Bengals owner Mike Brown wants to help quarterback Joe Burrow. To best do so, the Bengals may need to change one of the fundamental ways in which they do business.
Per a league source who is paying close attention to the situation in Cincinnati recently explained it, the Bengals need to alter an approach to veteran contracts that currently does not fully guarantee payments beyond the first year of the deal. Last year’s contract with free-agent pass rusher Trey Hendrickson, for example, contained no such guarantees after 2021.
The allure of playing with Burrow will only go so far. If, for example, the Bengals decide to make a run at Commanders offensive lineman Brandon Scherff, the Bengals likely will need to be willing to bust their normal structure to secure Scherff’s services.
If they don’t do it now, they’ll have to do it after the 2022 season, when Burrow gets his already-deserved second deal. Why not just do it now? Having a franchise quarterback is a luxury that comes with the necessity of maximizing the quality of the team around him.