By: Conrad Clowers
Cincinnati Herald Sports Writer
It has never been a matter of ‘if.’ It’s only been a matter of ‘when.’ The when finally came. As expected Joe Burrows pockets will be heavier than any man to step on an NFL field. Burrow received a 5 year 275 million dollar deal with a guarantee of 219 million. The new contract didn’t pay immediate dividends as the Bengals were trounced by the Cleveland Browns this past weekend 24-3 in the NFL’s opening weekend.
Burrow has proven to be worth every penny he signed for. The LSU product has 3 previous seasons under his belt. His rookie season ended early with a torn ligament in his knee. The following two seasons ended with a super bowl and an AFC championship appearance. Burrow has already led the Bengals to 5 playoff victories since coming to Cincinnati. The Bengals have had 4 previous playoff victories in their history. The Athens, Ohio native has been in the top 5 in nearly every category since taking the reigns as Bengals.
Cincinnati has historically had some good well know quarterbacks. Ken Anderson, who was under center for the Bengals in the 1970’s and early 80’s, is an arguable hall of famer. He led the Bengals to their first Super Bowl in 1981. Boomer Esiason followed Anderson with a similar but not as long career. Jeff Blake, Carson Palmer, and Andy Dalton followed. No Bengal QB has ever produced the success and results in their careers as Burrow has in his first 3 seasons. One thing that Anderson and Esiason do have that Burrow has yet to receive is an NFL MVP trophy. This in time will come with the man that has nearly changed the confidence and respect the Bengals have received nationally.
Burrow sustained a calf injury early in training camp. He played in no preseason games and was not able to practice until the end of camp. The results showed as the Bengal general had his worst day as a pro not even throwing for 100 yards in the season opener. “not really how you want to start the season but we’ll just keep truckin along,” said Burrow. Cincinnati will play the seasons first home game this week when they face off against the Baltimore Ravens. Both teams have starting quarterbacks in Burrow and Lamar Jackson who received huge contracts before the season started. The two QB’s will face off many times in years to come in a battle that’s sure to go back and fourth. For now Cincinnati can rest easy that the quarterback position will be stable for a long time.