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QB Joe Burrow, Bengals agree to five-year, $275 million extension

Joe Burrow deemed himself ready to go for Week 1 earlier in the week, and he'll be heading into the season with a landmark new deal.

Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals have agreed to terms on a five-year, $275 million deal that will make Burrow the highest-paid player in NFL history on an annual basis at $55 million per year, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday just as the NFL's 2023 season was kicking off.

The team confirmed Burrow's record-breaking extension on Saturday morning.

Burrow's extension, long expected to take place before the 2023 season began, marks the fourth time since April that a QB has leapfrogged the others as the NFL's newest best-paid man. The 26-year-old's deal builds on Justin Herbert's record-setting contract, which had topped Lamar Jackson's and Jalen Hurts' before that.

The contract removes the need for Burrow to play under the fifth-year option in 2024.

A fixture already among the elites at the position, his arrival as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft ushered in a period of success seldom seen in Cincinnati to this point.

Burrow has thrown for 11,774 yards, 82 touchdowns and 31 interceptions in three short seasons of play. He's led the Bengals to the AFC Championship Game in two consecutive years, doubling Cincy's previous number of conference championship appearances dating back to the club's formation in 1968.

His Super Bowl trip in 2021, although ill-fated, marked Cincinnati's first such appearance since 1988 and first journey out of the Wild Card Round since 1990.

Thus, the Bengals saw it fit to reward Burrow for his momentous efforts to this point of his young career, and in doing so reward themselves and their fans with the spoils that are sure to come with Burrow leading the charge for years to come.

With the matter of Burrow's future in stripes settled, the focus can now turn to the mission ahead.

Cincinnati is one of several heavyweights in the loaded AFC, but much like last year, when Burrow lost weeks of his preseason to an emergency appendectomy, the QB once again sat out almost all of training camp due to a calf strain.

Those 2022 Bengals dropped their first two contests before catching fire with a 12-2 conclusion to the regular season and eventual AFC Championship Game rematch against the Kansas City Chiefs that fell short of a Super Bowl return.

It's imperative that Burrow and Co. find no lapse in effort or execution as Week 1 kicks off what is sure to be a tight race for homefield advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

The winning ways Burrow has brought mean the Bengals will be thinking of such things this early on in the season.

As they face rising contract prices that force them to bid farewell to some of their other stars, they'll likely still stick in the juggernaut conversation due to Burrow in the years ahead, too.

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