Burrow Extension Breakdown

What Does Burrow's Extension Mean & Who's Next?

Joe Cool ain't going nowhere.

Minutes before the 2023 NFL season began, the Bengals dropped an absolute bag on Joe Burrow to lock up their franchise QB for the next half-decade. The deal made him the highest-paid player in NFL history by AAV and the second-most potential money on a deal ever.

Here's how Burrow's deal stacks up, what expectations for him should be coming off the signing, and who's next on the extension train:

Where Does Burrow's Deal Stack Up

Well, nobody's beating Patrick Mahomes' half-billion-dollar lifetime deal with the Chiefs. But, Burrow did manage to set a new highest average annual value for NFL QBs. Here are the top-five largest contracts in NFL history after Burrow's extension:

  • Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes: $450,000,000
  • Bengals QB Joe Burrow: $275,000,000
  • Chargers QB Justin Herbert: $262,500,000
  • Ravens QB Lamar Jackson: $260,000,000
  • Bills QB Josh Allen: $258,034,000

Burrow's been great in his first three NFL seasons, there's no question. He's led the Bengals to move playoff wins then they had in the previous 30 years combined and solidified himself as a real MVP candidate. But, now that he's gotten paid, the Bengals are hoping he'll get even better.

Burrow and Bengals' Week 1 Expectations

The value of Burrow's deal is almost unprecedented, but the timing is not. Over the lat few years there have been several QBs ink massive extensions right before the opening game of the season. It, uhh, hasn't gone great for player or team:

Biggest Recent QB Deals Just Before Week 1
Russell WilsonBroncosSeptember 1, 20225 years, $242 mill
DeShaun WatsonTexansSeptember 5, 20204 years, $156 mill
Jared GoffRamsSeptember 3, 20194 years, $134 mill

It's pretty obvious that none of those contracts have been long-term wins for their respective organizations. But, what about in Week 1 right after the deals were signed? Sorry Joe Burr, not much better, as all three teams have failed to cover in their Week 1 showing after inking the QB:

  • Broncos Week 1 2022: 16-17 loss to Seahawks
  • Texans Week 1 2020: 20-34 loss to Chiefs
  • Rams Week 1 2019: 30-27 win over Panthers

Maybe Burrow bucks the trend as the Bengals are 1.5-point favorites over the Browns in Week 1. But, history isn't on his side.

Who's Next To Get A Big Contract?

After Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson inked their deals, the football world was just waiting for the Bengals to bend to Burrow's demands. Now that the Cinci QB is inked, here are the next NFL stars who should get the brinks truck backed up:

  • DT Chris Jones
  • WR Justin Jefferson
  • WR Ja'Marr Chase
  • QB Trevor Lawrence

I'd be surprised if Jones isn't extended by the Chiefs in the next few days. They really could've used his interior presence in a Week 1 loss to the Lions.

Next will come the two star receivers, with both Jefferson and Chase looking to set a new ceiling for WR pay. The one issue with these contract talks is I could see both players waiting for the other to sign, setting the market.

And then, the big one. The next big QB contract we're going to see will likely come from the Jaguars and Trevor Lawrence. The Jags' QB led a six-win improvement last year, turning into a legit MVP candidate and leading Jacksonville back to the playoffs. If he takes yet another step forward in 2023-24, Lawrence should be looking at a 250+ million payout similar to Burrow's.

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