In NFL history, it has the greatest average yearly value.
Cincinnati had already exercised his $29.5 million option for the 2024 NFL season, extending the time frame in which the two parties had to come to an agreement.
The Bengals said in a statement that they "indicate this is a mechanical step along the way" and that they "will continue working with Burrow and his representatives to work toward securing his long-term future as a Bengal."
Director of player personnel Duke Tobin informed the media that talks with the quarterback and others were still underway before to the 2023 NFL draft.
You can't know whether or when they'll be finished, he said. "We're trying to get as many terrific players as we can on our football team, and we're trying to keep them as long as we can—the ones that are producing and really fit well here. We are making a valiant effort to prolong and renegotiate with those guys.
Even still, with nothing official in writing as the regular season neared, some Bengals supporters might have started to feel restless.
Jalen Hurts received a record-breaking five-year, $255 million extension with the Philadelphia Eagles right away, making him the highest-paid player in NFL history. In retaliation, Lamar Jackson received a significantly larger contract ($260 million) to ensure his stay with the Baltimore Ravens.
That influenced the market for Burrow and Justin Herbert, who ultimately received $262.5 million from the Los Angeles Chargers, of which $218.7 million was guaranteed.
In general, there was a perception that the Bengals were merely delaying the inevitable and stood to gain little from their hesitation. It was crystal evident that they were dealing with a premier quarterback.
Burrow has thrown for 11,774 yards, 82 touchdowns, and 31 interceptions over the course of three seasons. With him in charge of the offensive, Cincinnati also won the AFC title and back-to-back division titles.
The Bengals established a degree of steadiness under previous head coach Marvin Lewis that was nearly unmatched in team history. However, they were still unable to move past the AFC Wild Card Round, which was a brand-new level of failure.
Beyond his contributions on the field, Burrow has significantly changed Cincinnati's perception. Now, this squad comes into every season with legitimate, earned championship hopes.
It is impossible to stress how disastrous it could have been for the Bengals to let the 26-year-old depart or trade him without having to offer him a pay hike.
The following has endured a lot throughout the years. Every single loss. Owner of the team Mike Brown's extensive interference and thrift. Star athletes made it known that they wished to play elsewhere other than Cincinnati.
The Cincinnati Bengals are an unserious organization run by a man who prioritizes his own principles over what's best for the team, even when it had a clear window for contention. If the Bengals weren't going to pay a stalwart Pro Bowler, one whose hometown is just over two hours away in Athens, Ohio, then it would have sent a fairly clear message.
For some fans, that kind of thing can be the tipping point. Even a respected team like the Washington Commanders may experience a significant decline in support as a result of persistent poor leadership.
When it came to Burrow's deal, the Bengals had no choice.