Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow tipped for historic new contract by Mike Florio

Joe Burrow

NFL reporter Mike Florio has made a bold claim when it comes to Joe Burrow and his next contract with the Cincinnati Bengals. 

The Cincinnati Bengals were always a team that had struggled to get over a hump when it came to the postseason, having not won a playoff game since the 1990 season, including a stretch between 2011-2015 where they went one-and-done in the playoffs for five seasons in a row. 

However, that all changed when they found themselves picking with the #1 selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, when they were able to pick up Joe Burrow out of Louisiana State University. Burrow had transformed the Tigers into a force in college football, leading them to an undefeated, national championship-winning season in 2019 and the Heisman Trophy to boot.

His meteoric rise suffered a devastating blow in his first year though, as he suffered an ACL & MCL tear in his first season that brought what looked like a promising start of his career to an end in Week 11.

The almost-perfect bounce back

His second year though saw his rise continue, and then some. Having recovered from his injury, he took the Bengals somewhere that they hadn’t been since the 1988 season when he took them to the Super Bowl, beating the #1 seeded Tennessee Titans and the reigning AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs along the way.

The season he had to make it happen though was one for the ages, as he completed a league-high 70.4% of his pases, threw for 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns and winning the league’s Comeback Player of the Year award. 

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New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick

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It looks as if the Bengals have found their franchise quarterback, and now the next step for them is to lock him up for the forseeable future, but just how much is it going to cost them, especially when you put him up against some of the deals that current quarterbacks have. 

Mike Florio thinks that Burrow could be set for a rather special contract when the time does come.

What’s he said?

Speaking on Pro Football Talk, Florio believes that Burrow could be set for a deal that sees him paid a percentage of the salary cap, rather than a fixed number and that he could also make history when it comes to the timing of him putting pen to paper on the new deal:

“I continue to believe there’s a possibility he gets a deal that pays him a percentage of the salary cap. I’ve heard nothing to support that, I’m just reading tea leaves, I’m applying 21 years of experience running PFT to the trends that we see, and this percentage of the salary cap thing has been hanging out there. And there’s a certain business appeal to it, there’s a cost certainty, at least as it relates to each dollar that you have available under the salary cap, knowing that 17 cents 18 cents, whatever the specific number is, 17.3459% is going to end up being paid to your quarterback year in and year out.

“And he also could be the first one to sign that contract in the period between the end of the regular season and start a postseason because it’s permissible. A lot of people don’t even know that it is, a lot of agents don’t know that it is. It’s in the CBA written that way. One of these days, there’s going to be a player because it’s all about shifting the injury risk to the team, you shift the injury risk to the team as early as you possibly can. 

“And for a player who finishes year three of the regular season, that’s the moment that you can shift the injury risk to the team and get your contract and move on. And it will be a significant amount of money, it will have bells and whistles that other deals haven’t had. And I think the timing quite possibly Chris, will be the Monday or the Tuesday after the regular season ends if the Bengals once again make it to the playoffs.”

Given what Burrow has done so far, you certainly wouldn’t argue against the idea of him getting paid a big contract for his services. But whether or not you would want to tie a certain percentage of the cap to him, not allowing for as much wiggle room from year-to-year if you want to sign another big-time player, might be a risky move.

It certainly will be an interesting one to see, especially if the Bengals decide to do it at the end of the upcoming regular season as Florio hints at.

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