Joe Burrow‘s rise to the cream of the crop among NFL quarterbacks has been swift. Back-to-back standout seasons meant the former No. 1 overall pick was due for a market-setting contract extension when the time was right.
That time is now, as the Cincinnati Bengals signed Burrow to a deal that makes him the highest-paid player in NFL history.
It’s likely no coincidence that the news of Burrow’s extension dropped only minutes after the NFL Kickoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Detroit Lions began. All offseason, Chiefs and Bengals players took sometimes subtle, sometimes direct shots at one another.
The beef is real
It began with Ja’Marr Chase calling Burrow the best player in the league, with a “Pat who?” dig included. Unsurprisingly, Patrick Mahomes‘ tight end, Travis Kelce, took offense to that. Kelce didn’t like the way Chase addressed it, citing Mahomes’ two Super Bowl MVPs.
Mahomes himself then joined the banter, posing with his two Super Bowl rings and captioning the picture “That’s Who“.
The trash talk has toned down since those events, but the Bengals filtering the info of Burrow’s contract at this exact moment seems very targeted. Especially since it means Burrow is now making more money than Mahomes.
The rivalry continues in 2023
The Bengals-Chiefs rivalry traces back to the 2021 season, when the Bengals beat the Chiefs to earn a Super Bowl berth. The Chiefs got their revenge the following season, defeating Cincinnati in the AFC Championship and one-upping them with a Super Bowl win, something the Bengals couldn’t do against the Los Angeles Rams.
The two teams will meet this year on New Year’s Eve. It will be must-watch TV after everything that has happened.