CINCINNATI – Joe Burrow sat in front of the media for the first time as Kansas City fell one drive short of a second straight Super Bowl bid.

The title of the season remains the richest pending contract in NFL history — a franchise-defining document that will shape the future of everyone associated with it.

Like most times on the field, he knows what’s coming. Like most of his time on the field, he had a direct and effective plan of attack.

“I’m involved,” Burrough said early on of the looming extension. “This is in the works.”

A quarterback with an impeccable Q rating to match his equally flawless QB rating knew how to handle the most complicated off-field tasks of his life. The Bengals do it the same way: quietly.

“This is not something I like to play in the media,” he said. “That’s something, I think you want to do business, I want to do business. We prefer to keep it between us.”

In their own, quiet ways, the Bengals and Burroughs are working purposefully behind the scenes to keep this unprecedented run of success as long as possible. Director of players Duke Tobin noted on the scouting computer that the contract negotiations with Burro served as the latest proof of why he is the dream No. 1 pick.

“Joe sees the big picture,” Tobin said. “That’s what makes him great.”

The complex image – with T Higgins and Ja Marr Chase in the background – is coming into focus.

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“I’m clear about what I want in the contract and what I think is best for myself and the team,” Burrow said. “So we’re on track to do that.”

The contract felt inevitable for a long time. With Jalen Harts and Lamar Jackson in the bank, Justin Herbert and Burro remain among a group of mega-extensions projected to reset the burgeoning quarterback market. It’s coming.

Basically, Burrow has what any Bengals fan wants to hear: Don’t worry, I got this.

“Yeah, definitely when you’ve got guys on the team that have to be paid, they’re always in the back of your mind,” Burrow said. “You want that to be the focal point and we’re working to make that happen.”

He cares about winning. He thinks to keep as many weapons around as possible. They are valuing those on the road.

“You have to have good players,” Burrow said. “It doesn’t matter how good your quarterback is. If you don’t have good players around him, you don’t have a very good team.”

An oft-repeated political axiom applies here: Don’t tell me what you’re worth, show me your budget. The contract will inevitably state how much consideration will be converted into a contract calculation.

With Burrow, though, there’s an inherent belief that he’s violated the public trust.

The theme of Tuesday’s split was that this deal would not be a controversial money grab. This won’t drag and distract Jackson’s challenge like it did in the AFC North. As with any business decision, the tone can be turned on a dime (or in this case 2.5 billion of them), but an execution plan that works for both parties and winning values ​​along the way will do more than create flexibility for the future. Expenditure.

It sends a message that reverberates through the locker room — especially about 10 lockers under Nos. 5 and 1.

“He wants to win,” Chase said. “He knows what he has to do to win and he wants to win. He’s a winning guy. He’s not a quarterback who’s always interested in money and other things. He just wants to win, and that’s the biggest thing about Joe.”

As with all aspects of Bengals football, Burrow will be the epitome of the franchise. In his arms. In the conference hall. In the community. weight lifting. And, yes, even in structuring the contract.

“A leader like him needs guys like us,” Higgins said. “Obviously we’re talking about staying together long-term. Hopefully we can do that and negotiate something where they can keep all three of us.”

Whether Higgins, Chase and Burrow all fit into the larger puzzle remains to be seen. For now, knowing that Burrow has the rest of the team in mind is enough to explain the general consensus that even as a team swims through challenging business decisions.

The Bengals would like to keep Ja Marr Chase, Joe Burrow and Ty Higgins together despite having a lot of salary. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

No amount of offers or structures will end when the Burrow ends in his lucrative contract. Big point about the future success of the franchise because winning and relationships are more important here because they are more important to the Burrow.

That doesn’t mean other players coming through Cincinnati should take less or set up in a way that helps ownership. is not. Jesse Bates is a prime example of yesteryear. Business with the Bengalis became hairy and personal. He didn’t leave Sean’s program or sign the franchise tag until midway through camp. But the team didn’t let Bates test him emotionally or mentally. Burrow traveled with him to a UFC fight in Las Vegas, along with veteran cornerback Chidobe Awuzu. Even though business pushed them, they kept it close. Bates ended up enjoying a strong season, setting a career high in interceptions and signing a well-deserved contract in Atlanta last March.

Prioritizing winning and relationships in the locker room undermines the nuance of business. It doesn’t have to be in a way that’s beneficial to the Bengals. Burrough’s message, Tobin points out, emphasizes understanding the bigger picture.

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Win the games and everyone gets paid. Win the first championship in Bengals history, seal franchise immortality.

Burrow made everything look easy in Cincinnati. Drawing fans. Selling goods. Winning games. Planting faith.

In this case, the result of the burro will strike again. A deal like this would shape the organization’s championship window for the next half-decade, but the Buros remain as good as heads on third-and-4.

All is calm, Burrough’s involvement. He has a plan.

(Top photo: Kevin Sabitis/Getty Images)

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