Presented by

Around the AFC North: Deshaun Watson Contract Could Have Ripple Effect on Division 

Left: Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) throws the ball during Super Bowl LVI on Sunday, February 13, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Mikey Owens/NFL)' Center: Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs with the ball during an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, November 28, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Ryan Kang/NFL); Right: Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) runs for a gain as Tennessee Titans' Harold Landry III (58) and David Long Jr. (51) defend during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)

Cincinnati Bengals: Executive VP Says Watson Contract Could Have Ripple Effect on Burrow

The Ravens aren't the only AFC North team who could be impacted Deshaun Watson's reported $230 fully guaranteed contract with the Cleveland Browns.

While contract negotiations between the Ravens and Lamar Jackson have received plenty of attention, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow will be eligible to sign an extension after next season. Bengals Executive Vice President Katie Blackburn said Watson's unprecedented contract could impact all teams looking to re-sign a young franchise quarterback.

"All contracts can have a ripple effect," Blackburn said via Jay Morrison of The Athletic. "I haven't looked at the (Watson) contract closely enough, so I don't know if there's ways the guarantees can void if certain things happen. Maybe that's not something that can happen. We'll see.

"We work in a world where we realize other contracts have some effects, so we'll just have to see where that all stands when it comes to be that time."

The reported 100 percent guaranteed money in Watson's contract far exceeds the what most other top quarterbacks have received. According to Peter King of NBC Sports, Josh Allen's contract is 39% guaranteed, while Patrick Mahomes' contract is 19% guaranteed. According to Spotrac, Aaron Rodgers received about $100 million guaranteed in his recently restructured $150 million deal.

It remains to be seen whether Watson's contract sets a precedent for future quarterback contracts.

"If the player is good enough and plays out the contract, he gets the money," Blackburn told The Athletic. "The thing that has always given us some pause is if for some reason things go badly. It's not fair for the team in the future if there's a large amount of money going to someone else with the way system works today."

Cleveland Browns: Long-Term Deal With Njoku is Reportedly Being Negotiated

The Brown placed the franchise tag on tight end David Njoku in March, giving them more time to work out a long-term deal. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Njoku and the Browns are confident a deal will get done before the July 15 deadline.

Njoku had 35 catches for 475 yards and four touchdowns last season and could play a bigger role in the offense in 2022. In the meantime, Njoku is enjoying his offseason. He was in Texas over the weekend watching his brother, Evidence, try out for the WWE ahead of Wrestlemania.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Tomlin 'Energized' By Steelers Unsettled Quarterback Situation

Ben Roethlisberger's retirement has left the Steelers in the unfamiliar position of not knowing who their starting quarterback will be next season. Pittsburgh signed Mitch Tribusky in free agency to compete with Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins, and could also draft a quarterback such as Malik Willis of Liberty or Kenny Pickett of Pittsburgh.

At the NFL owners meeting, Head Coach Mike Tomlin said he was embracing the uncertainty and hoped his team would do the same.

"I'm really excited by it. I'm energized by it," Tomlin said via Pro Football Talk. "I love the anxiety associated with uncertainty. I think it brings the best out in me, and I think it's going to bring the best out in us. At least I'm hopeful that it will."

Tomlin did not rule out the Steelers drafting a quarterback with the 20th pick or at some other point.

"I'm comfortable with the talent that we have at the position now, and that's not saying that I'm not open to add to it as we move forward," Tomlin said.

Once training camp begins, Tomlin said the starting job would remain open until someone claimed it with their performance.

"We will know when we are there," he said.

Related Content