Joe Burrow has led Cincinnati to two-straight AFC North titles and a Super Bowl after the 2021 season, which ended with a 23-20 loss to the Los Angeles Rams; the Bengals QB’s new deal sees him pass Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson as the NFL’s top earner in yearly average
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has become the highest-paid player in the NFL, agreeing to a five-year, $275m contract extension, according to multiple reports.
The contract includes more than $219m guaranteed, with Burrow earning an average of $55m a year to put him ahead of the likes of Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson who also signed new contracts in the offseason.
Burrow has led Cincinnati to two-straight AFC North titles and a Super Bowl after the 2021 season, which ended with a 23-20 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. The Bengals had not reached a Super Bowl since the 1989 season or even recorded a playoff win since 1990.
Cincinnati finished 12-4 last year, with Burrow named to his first Pro Bowl after throwing for 4,475 yards and a career-high 35 touchdowns.
Burrow strained a calf muscle early in this summer’s training camp and was out of action until last week. He has said that he is on track to start the Bengals’ season-opener against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
“This is where I want to be my whole career,” Burrow told reporters on Wednesday. “You’ve seen what the front office has done and what (coach) Zac (Taylor) has done in their time here. I’m a small part of that.
“I’m excited to be a part of that. And we have great people in the locker room that grind every day, that are excited to go and showcase their talents and excited to go and do it in the city of Cincinnati.”
The market for quarterbacks was set for Burrow in late July when Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Herbert agreed to a five-year, $262.5m extension.
Herbert’s total value and $52.5m average per season surpassed the $260m, five-year extension ($52m average) that Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens signed in April. Deshaun Watson agreed to a fully guaranteed $230m deal with Cleveland in 2022.
Kansas City Chiefs QB, and reigning Super Bowl MVP, Patrick Mahomes is in the third year of a 10-year contract worth $450m, the largest overall deal for a quarterback.
Burrow, the first overall pick by the Bengals in the 2020 NFL Draft, has thrown for 11,774 yards, 82 touchdowns and 31 interceptions during his three-year career.
He had season-ending knee surgery in 2020, his rookie year, but immediately became one of the NFL’s best passers upon his return, winning AP Comeback Player of the Year for the 2021 season.
Super Bowl champions Chiefs beaten by Lions in season opener
The Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs began their defence in defeat as they were beaten 21-20 by the Detroit Lions at Arrowhead in Thursday night’s 2023 season opener.
Lions running back David punched in the go-ahead eight-yard touchdown with 5.05 remaining in the game before icing the win with a decisive first down run inside the final two minutes.
Quarterback Jared Goff threw for 253 yards and a touchdown, while Amon-Ra St. Brown had six catches for 71 yards and a score.
Lions rookie Brian Branch also returned Patrick Mahomes’ first interception in an opener 50 yards for another touchdown as Detroit snapped the Chiefs’ eight-game Week One winning streak.
Mahomes finished the night 21 of 39 passing for 226 yards, two touchdowns and one interception as he played without star tight end Travis Kelce, who was officially ruled out earlier in the evening ahead of kickoff due to the knee injury suffered during the week.
The Chiefs were also without All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones, who sat and watched from the stands amid his contract holdout.
Week One of the 2023 NFL season continues Sunday as the San Francisco 49ers visit the Steelers, with coverage from 4.30pm ahead of kickoff at 6pm, followed by the Dolphins at Chargers at 9.25pm. Stream with NOW.