Bengals’ Wilson on contract extension talks: ‘I want to be here and I want to get something done’

Credit: Chris O'Meara

Credit: Chris O'Meara

CINCINNATI — Logan Wilson said he would like to get a contract extension done with the Cincinnati Bengals by training camp, if possible, but as far as he is aware there has been no progress made on a deal.

The fourth-year linebacker is heading into the final season of his rookie contract, and although the team has an option for 2024, Wilson is eligible for an extension now and hoping for a long-term contract.

“Of course I would like to get it done by then (training camp), but it’s really not up to me,” Wilson said. “It’s about my agent and the front office communicating and just knowing I want to be here and I want to get something done.”

Wilson said he knows there have been conversations with the Bengals front office about an extension, but he leaves that up to his agent. The Bengals also are trying to get extensions done with fellow 2020 draft picks Joe Burrow and Tee Higgins.

The Bengals recently picked up the fifth-year option on Burrow’s contract, which had to be done by the Tuesday deadline for first-round picks, but his long-term deal still remains in the works and could have an impact on what other extensions are made.

Wilson is just trying to prepare for the 2023 season.

“It’s out of my control,” Wilson said. “I’m just going to control what I can. I’m not worried about that right now.”

Wilson was the team’s third-round draft pick in 2020 out of Wyoming, and coach Zac Taylor recalled last week during his pre-2023 draft press conference how Wilson was a player he had crossed his fingers hoping the organization would get.

The Bengals had selected wide receiver Tee Higgins at No. 33 that year and watched 31 more picks go off before they were able to grab Wilson at the start of the third round.

Since then, Wilson has ascended into a reliable playmaker in the middle of the Bengals defense. He had two interceptions in 12 games with two starts as a rookie, and since becoming a full-time starter in 2021 he has recorded five interceptions, two forced fumbles, eight passes defended, 3.5 sacks and 223 combined tackles over 28 games – all starts. He also owns 62 combined tackles, an interception and a forced fumble in seven playoff games.

Wilson also serves as the designated communicator between the coaches and the rest of the defense on gamedays and despite only being in his fourth season, he’s one of the more veteran players, especially looking at the secondary behind him.

“I feel like it’s just a natural progression,” said Wilson, who is 26 years old. “I’m also a little older for my age, in terms of physical age. I know I’m in Year 4 now, which is also crazy that it’s already Year 4. It’s just crazy how fast time goes, but I’m comfortable where I’m at and where I stand in this organization.”

The next step for Wilson, he said, is to just keep making more “turnover worthy plays” to continue to be a big impact for this defense.

Wilson had fewer of those last season than he did the year before, but he was coming back from offseason shoulder surgery and didn’t have quite all of the movement back yet. He missed three games in 2021 because of a torn labrum, which he eventually just played through, but he underwent surgery right after the Super Bowl.

His goal this offseason was to get his shoulder “moving properly.”

“Last year you get surgery in February and by the time it’s healed enough, you’re jumping right back into what caused the issue in the first place, so I never got my scapular rhythm back,” Wilson said. “So, that was a big priority was just getting my shoulder moving properly again so I wasn’t dealing with some of those things, and I have, so that’s been good. This is the best my shoulder’s felt since I got surgery.”

Wilson said he looks forward to a third year starting alongside Germaine Pratt, who the Bengals re-signed in free agency, and he is hopeful the continuity between them helps them “continue to grow together.” He wasn’t sure if Pratt would be back this year because of how “weird” the linebacker market has been this offseason, so it was “huge” the Bengals were able to get a deal done.

Now he’s hopeful he will be next in line for a long-term deal.

“We feed off each other, we know how each other plays and I think that bodes well, especially going into Year 3 now playing together,” Wilson said. “I think that’s hard to kind of find in the NFL sometimes. Because of the business aspect, guys are jumping around and for us to be able to go into Year 3 together is big for us.”

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