For the fourth time this year, there’s a new highest-paid player in NFL history.
Burrow resets the market after Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson and Justin Herbert did the same over the past several months and, perhaps more importantly, pushed the Bengals to bend on several contractual precedents that could benefit teammates for years to come.
Burrow has not yet been able to bring home the Lombardi Trophy, but he’s now made the AFC championship game in each full season he has played, with his 92.5 passing grade over the past two seasons and 9.4 wins above replacement, both the top marks across the NFL.
In various different subsets of quarterback play, Burrow has proven to be among the game’s best, especially when playing from behind. Burrow’s 89.0 passing grade over the last two seasons when the Bengals are trailing is the top mark by nearly five full grading points.
Burrow is also one of the most productive quarterbacks in the NFL on “true scrambles,” which you can read more about here.
The first aspect of this contract that jumps out is the overall value, which doesn't incrementally raise the top of the market but jumps to $55 million per year, with Justin Herbert at $52.5 million. Burrow is now signed to a deal worth $10 million more annually for half as many years as Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
|Season||Overall Grade||Passing grade||Big-time throw rate|
|2022||92.0 (1st)||91.0 (1st)||4.9% (7th)|
|2021||91.8 (1st)||91.1 (1st)||5.6% (9th)|
More importantly, Burrow pushed the Cincinnati Bengals to guarantee a staggering amount of money compared to their historical precedents — Cincinnati generally only guarantees money in signing bonuses, but here they guaranteed several years of the contract.
Burrow has likely changed the situation for every Bengal to sign a major deal with the team going forward. Former Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton’s 2014 extension contained just $17 million in guarantees.