CINCINNATI — There was little doubt the Bengals and Logan Wilson wanted to extend their working relationship.
The only surprise in the deal that was announced Friday and signed Saturday was the timing.
There was an assumption that the linebacker wouldn’t get extended off his 2020 rookie year deal until after the dust settled from Joe Burrow’s massive extension and the team had a better idea of where they stood with regard to their cap in 2023, ’24 and ’25.
But that all changed Friday night. With Burrow and the team still not in agreement on final terms of an extension, the team decided to move forward with their second significant defensive commitment in as many weeks of camp.
In the previous week, the Bengals tacked on an additional year to Trey Hendrickson’s deal, which now runs through 2025.
On Friday The Bengals today signed LB Logan Wilson, a central part of one of the NFL’s stingiest defenses, to a four-year contract extension through the 2027 season.
The numbers are team friendly to be sure. Wilson can earn $37.25 million, with an average of $11.2 million over the first two extension years (2024, ’25).
HUGE news for Logan Wilson and the Bengals. He has been one of the most consistent defensive players since coming to the Bengals in 2020. Now, he reaps the rewards and rises in his leadership role. https://t.co/mJP8TXKrvk
— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) August 5, 2023
The Bengals can now bank on Sam Hubbard, Logan Wilson, Germaine Pratt, Trey Hendrickson and BJ Hill, Joseph Ossai and Mike Hilton to be together through 2024. Cap casualties can happen but with the defensive backs and edges like Myles Murphy and Ossai under control for the foreseeable future, the Bengals defense will be rock solid through this Super Bowl window.
“Logan is a major piece of our young core, and it was a priority to get this deal done,” said Bengals head coach Zac Taylor. “He’s been a fantastic leader for our defense and comes in ready to work every single day. He will continue to be a key member of this team as we build toward the future.”
There’s no question that Wilson is regarded as one of the quiet leaders in the locker room. He’s been through the fire of 2020 and the Super Bowl run of 2021. He was at the heart of the most critical play in Super Bowl LVI and handled it with class and dignity. Wilson wanted to see a commitment from the team and he got it before Burrow even signed his extension. That says something. How well-liked is Wilson? Over 30 current and former Bengals came out to his softball game in June in Dayton for the Brooks Joshua Anderson foundation to raise money for sudden infant death syndrome research and scholarship fund.
A three-down linebacker, Wilson is not just a good guy and a leader. He’s remarkably productive. He has led the Bengals in tackles in each of the past two seasons. He has started each of his last 28 regular-season games played, and his seven career interceptions are the most among all NFL linebackers since he entered the league out of Wyoming in 2020. He has recorded 248 tackles (157 solos), with 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, 11 passes defended and seven picks.
He has contributed to a Bengals defense that in 2022 ranked tied for fifth in the NFL in points allowed per game (20.1) and seventh in rushing yards allowed per game (106.6), while also holding opposing passers to a league-low 58.9 completion percentage. That is GOLD to defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo.
“We’re very happy to extend Logan, who has been one of the leaders of our defense,” said Anarumo. “It allows us to keep one of the best tandems of linebackers together by extending both him and Germaine Pratt.”
Wilson, who transitioned from DB to LB during his collegiate career at the University of Wyoming, plays his part in keeping opponents’ scoring down with his athleticism, ability to cover ground and close windows.
The Bengals selected Wilson in the third round of the 2020 draft among a class full of college captains and talented athletes who have helped lead the Bengals to back-to-back AFC North Division titles while establishing a model culture in the NFL.