Ja’Marr Chase’s Pro Bowl nod just made his price go up even further

Cincinnati Bengals v Jacksonville Jaguars
Cincinnati Bengals v Jacksonville Jaguars / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

Before the 2023 season, Cincinnati Bengals fans hoped wide receiver duo Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins would both deliver Pro Bowl seasons. Joe Burrow's season-ending injury didn't help matters, but it shouldn't surprise anyone that Chase is the only Bengals offensive player going to the Pro Bowl.

It's unfortunate for Higgins, who was snubbed last year, but injuries cost him four games and his season consisted of peaks and valleys. Not the ideal contract year, but Chase made up for his teammate's inconsistency.

Even without Burrow, Chase has produced 96 catches for 1,197 yards and seven touchdowns with one game left to play. He ranks in or just outside the top 10 in every category. That typically wouldn't be enough to make the roster, but Chase's popularity extends far beyond Cincinnati.

It also speaks to the dedication of Bengals fans that Chase made the Pro Bowl in what many consider a "down" year for the former No. 5 overall pick.

This is also Chase's third Pro Bowl in as many seasons, which means the price tag of his fifth-year option for the 2025 season just went up ... a lot.

Bengals will have to pay Ja'Marr Chase even more after his third straight Pro Bowl

Even for a player of Chase's caliber, $21.66 million is an obscene price to pay for a fifth-year option. In a perfect world, Chase won't play a down on his fifth-year option. It's unclear when the Bengals will initiate contract negotiations with the former Offensive Rookie of the Year, but fans are hoping he agrees to an extension before the 2025 season.

That'll be easier said than done. The WR market is always evolving and several big-name wideouts are up for new contracts, including Justin Jefferson and CeeDee Lamb, both of whom are about to wrap their fourth seasons. Jefferson and Lamb will look to reset the market. It just depends who signs first.

Additionally, Higgins, Mike Evans and Michael Pittman Jr. are free agents and could all command north of $20 million per year.

The Bengals will have to pay a king's ransom to keep Chase long-term, and his new fifth-year option price is indicative of the current market. Because he was drafted in 2021, Chase is last in line among this group of receivers in terms of being extension-eligible. By the end of the 2024 season, his value could climb as high as $35 million.

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