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NFL teams think Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow waits until specific date for contract extension

Cincinnati Bengals training camp is less than a month out with a looming Joe Burrow contract extension one of the biggest NFL storylines this summer. As the team prepares for practices, though, it appears there will be a wait before a long-term deal is reached.

The Bengals aren’t necessarily in a rush to extend Burrow. Resolving the matter and gaining clarity on his long-term cap hits in the years to come will help the franchise moving forward. Once Burrow is signed, the front office can focus on new deals for Tee Higgins and Logan Wilson, but Burrow isn’t even eligible for free agency until 2025.

  • Joe Burrow contract: $11.5 million cap hit (2023), $29.5 million salary in 2024

Related: NFL reporter updates contract talks between Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

However, Cincinnati would like to get a deal done as soon as possible. The NFL salary cap is climbing every year and the salaries for the highest-paid NFL players are soaring. Signing Burrow sooner means avoiding him being worth even more a year from now. But, the Bengals might not be the ones exercising the most patience in negotiations.

Appearing on The Rich Eisen Show, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler noted that many teams around the league think Burrow could wait to seriously engage in contract talks until Justin Herbert signs a long-term pact with the Los Angeles Chargers.

“Talking to other teams, they think Burrow could wait on Herbert in L.A. Like if Herbert can get a deal done first, Burrow can just say, ‘OK, well that’s the benchmark. Give me a little bit more than that and then we’ll all be happy.'”

Jeremy Fowler on timeline for a Joe Burrow contract extension

Related: NFL insider guarantees record-breaking contract for Joe Burrow

  • Joe Burrow stats (2022): 100.8 QB rating, 35-12 TD-INT, 68.3% completion rate, 4,475 passing yards, 5.8% touchdown rate, 12-4 record, 279.7 pass ypg

It’s a waiting game for both Burrow and Herbert. Neither of their teams has a long history of handing out some of the biggest contracts in the NFL. However, Herbert and Burrow’s importance to their franchises means long-term contract extensions will happen.

Herbert is equally inclined to wait as Burrow. Shortly after Jalen Hurts signed a $255 million extension with the Philadelphia Eagles, worth $179 million in total guarantees and a $51 million average annual value, Lamar Jackson inked a $260 million extension with the Baltimore Ravens that provided him with $185 million guaranteed and a $52 million AAV.

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While Burrow has expressed a willingness to sign a contract that helps Cincinnati extend Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase, it won’t be at a discount rate. One of the best quarterbacks in football will sign a contract extension worth more than $52 million per season, it’s just a matter of how much more than the $52 million AAV and when a deal is signed.

Based on the recent history of the Bengals and Charges paired with the size of contracts that need to be negotiated, we likely won’t see either quarterback sign a new deal in July.