Syndication: The Enquirer

Ja'Marr Chase hasn't gotten a new deal, but he just got closer to possibly receiving a history-making contract. The Bengals picked up Chase's fifth-year option on Wednesday, setting the stage for Chase to be in position to become the NFL's highest-paid receiver at some point down the line. 

Chase will make $21.86 million in 2025 if he plays under the fifth-year option. But there's a good chance that the three-time Pro Bowler will have a new, long-term deal before that. By getting the option placed on him, Chase can use Justin Jefferson's upcoming contract as possible leverage. 

Jefferson, who was drafted a year before Chase, had his fifth-year option picked up by the Vikings last April. Jefferson's next contract is reportedly set to exceed $30 million annually, which would make him the highest-paid wideout in NFL history. 

While the timing is uncertain, it's widely expected that Jefferson will sign a new deal before Chase. Rest assured that Chase will use Jefferson's contract as leverage when it's his turn to come to the negotiating table. 

Ja'Marr Chase
CIN • WR • #1
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The Bengals have already shown their willingness to pay their top playmakers. They made Joe Burrow the NFL's highest-paid player last offseason when they signed their quarterback to a five-year, $275 million extension. Bengals owner Mike Brown has made it no secret that his plan is to keep Burrow, Chase, and, if possible, fellow wideout Tee Higgins in Cincinnati for the long haul. The team applied the franchise tag on Higgins earlier this offseason. 

Chase, 24, was a Pro Bowler in each of his first three years in Cincinnati, who selected him with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Last season, despite Burrow missing the season's final seven games with an injury, Chase still managed to catch 100 passes for 1,216 yards and seven touchdowns.