Ja’Marr Chase is already worth more than his four-year, $30.8 million rookie contract. Since the Cincinnati Bengals selected him fifth overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, the former LSU standout has been a one-time All-Pro and a three-time Pro Bowler.

He has the record for most receiving yards by a rookie (playoffs included) and never finished below 1,046 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons. Chase is also the record-holder for most receiving yards in a game by a rookie.

While Ja’Marr Chase is already eligible for a contract extension, the Bengals are taking a strategic approach. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Kelsey Conway, they are not hesitating to guarantee his services long-term.

Instead, they are waiting for the extension that the Minnesota Vikings and Justin Jefferson will finalize, ensuring they set the market value.

The wide receiver market surged since Davante Adams signed a five-year, $140 million contract with the Las Vegas Raiders. Tyreek Hill topped that agreement with a four-year, $120 million deal with the Miami Dolphins.

Jefferson could command an annual average beyond Hill’s value in that case. Once that’s established, Chase and the Bengals will better understand the figure they will negotiate.

The Bengals have demonstrated their commitment to their key players by reserving cap space for their eventual contract extensions. This approach is evident in their decision to make Joe Burrow the highest-paid quarterback with a five-year, $275 million deal, ensuring the team's future success.

Ja’Marr Chase’s impending deal could reset the market after Jefferson inks an extension. If so, the Bengals must keep their liabilities under the salary cap while remaining competitive in the upcoming seasons.

-Lance Fernandez