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It’s no secret the Cincinnati Bengals and Joe Burrow have been working on a contract extension. The quarterback on Tuesday confirmed that’s happening and added there’s a part of the negotiation that isn’t all about him.
“I’m pretty clear on what I want in the contract and what I think is best for myself and the team and we’re on the road to making that happen,” Joe Burrow told reporters.
“I’m involved,” Burrow admitted. “And that’s in the works. That’s not really something I’d like to play out in the media. That’s something just the way they want to do business, I want to do business. We want to keep that between us.”
What is no secret now is Burrow’s desire to get paid. And have teammates get paid well enough to stay in Cincinnati.
“It’s definitely whenever you have guys on the team that need to be paid, that’s on your mind,” Burrow said. “You want that to be a focal point and so we’re working to make that happen.
Joe Burrow Knows It’s Not All About Him
“You got to have good players. It’s doesn’t matter how good your quarterback is, if you don’t have good players around him, you’re not going to be a good team.”
The Bengals have been to consecutive AFC Championship games because they have Burrow, yes. But they also have past 1,000-yard receivers in Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase.
They have outstanding slot receiver Tyler Boyd.
Trey Hendrickson has been a very good edge rusher addition in free agency.
And Burrow is interested in keeping the group together as much as the salary cap will allow — especially the offensive talent.
That’s going to take some doing.
Higgins is a free agent after this season and that’s the reason local media often asked if he would be traded. Obviously that’s not going to happen and if Burrow’s deal is cap friendly enough to allow Higgins to stay, that’s a plus.
Joe Burrow Wants Ja’Marr Chase On Bengals
But that’s not all.
Chase is the Bengals’ best receiver. He’s contractually bound to the team this coming season and in 2024. But before that ’24 season he is almost definitely going to seek an extension of his own.
And Burrow, who played with Chase at LSU and has developed a close bond with him, wants him on the team and happy. So, again, his contract’s structure may help or hinder that depending on how it is authored.
Boyd, similarly, is unsigned after 2023. And while he isn’t the threat the other two are, suggesting a tough decision whether to retain him or not might need to be made, Burrow is believed to want to keep him in the fold.
The Bengals, it should be noted, are trying to move tackle Jonah Williams from the left side to the right side. But Williams, who is a free agent after this season, doesn’t want to make the switch.
He has asked to be traded.
And that’s a situation that the structure of Burrow’s contract might not be able to affect because the offensive lineman simply believes he’ll be paid more in free agency as a left tackle than right tackle.
Some Things Burrow Extension Cannot Address
It sounds like Burrow understands Williams might not be around.
“We love Jonah,” Burrow said. “Hopefully we have him back. But business is business and whatever Jonah thinks is best for his career, that’s what he’ll decide and we’re going to support him.”
This much is certain:
Burrow isn’t going anywhere. The Bengals and the quarterback are going to try to find a way to make Burrow perhaps the highest paid quarterback while also leaving enough salary cap room for other players to fit the Cincinnati structure.
Both sides hope to have a new extension worked out before the regular-season begins. Burrow, meanwhile, thinks he’s doing his part.
“I think I had my best year last year,” he said. ” I think I’ve improved every year. And there’s still room to grow.”
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