The media circus around possible pushback from Joe Burrow about playing for the Cincinnati Bengals is out of control. Here, we try and make sense of it all.
If you listen to the national media, Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow should avoid the Bengals like the plague. If you listen to the media in Cincinnati, Burrow should be dying to come home to Ohio and resurrect a lost franchise.
Realistically, any highly touted prospect is going to have some reservations about heading to a franchise that has been as inept as the Bengals for the last 30 years. Still, being the top overall pick is a cool honor no matter where you go.
How is college football’s reigning champion quarterback really feeling about possibly coming to Cincinnati? The fairest way to put it is that he has made varying remarks about it ranging from indifference to some level of excitement.
The local media is spinning Burrow’s every word to speculate that he is dying to save the Bengals. The national media is spinning his every word to speculate the polar opposite. Thus, Burrow’s uneasiness about Cincinnati is almost certainly not a complete fabrication, but is greatly overblown.
Burrow is probably about a 70/30 bet to get drafted by Cincinnati and happily begin his NFL career here. This means one thing for the Bengals and their decision-makers. If the former LSU standout is indeed the incoming quarterback they covet, they need to nail pre-draft interactions with him, just to be safe.
If and when Zac Taylor, Mike Brown, and company ask Burrow what he wants in an NFL franchise, they need to give it to him, short of his own private jet. If Burrow’s feelings about Cincinnati are still fuzzy and open to interpretation after he meets with the Bengals, then fans have reason to be nervous. Until then, everyone can speculate and infer, but that is about it.