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Bengals’ Joey B. will soon “B” very, very rich

The Cincinnati Bengals officially lock up their franchise quarterback for the long haul.

Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals before a U.S.Open Cup Semifinal game between Inter Miami CF and FC Cincinnati at TQL Stadium on August 23, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo by Michael Miller/ISI Photos/Getty Images

BREAKING NEWS! The Cincinnati Bengals have signed QB Joe Burrow to a record-breaking five-year, $275 million contract to make him the highest-paid player in history, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. The deal includes $219.01 million in guarantees.

Since Bengals QB Joe Burrow suffered a calf injury in training camp, much of the discussion surrounding the team has been focused on his health. As NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport noted Thursday, what we should be eyeing is the mega contract extension the team is working to get done ahead of the 2023 season.

“There is confidence that Joe Burrow will get a new deal before kickoff,” Rapoport noted.

Earlier this offseason, Chargers QB Justin Herbert signed a five-year, $262.5 million contract extension to become the highest-paid player in NFL history. It stands to reason that Burrow is likely in line for something bigger, considering his success in the regular season and postseason. Burrow holds a 24-17-1 record as a starter (22-10 over the last two seasons), having made it to the AFC Championship game in each of his two full seasons played, including a trip to the Super Bowl in 2021. Spotrac estimates a $54 million average annual salary for Burrow, projecting a five-year deal worth just over $270 million in the cards.

A monster contract extension to keep the young and very talented quarterback within the division is not necessarily ideal for the Pittsburgh Steelers as they look to gain a competitive edge to retake the AFC North. However, if the Bengals have a significant portion of the salary cap dedicated to the quarterback position, building around him does get a bit more challenging. Potentially, that gives the Steelers yet another edge, with QB Kenny Pickett entering the second year of his own rookie contract and the potential for a fifth-year option in 2026 if the team doesn’t extend him sooner.

The Bengals kick off their season on the road against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET, giving Cincy just a couple of days to get this deal done if they’d like to get things finalized ahead of Week 1.

Watch Ian Rapoport’s full breakdown here