Bengals “whole focus” is on keeping Joe Burrow in Cincinnati

Bengals owner Mike Brown said on Monday that it’s hard to make all the pieces fit under the salary cap when discussing the team’s failure to sign safety Jessie Bates to a long-term deal, but there’s one piece that the team is determined to find a place for in the near future.

Quarterback Joe Burrow took the Bengals to a Super Bowl in his second season and he’ll be eligible for an extension after this year. Brown said that means the time to talk about a new deal is “not quite ready or ripe yet,” but he made it clear that the team is already preparing for the moment that changes.

“I can tell you that we couldn’t be happier with Joe Burrow,” Brown said, via Ben Baby of ESPN.com. “He’s everything you would wish for, especially for a quarterback in Cincinnati. Our whole focus is going to be on keeping him here.”

Prioritizing Burrow’s contract is an obvious call for the Bengals to make as they think about their roster construction in future seasons, but we’ll have to wait until next year to see how quickly the two sides can come together on a ndew deal.