Cincinnati is back to playing meaningful football in late January for the second consecutive season, as the defending AFC champion Bengals take on the Buffalo Bills in the Divisional Round on Sunday.
Joe Burrow may soon reap the rewards of helping transform the franchise into a yearly Super Bowl contender.
The Bengals are targeting this upcoming offseason to sign Burrow to a new contract extension, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on NFL GameDay Morning on Saturday, per a source.
Rapoport adds that the Bengals are expected to sign Burrow to his fifth-year option, which teams must decide on before the May 1 deadline. However, Cincinnati will continue to work at a big-money extension for Burrow, and the club is doing its due diligence to ensure it can lock in one of the NFL's brightest stars.
"They have also done somethings to augment their cash as an organization getting naming rights deal for their stadium and other things," said Rapoport. "This is a Cincinnati organization that's spent a lot in free agency over the past couple of years and expect them to spend on their quarterback this year."
Burrow put up a career-high 35 touchdown passes in 2022, totaling 4,475 passing yards while adding 247 yards and five more TDs on the ground. Burrow's third season amounted to his first Pro Bowl selection, and the 26-year-old QB continues to shine in the face of the adversity.
The Bengals have had several key injuries across the board this season, with wideout Ja'Marr Chase and defensive tackle D.J. Reader missing significant time and the offensive line losing three starters heading into the Divisional Round. But Burrow's Bengals have never wavered thus far, ending the regular season with eight straight wins to capture consecutive AFC North titles for the franchise and toppling the division rival Ravens in the Wild Card Round to extend their ongoing streak to nine.
Burrow, 26, has no doubt been the catalyst to Cincinnati's recent success and his third season as yet to even reach its conclusion. The former No. 1 overall pick will soon enter a red-hot QB market that's eclipsing new heights with seemingly every new contract signed, and the Bengals are looking to secure the face of their franchise as quickly as possible.