The Bengals and Chargers are ready to pay Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert. The problem is, every quarterback thinks he’s waiting for the other to sign.
Ostensibly, Burrow should get a contract a class higher than Herbert’s. But Boro’s camp is seen by Herbert’s camp. Throw in the fact that opposing agents are hoping to rival each other, it becomes a waiting game between the next quarterbacks to be pushed.
The Burrow camp wants Herbert to go first, and set a winning standard. Herbert’s camp wants Burrow to go first, which gives Herbert a cap he can try – or maybe even go beyond.
Teams benefit because players aren’t as eager for deals as they enter their fourth season in the NFL. By all rights, they both should already have their contracts. And if they’re ready to go, their deals will likely be done.
This is believed to relate to the broader who makes the sum dance, with agent competition and marketing at the center of the situation.
Until deals are struck, players continue to take long-term injury risks. Unless deals happen by Week One, Burrow will play for $5.545 million — and Herbert will play for $4.2 million. Remember last year, when Kyler Murray’s agent announced that Murray would not play for the similar restricted payment in the fourth year of his rookie deal? There was no peep along these lines for Borough or Herbert.
They both want their contracts. Their teams are willing to comply. But their camps are believed to be content to wait.
At some point, someone needs to blink. While training camp and pre-season (especially if the rookies haven’t played much if at all) present limited injury risk, both players should get long-term deals before the season begins.
For now, everyone involved appears to be playing waiting game.