As the offseason began, fourth-year linebacker Logan Wilson understood the significance of his contract situation.
Having been one of the key players eligible for extensions on their rookie contracts, Wilson patiently waited his turn to secure his future with the Cincinnati Bengals, while the spotlight fell on quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver Tee Higgins.
Now, with his four-year extension worth $37.25 million officially signed, Wilson is optimistic about the team’s prospects and hopes to see other essential players retained for the long term, solidifying the core that has transformed the Bengals from the NFL’s worst franchise in 2019 to perennial Super Bowl contenders.
“I still think that this contract allows them to get those things done with guys, and hopefully we’re able to keep them long-term as well,” Wilson said on Sunday.
"I still think that this contract allows them to get those things done with those guys and hopefully where we're able to for keep them long term, as well."
— Olivia Ray (@OliviaRayTV) August 6, 2023
Bengals Head Coach Zac Taylor couldn’t hide his excitement as he introduced Wilson to the media. He recalled the nervousness they felt during the 2020 draft, anxiously waiting for Wilson to escape the second round.
The Bengals held the first pick in the third round and swiftly grabbed the standout linebacker from Wyoming when he became available.
“He’s one of those draft experiences that I have, where we really crossed our fingers for every single pick that came off the board, hoping and praying that he’d still be available,” Taylor said. “And fortunately, he was.”
Standing tall at 6-foot-2, Wilson has been a cornerstone of Cincinnati’s defense, leading the team in tackles for the past two seasons. In 2022, he achieved a career-high of 123 tackles. Additionally, Wilson boasts an impressive stat line with 7 career interceptions, 11 pass deflections, and 2 forced fumbles in regular-season play.
Teammates rallied behind Wilson as he secured his extension. Cornerback Mike Hilton even interrupted a meeting to congratulate Wilson once the news of the deal broke.
Meanwhile, Higgins, who is also waiting for his contract extension, expressed his support for Wilson on social media.
— Tee Higgins⁵ (@teehiggins5) August 5, 2023
The top three picks from Cincinnati’s 2020 draft class – Burrow, Higgins, and Wilson – have all become integral starters, contributing to the Bengals incredible transformation from laughing stocks to feared contenders.
Speaking on Sunday, Wilson described being part of this crucial draft class as “rewarding” and “humbling.” He emphasized the unique camaraderie within the team, where players genuinely root for each other’s success, setting the Bengals apart from other teams.
“We are all rooting for each other,” Wilson said. “That’s also rare, because sometimes guys are just trying to get theirs. The whole team camaraderie we have is just rare, and that’s another reason I wanted to be a part of it.”
With Wilson’s extension now secured, the Bengals have taken another step towards finally winning the Super Bowl. However, they still have plenty of business to take care of, both on and off the field.
Looking ahead, do you think the Bengals will be able to keep their offensive core together – Burrow, Chase, Higgins, etc?