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Assessing the Value of a Joe Burrow Contract Extension

With Joe Burrow eligible for an extension this offseason, it’s time to examine exactly how rich the Bengals’ QB could become.

The Cincinnati Bengals haven’t quite been able to build off their momentum from making the Super Bowl last year, going 5-4 so far in 2022. But Joe Burrow is still one of the best quarterbacks in the game.

Expectations were already high for the Heisman winner out of LSU, but few could have expected him to elevate Cincinnati so quickly. We’re talking about a team that endured a two-win season before Burrow entered the fold.

His play over the last two years, including a strong bounce-back from an ACL tear, should show he belongs in the conversation with the elite of the elite. It should also inspire the Bengals to extend him sooner rather than later.

Like Jalen Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, and other players from the 2020 draft class, Burrow becomes eligible for a contract extension this coming offseason — one that could see him enter the same salary stratosphere as Patrick MahomesJosh Allen, and Dak Prescott.

Let’s take a look at what his comparable market value is for a potential extension this offseason.

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What is Joe Burrow’s 2023 Market Value?

Spotrac determines its own market value estimates based on a player’s age, contract status, and statistical production. It doesn’t take into account wins, awards, injuries, or playoff performance, but it’s a useful measuring stick when comparing other players’ contracts.

In Burrow’s case, he might become one of the richest QBs in the league by total value at 25 years old.

Projecting the size of a Joe Burrow’s contract extension
  • By Spotrac’s estimates, Burrow’s first contract extension could be pegged at six years and $261,887,832. That would rank No. 2 in terms of total value.
  • His average annual salary is projected at $43,647,972 which would rank sixth — one spot ahead of Josh Allen and one behind Patrick Mahomes.
Comparable QBs by Value
P. Mahomes10$450M$45M24
J. Allen6$258M$43M25
D. Watson5$230M$46M26
K. Murray5$230.5M$46.1M24
Comparable QBs by Stats
Mahomes (’18-19)93.8304.32.566.0109.688.7
Allen (’19-20)100238.51.864.096.277.3
Watson (’19-20)96.9279.81.968.8105.286.5
Murray (’20-21)91.0258.61.768.297.483.6
Burrow 96.15285.842.170.2105.486.2

To be clear, Burrow is simply eligible for an extension following the 2022 season. It doesn’t necessarily mean the Bengals will fast-track the process. They could wait until his first free agency a year later, at which point the franchise tag will very much be on the table.

A superstar QB like Burrow should give Bengals fans a reason to celebrate if he’s on board for the longterm. It’s shown in attendance numbers (No. 6 by % in the NFL) and in jersey sales. He had the second-most jerseys sold in the NFL by Week 2.

His numbers speak for themselves. He ranks in the top-5 in nearly every relevant category and he’s already gotten the Bengals to a Super Bowl. With a winnable game against the Steelers coming up, Burrow and the Bengals should find themselves in the conversation again — the same way he’ll be in the conversation to become one of the richest QBs in NFL history.

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