Burrow will likely order a long-term deal that will pay him somewhere in the $40 million to $50 million range per season, based on deals from other top American football players.
The last one to benefit was Kyler Murray, who last week signed a five-year, $230 million deal with the Cardinals, making about $46.1 million per season.
Cincinnati receiver Tee Higgins, who is drafted in the same 2020 class as Burrow, will also be eligible to negotiate after this season, taking up Ja’Marr Chase’s Offensive Novice of the Year award the following year. Both would also require significant contracts.
“Right now, our most important and obvious issue will be the quarterback,” the 86-year-old said the day before the Bengals training camp opened in Cincinnati. “It’s not quite ready or mature yet, but it’s right down the track and we see the train coming.”
The odd man here may be safety Jesse Bates III, who has been frustrated by the failed efforts to reach a long-term agreement with the Bengals. Bates, a popular team captain, has stayed away from organized team events in the spring and will play this season with a franchise, meaning he can negotiate with any team after season. Nobody knows when he might show up for training camp.
“We’ve been trying for two years to extend it, and we haven’t been able to get there,” Brown said. “I’m sorry we didn’t. But we’ll have another chance at the end of the season. Maybe it will happen after that.
Brown continued: “Keep in mind we have a lot going on. We are trying to prepare for our hat and as we go along the streak we will need room for our centre-backs and receivers.”
Burrow’s value to the team on the field and as the face of the franchise cannot be overstated. He led the Bengals to their first Super Bowl appearance in 33 years, losing to the Los Angeles Rams 23-20. The excitement continued. Season tickets have already been sold out for the 2022 season.
“We couldn’t be happier with Joe Borough,” Brown said. “He’s everything you could wish for, especially for the Cincinnati quarterback. Our whole focus is on keeping him here.”
Duke Tobin, the Bengals’ manager of players, said he’s watching for looming contract issues, but would prefer to focus on the more pressing goal of returning to the Super Bowl.
“We don’t really bury our heads in the sand and ignore what’s going on elsewhere,” Tobin said when asked about Murray’s new contract with the Cardinals. “We are aware of what is happening elsewhere. We are aware of the other deals that are out there. At this point, we are only focused on 2022 and putting the best team out there.
“We know we have decisions and contracts that will emerge as our team matures,” Tobin said. “That is the determination of any player we take off the draft board. The determination is that they are going to win a big, big contract. That’s what we want from our guys. We want them to be considered top players at the highest level.”
what’s in a name?
The Bengals’ main stadium is still called Paul Brown Stadium, but this is likely to change soon.
Brown said it was inevitable to sell the naming rights to the 22-year-old venue, named after his father and team founder. He was unable to provide any details on Monday but said an announcement was coming.
“We are a small market team,” he said, noting that most NFL teams have sold the naming rights. “We need the sources of income that we can get. We have to do some things just to keep up.”
Brown declined to comment on whether his father’s name could be included in the stadium’s new branding.
Bengals reports to camp on Tuesday as rehearsals begin the next day.
I do not go
Some key players will be sidelined when the camp opens.
Alex Capa and Lyle Collins, expected starters in the retooled Cincinnati offensive line, are out for now. Cappa (core muscle injury) was placed on the active/physically unable to perform, and Collins (backward) on the list of active/non-football related injuries. Offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said they are expected to be ready to go when Cincinnati opens the season on September 11 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The camp will also start with LB Joe Bachie, DE Khalid Kareem, RB Samaje Perine and S Brandon Wilson.
Ex-Bengal Andrew Whitworth joins the football team on Thursday night
Bengals version first look at white helmet design
Cincinnati Bengals to explore naming rights deal for Paul Brown Stadium