3. Lamar Jackson vs. Joe Burrow
Also known as The War of the Rich Quarterbacks.
The Ravens entered the offseason with Lamar Jackson still sitting on the shelves, without an agent, and trying to convince the franchise to hand him all of the daugh they were in possession of.
Things got so ugly at a point that Jackson had the courage to drop a message on Twitter (now known as X) demanding a trade away from Baltimore after he got tagged a few weeks earlier. They say the devil is in the details, which was true here because Jackson hit "send" the minute head coach John Harbaugh sat at a table to discuss the plans of the team for the 2023 season. The audacity.
After all of the fights and the talk, both parties agreed to the then-richest deal in the history of the league, the Ravens gave Lamar a hefty five-year, $260 million deal with $185 of it guaranteed, and it was all colorful rainbows.
One of the main beneficiaries of the saga (and that ending), was Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and his team, as they could work on a contract extension with Lamar being the one laying the groundwork for them and setting a reasonable baseline for the contract figures.
It took some back and forth between Burrow and the Cats to reach an agreement, but the QB inked his deal mere hours before the Bengals season opener. Burrow will get as much as $275 million over five years, with $219 of them guaranteed.
The best and most ridiculous thing of all of this? Burrow and Jackson have only faced each other twice since 2020 on a football field.
Jackson has only started two games against the Bengals since Burrow entered the league, and he hasn't played at Cincinnati since 2020 as he suffered a season-ending injury in 2021 and then another one last December that ruled him out of the back-to-back matchups played between the two franchises in January 2022.
We've been waiting for years to see these two go against each other, and Sunday will finally bring that battle to our lives. It's about time!