But it’s forgivable if fans have started to get a little antsy on the subject.
Especially when insiders like Sports Illustrated’s Andrew Brandt float the idea that perhaps the delay on getting an extension done is a creation from Burrow’s side of the table:
My sense, however, is that the delay is coming more from Burrow’s side. Maybe—and I would advise him of this—he does not want a seven-year deal (five extension years) and wants a shorter deal, like Dak Prescott, to have another bite at the free-agency apple at a younger age. Or maybe—and I would advise him of this as well—he wants to wait to negotiate a new contract until he has one year left on his contract (2024) or no years left on his contract (’25), although the Bengals will have the tag to work with.
That sort of negotiation strategy would be smart from a player perspective, to some degree. Any deal signed right now would tack on to the end of his rookie contract, which has two years left. So a five-year extension would mean seven seasons.
With ever-increasing salary cap, television money and more happening annually, it’s understandable if players want shorter deals than in the past so they can get back to the negotiating table — or free agency.
Luckily for Bengals fans, there hasn’t been any overt evidence that this is the case here. Burrow not getting an extension after three years would be highly unusual for a player of his caliber and leave him exposed were other injuries to occur. The market of big deals, capped by Justin Herbert’s, has been set, too.
The Bengals aren’t strangers when it comes to waiting until right at the buzzer to get mega-deals for the likes of Geno Atkins and A.J. Green done, either. So while this theory makes a little sense, in this case, no noise from either camp is a good thing.