CINCINNATI — Joe Burrow showed up for camp without signing a long-term contract extension, and Cincinnati Bengals officials declined to comment on the status of negotiations Monday.
Signing the star quarterback was a team goal this summer. Both sides have done a good job of withholding details of the talks.
« I made a commitment not to talk about Joe’s contract, » Bengals owner Mike Brown said a day before camp started in Cincinnati. Both parties don’t think it helps the negotiations. »
The former first overall pick in the 2020 Draft is expected to make him one of the highest-paid players in the NFL.
In April, the Bengals took advantage of Burrow’s rookie contract option ahead of that huge deal. Depending on what the NFL’s top quarterbacks are pocketing, Burrow could sign a deal worth around $50 million per season.
Brown assured that he was not alarmed that the discussions were continuing even during the start of the camp.
« I’m not surprised they’ve come to this, » said the 87-year-old owner. It’s normal that they want to get their amount and the best they can get. »
The 26-year-old Burrow helped the Bengals reach the Super Bowl after the 2021 season. They lost 23-20 to the Los Angeles Rams.
Last season, the Bengals went 12-4 to win their second straight AFC North title. Burrow set single-season team records for completions, passes attempted and touchdown passes.
During summer practices, Burrow did not respond to reporters when they spoke about his contract situation. He did, however, claim that his goals were to win the Super Bowl in Cincinnati and supplant Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes as the « best in the world. »
Mahomes was named the NFL’s most valuable player for the second time in his career, last season, before winning his second Super Bowl title in four years. He was awarded Super Bowl Most Valuable Player honors for a second time.
The Chiefs defeated Burrow and the Bengals in the All-American Championship Game.
Brown said a year ago the team began restructuring its finances in order to agree to a long-term contract with Burrow. The Bengals cleared a little more space under the salary cap when running back Joe Mixon agreed to a restructuring and a pay cut to stay with the Bengals earlier this month.
Other things are on hold until Burrow’s deal is done, including wide receiver Tee Higgins’ second contract, which is also eligible for an extension. Star receiver Ja’Marr Chase will be eligible after next season. Both will likely receive salaries that will put them among the highest-paid receivers in the league.
« I don’t know yet how these parts are going to fit into our payroll, » Brown said. We have a pretty good idea of how much we need to spend and how much is under the salary cap. We don’t know when these other contracts will occur, but we will be asked to insert them all below the cap. »