Statements from Joe Burrow regarding his contract extension are generating attention. The quarterback also wants to take the whereabouts of his top receivers into consideration during negotiations. In doing so, he brings to mind a certain Tom Brady.
It’s been just over three years since the Cincinnati Bengals selected Joe Burrow with the first pick of the 2020 draft.
Fresh off winning the college championship with the LSU Tigers, the quarterback was considered an absolute saviour and as of today, it has to be said that he has exceeded expectations.
Slowed by a rough season in his rookie season after a promising start, the then 25-year-old led the Bengals to the Super Bowl in just his second year in the NFL.
The reputation of the grey mouse and the perennial loser has virtually been shaken off with the arrival of Burrows, as the team not only plays successful football, but spectacular football as well.
Triumvirate of exceptional talent
With wide receivers Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, Cincinnati has two kickoffs that can’t hide from anyone in the NFL.
The only downside to this highly talented triumvirate is that all three have contract extensions coming up in the next few years.
Higgins’ contract expires after next season. Burrow is tied to the Bengals for two more years thanks to the club’s fifth-year option, and Chase will become a free agent after the 2025 season at the latest.
Given the sums that are (have to be) currently paid for top quarterbacks and receivers, Cincinnati is in danger of losing at least one of its stars – in case of doubt probably Higgins – in view of the salary cap.
Burrow recalls Brady
However, there seems to be hope for Bengals fans that the trio can stay together.
Addressing his extension and its effect on the contracts of other players, such as Chase and Higgins, Burrow said at a press conference earlier this week, “When you have guys on the team that need to get paid, you always have that on your mind. […] That’s why we’re working to make sure everything pans out.”
Statements that bring back memories of Tom Brady.
The seven-time Super Bowl champion was known throughout his career for not only looking out for his own wallet when it came to contract extensions, but keeping an eye on his respective team’s ability to act under the salary cap.
Higgins hopes to stay
More than once, deserving teammates followed the future Hall of Famer’s lead and signed team-friendly contract offers rather than accept higher offers from other clubs, with the chance of a Super Bowl also likely playing a role.
If Higgins’ comments to The Athletic are to be believed, Burrow’s example already seems to be bearing fruit.
The receiver said of Burrow’s statements, “It means a lot to have a leader like him who cares about guys like us. Hopefully we can stay together for a long time and work something out so the Bengals can keep the three of us.”
But the similarities between Brady and Burrow don’t end at negotiating.
Brady and Burrow win games with coolness
Like the GOAT, the Bengals’ quarterback isn’t known for exuberant athleticism and doesn’t exactly strike fear into opposing defenses with his legs.
The same goes for the two quarterbacks’ throwing ability, which doesn’t compare to a Josh Allen or Patrick Mahomes.
Instead, Burrow wins games by consistently making the right decisions and staying cool under pressure – something Brady has also excelled at throughout his career.
The main difference between him and the longtime New England Patriots playmaker is (still) the trophy case.
First title for Burrow? Just a matter of time now
Brady won the Super Bowl three times in the first four years of his career. Burrow lost his first and only final appearance to date to the Los Angeles Rams in 2022.
But if the Bengals can keep their quarterback and his top two receivers together, he shouldn’t have to wait too much longer for his first title either.