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    If Kicker Evan McPherson Is Next Bengals Extension, How Much Could He Make?

    Cincinnati Bengals kicker Evan McPherson should be next in line for a contract extension after center Ted Karras re-upped with the team.

    CINCINNATI – With negotiations with Tee Higgins on an extension at an impasse and Ja’Marr Chase’s new deal likely on target for 2025, Ted Karras was one of two players who made the most sense for the Cincinnati Bengals to sign this offseason.

    The Bengals announced a one-year extension for Karras today, one that will pay him up to $6.6 million in 2025.

    So who is most likely to be next in line?

    Kicker Evan McPherson Should Be Next Bengals Extension

    Kicker Evan McPherson tops the list.

    Like Karras, McPherson is heading into the final year of his contract.

    And just as the Bengals had a framework in place for Karras with the three-year, $18 million deal he signed in 2022, there is a template for a McPherson extension that just needs a couple of signatures.

    It’s a textbook case of “when, not if,” the Bengals will extend the third-most accurate kicker in franchise history.

    “I don’t think timing is a huge deal for me,” McPherson said. “It’s going to happen when it happens. If you’re so focused on that, you’re going to take your mind off other things.”

    Unlike Karras’ slight bump in annual salary, McPherson can expect a significant pay increase from the $1.1 million he is due in the final season of the rookie contract he signed in 2021 when the Bengals drafted him in the fifth round.

    And just as Chase has Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson – the highest-paid non-quarterback in the league – as a negotiating target, McPherson has Baltimore Ravens’ Justin Tucker.

    “I know Justin is the highest paid,” McPherson said of Tucker. “I feel like that’s kind of how the league is. With Ja’Marr and Justin, you kind of compare yourself to other guys and what they’re making and what they’re doing. I feel like you have a knowing of what you’re worth.”

    Unlike Jefferson, whose four-year, $140 million deal with $110 million in guaranteed money blew away the rest of the field of wide receivers, the kicker market is more compact.

    Tucker and former Bengal Jake Elliott are the highest paid in terms of average annual salary at $6 million per year.

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    Six more kickers are making at least $5 million per year (Matt Gay, $5.6M; Graham Gano, $5.5M; Ka’imi Fairbairn, $5.3M; Jason Myers, $5.3M; Tyler Bass, $5.1M; and Chris Boswell, $5M).

    Gano and Fairbairn have three-year deals, while the rest are four-year agreements.

    The biggest fluctuation is in the guarantees, which range from $8.7M (Myers) to $14M (Tucker).

    At the moment, McPherson’s next contract is far from top of mind.

    His biggest focus is on the new kickoff rule and the new types of kicks he will be asked to execute, increasing his career field goal accuracy of 83.9%, and perhaps most of all, getting some sleep.

    McPherson’s wife, Gracie, gave birth to the couple’s first child in March.

    “A bunch of sleepless nights,” McPherson said when asked how fatherhood has been. “I’m glad I’m getting it out of the way now in OTAs because by training camp, we’ll have her down, sleeping through the night every night. Hopefully. But definitely, by the season, I think we’ll have a pretty steady sleep schedule.”

    “And that will help me out a lot because I come into the building some mornings and would be just so exhausted,” he added. “But it’s been a lot of fun.”

    In addition to Higgins and McPherson, there are six other “starters” entering the final years of their contract — defensive tackle B.J. Hill, cornerback Mike Hilton, offensive tackle Trent Brown, tight end Mike Gesicki, safety Vonn Bell, and long snapper Cal Adomitis.

    With the Bengals placing the franchise tag on Higgins, the deadline for an extension is July 15.

    For the rest of them, there is a de facto deadline of the start of the regular season.

    KEEP READING: Everything You Need to Know About the NFL’s New Kickoff Rules

    McPherson is the most likely of the group to sign an extension, perhaps shortly after the Higgins deadline passes.

    But the kicker said he’s not sweating any of it.

    “It’s just being at peace with whatever happens,” McPherson said. “There’s other opportunities out there if it doesn’t happen here. But I really hope it does.”

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