Bengals pick up fifth-year option on receiver Ja'Marr Chase

April 24, 2024, 1:49 PM

CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Bengals made perhaps the easiest decision they'll have all week, picking up the fifth-year option on wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase's rookie deal.

The deal, announced one day before the NFL draft, ensures Chase's fifth-year salary for the 2025 season will be fully guaranteed. The option year will carry an estimated value of $21.8 million, according to a projection from

Chase, the fifth overall pick in the 2021 draft, has proved not only that Cincinnati made the right choice in pairing him with Joe Burrow, his college quarterback at LSU, but also that he is among the league's best receivers. Chase has reached the Pro Bowl in each of his first three NFL seasons, which has led to an extra $7.5 million on his rookie option.

Since the start of the 2021 season, Chase is tied for third in the league in receiving touchdowns (29) and is seventh in total receiving yards (3,717), according to ESPN Stats & Information data. He also holds the franchise record for most receiving yards in a single game (266) and a single season (1,455), both of which were set during his rookie season.

Chase is currently eligible for a contract extension and is looking to be paid near the top of a market that is starting to gain some movement. On Wednesday, Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown agreed to terms on a new contract that gave him $77 million in guaranteed money, the most for a receiver in NFL history. Brown, a fourth-round pick in 2021, is behind Chase in total receiving yards since he entered the league.

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who was also at LSU with Burrow and Chase when the Tigers won the national championship in January 2020, has the most receiving yards of any extension-eligible receiver currently on a rookie contract, according to ESPN Stats & Info data. Jefferson, a first-round selection in 2020, has yet to receive a contract extension, but Chase is following.

"I need to see some more numbers from him," Chase said with a smile when asked about the situation ahead of the Bengals' win over the Vikings this past December.