No worries: Bengals, No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow agree to four-year rookie deal

Frank Schwab

Rookie holdouts are very rare in the NFL since the salary structure for draft picks was introduced, but they still happen once in a while.

The Cincinnati Bengals don’t have the best history with rookie holdouts and they don’t often like to spend money, so Joe Burrow being unsigned as camps open up was a bit concerning. But there won’t be a holdout. Burrow agreed in principle on his rookie deal Tuesday according to reports.

Burrow can get to work and the important job of resurrecting the Bengals franchise.

Joe Burrow will get $36 million

Burrow will be paid pretty well as the first pick. His deal is four years for $36 million with a $23.9 million signing bonus according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. His entire signing bonus will be paid within 15 days of signing the contract, via ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

There’s plenty of hype surrounding Burrow, which is the case for all No. 1 picks at quarterback. Burrow won a Heisman Trophy and national championship last season at LSU. His accuracy and production last season made him the presumptive No. 1 overall pick going into the offseason, and the Bengals never seemed to waver on Burrow despite some trade offers.

The Bengals have some talent around Burrow, and he can put up some nice numbers from his rookie year on. And there will be no holdout to hinder his development.

Joe Burrow and the Bengals agreed to a rookie deal. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Joe Burrow and the Bengals agreed to a rookie deal. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

One first-rounder remains unsigned

Some recent signings have left just one first-round pick unsigned. Tennessee Titans offensive lineman Isaiah Wilson is the last first-rounder without a rookie contract.

Holdouts and contract disputes among first-round picks used to be fairly common. There would be stress from both sides to get a deal done as teams reported to camp. There are still some disputes, mostly due to offset language in contracts, but it’s unusual to see a rookie miss time with contract figures being slotted due to draft position.

Burrow’s deal was delayed, and there had to be some concern as it dragged on. But the deal is done, leaving the Bengals one fewer thing to worry about.

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