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If/when Justin Jefferson signs, Bengals should move fast with Ja’Marr Chase

If and when the Vikings get a long-term deal done with receiver Justin Jefferson, the Bengals need to be ready to move.

Receiver Ja’Marr Chase will want his own new deal after Jefferson gets his. And Chase might want to catch or beat Jefferson in new-money average.

The difference is that Chase has three NFL seasons, where Jefferson has four. That actually will make it easier for the Bengals to increase the new-money average from the total package, since Chase is due to make $31.6 million total over the next two years.

If, for example, Jefferson pushes the bar to $35 million per year in new money, the Bengals could give Chase a three-year, $105 million extension ($35 million per year). That’s a five-year, $136.6 million deal. The total value at signing would be $27.32 million.

If the magic number is $36 million per year in new money, $28.2 million per year becomes the average from signing.

The point is that, with $31.6 million left on his rookie deal, it’s easier to pump up the new-money average in Chase’s next contract. And, as we’ve seen throughout the offseason, it’s never going to get cheaper to wait. The moment Jefferson gets his contract, the Bengals shouldn’t wait more than a minute to get Chase’s deal done.