CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Bengals have secured the future for their long-term quarterback.
Joe Burrow reached an agreement on a five-year, $275 million extension with the team that includes $219.01 million guaranteed, making him the highest-paid player in NFL history, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Thursday.
The contract averages $55 million per year. The deal ends months of negotiations and rewards a player who has flipped Cincinnati's fortunes.
On Wednesday, Burrow spoke to reporters for the first time since he strained his right calf in late July, and he reiterated his desire to spend his long-term future with the Bengals.
"This is where I want to be," Burrow said. "This is where I want to be my whole career. We're working toward making that happen. You've seen what the front office has done and what Zac [Taylor] has done in their time here. I'm a small part of that. I'm excited to be a part of that."
Burrow's deal was reached after other top NFL quarterbacks received new contracts. In late July, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert signed a five-year deal that averages $52.5 million a year, according to Schefter. The Philadelphia Eagles' Jalen Hurts and the Baltimore Ravens' Lamar Jackson also signed lucrative extensions that briefly made them the highest-paid players.
In both of his news conferences since the start of training camp, Burrow reiterated that there was clarity in communication with Cincinnati's front office on what he was looking for in his new contract. He also said the contract was "the last thing" he was worried about as the Bengals prepared for their Week 1 game against the Cleveland Browns.
"I'm going to keep playing well," Burrow said. "I feel great about the organization and everybody in the locker room and in the coaching staff. [The contract] is the icing on the cake to me. I'm just excited to be out here."
Burrow's new deal is fitting given how much he has transformed the Bengals in only three seasons.
In 2019, the Bengals were the NFL's worst team and finished the season with two wins, matching the lowest total in franchise history. That put them in position to draft Burrow, who led LSU to a national championship and won the Heisman Trophy.
After Burrow's rookie season was derailed by a season-ending ACL and MCL injury in his left knee, he rebounded in 2021 to lead Cincinnati in its best campaign in three decades. The Bengals won their first playoff game since January 1991 and reached the Super Bowl for the first time since 1989. Burrow was named the AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
In 2022, Burrow enjoyed his best pro season despite recovering from surgery to repair a ruptured appendix days before the start of training camp. He finished 10th in QBR and hit the minimum attempts threshold to be the NFL's career leader in completion percentage (68.2%).
"He's a motivated player, he's a motivated teammate, he's a motivated leader," Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin said at the team's annual media luncheon in July. "He puts the time in to make sure that he is ready to go and then he drives others to be ready to go.
"So all the things we liked about him from the very start have been true and he's kept that up."
Burrow enters Week 1 coming off the right calf injury he suffered at the beginning of training camp. However, he is in position to play at Cleveland in an intrastate matchup against an AFC North rival. He was a full participant at practices Wednesday and Thursday, with the latter being a fully padded practice.
With Burrow agreeing to terms on a long-term deal, the Bengals can continue their pursuit of the first Super Bowl trophy in franchise history. At the team's annual media luncheon in July, team president Mike Brown said the team was well positioned to make another deep run, with Burrow among those leading the charge.
"We've got an excellent coaching staff," Brown said. "Zac's a great head coach. We have good players. Our quarterback is an exceptional player. We have a shot, and we'll see where it goes this year. It would be fun if we could put it together."