getting an extension done soon.
But for now, it remains one of the best bargains in the NFL. The experts at ESPN just ranked the best bargain quarterback contracts and Burrow landed fourth in the rankings amongst rookie-deal starters:
“Burrow and Herbert were both drafted by teams that don’t historically spend a lot, but the Bengals have operated their spending a bit differently since Burrow arrived, leading some to speculate they might be willing to make him guarantees they haven’t in past contracts. Of course, with receivers Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase also up for extensions in the next two offseasons, Burrow may be better off pushing this thing back a year or two to leave some short-term cash free for the team to keep his receiving corps together. If Burrow and/or Herbert sign this offseason, that $50 million a year is likely their floor.”
Finishing “fourth” amongst rookie starters is still a great thing here, as the rankings factor in the most value relative to their current contracts. Jalen Hurts finishes first because he was a second-round pick with a smaller cap hit and similar story for Justin Herbert. Daniel Jones behind ahead of Burrow is the only head-scratcher, but it’s still a great spot for the Bengals to sit.
Looking ahead, Burrow’s about to potentially “reset” the quarterback market, though if he keeps playing at such a high level, he’ll compete with Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen as the best bargain, anyway. What’s interesting is whether he gets a team-friendly deal with rolling guarantees like Mahomes to better help the team extend names like Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase. Either way, the Bengals are well-positioned to keep all three when the time comes.