Carson Palmer spent eight seasons as the Bengals‘ quarterback, so he knows a thing or two about being the face of the team. He also doesn’t think Joe Burrow, the current face of the Bengals, will necessarily want to be in Cincinnati long-term. Previewing Super Bowl LVI on the “Brother From Another” podcast this week, Palmer suggested Burrow may have second thoughts about signing a second contract with the Bengals, even if he and Cincinnati beat the Rams to win the franchise its first Lombardi Trophy.
“I think Joe’s gonna sit back after this game, win or lose, and be like, ‘Man, am I gonna re-sign with this team?'” Palmer told Michael Smith and Michael Holley. “Are they willing to do what it takes to continuously build to get back to the next Super Bowl next year? And the year after that and the year after that? How are they willing to structure salary cap-wise, to be able to afford (Burrow) but also … Ja’Marr Chase when he comes up, or Tee Higgins, or maybe even redo this offensive line that’s given up a league-leading 54 sacks this year.”
“Joe’s not thinking about this one Super Bowl,” Palmer continued. “Joe is thinking about getting seven.”
Is Palmer right? Perhaps, in the sense that Burrow — like literally any NFL QB — would prefer a consistent championship setup, and to win more than one title. But isn’t that the Bengals’ goal, too? And wouldn’t it behoove everyone to hold their horses on forecasting Burrow’s desires until after he gets the chance to literally give the city its first title?
Truth be told, as much as Palmer’s experience as the Bengals’ QB makes his comments worthwhile, his own career must be part of the context. And Palmer, of course, had an infamous breakup with Cincinnati, threatening to retire amid trade requests before finally being dealt to the Raiders during the 2011 season. Suffice to say, he might still be wary of Bengals management, even if it’s the same front office that drafted and developed Burrow and the team fighting for a Super Bowl as we speak.
Burrow, for what it’s worth, likely won’t be contemplating a second contract for a while anyway. The second-year QB is under contract with the Bengals through at least 2023, with Cincinnati also able to exercise a fifth-year option in 2024.