Joe Burrow cashes in, and the impact will be felt across the AFC
While the football world was swirling with excitement over the kickoff game between the Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs, some breaking news was going down right around kickoff of the first regular season game of the year.
That news was something all football fans expected throughout the preseason and training camp — a Joe Burrow contract extension. Well, Burrow cashed in, and did so in a big way.
This per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network:
🚨 🚨 🚨
Sources: The #Bengals and star QB Joe Burrow have a huge new deal, as he’s set to be the new highest paid QB in the NFL. Right before the season, Burrow and Cincy get their long-awaited deal.
He gets his 5-year, $275M deal. pic.twitter.com/UYCDVsK3Sc
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 8, 2023
While Seinfeld fans remember the “Summer of George”, the 2023 summer might be known as the “Summer of QB Extensions”.
So far, Burrow capped off the fourth quarterback to get paid big-time money this offseason with his 5-year deal worth $275 million dollars.
Joe Burrow is now the fourth quarterback this off-season to sign a market resetting contract extension:
🏈 Joe Burrow: 5-years, $275M
🏈 Justin Herbert: 5-years, $262.5M
🏈 Jalen Hurts: 5-years, $255M
🏈 Lamar Jackson: 5-years, $260M
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 8, 2023
Fellow players in the league will celebrate this contract, in hopes of them cashing in their own big money deal at some point, but the Burrow contract, along with the other deals made this offseason, will certainly have implications around the AFC.
When you consider teams who have invested heavily in the quarterback position, the salary cap implications will be evident. It might not be in 2023 or 2024, with teams having the flexibility to move money around, but eventually the cap restrictions will limit what the team can, and cannot do.
Look at the AFC North as a prime example of the outlook of these four franchises. The Bengals just paid Burrow handsomely, as did the Baltimore Ravens with Lamar Jackson. You don’t need to remind NFL fans of the $230 million guaranteed contract the Cleveland Browns gave Deshaun Watson.
Then there’s the Pittsburgh Steelers with Kenny Pickett entering Year 2 of his rookie deal.
A similar story can be told about the AFC West. Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are married for the long haul, Russell Wilson’s contract has proven to be questionable with the Denver Broncos, and Justin Herbert’s monster contract now has the Las Vegas Raiders looking at their quarterback position a little differently.
Burrow is the latest player to cash in, and has become the highest paid player in the NFL for at least a few weeks/months, but the ripple effect on how teams who go all-in on their quarterback will be felt throughout the conference. The saying is the best time to win is with a quarterback on a rookie contract, and there is a reason why people suggest this as the best way to see success in the NFL.
In the meantime, the Bengals gave the man they believe will win them their first Super Bowl all-time money, not it’s time to see if he can fulfill his end of the bargain and not just get Cincinnati to the big game, but win it all.
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