Five players the Cincinnati Bengals can’t afford to see opt out

Cincinnati Bengals, William Jackson III(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals, William Jackson III(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
5 of 5
Joe Burrow
Cincinnati Bengals, Joe Burrow(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Players the Bengals can’t afford to have opt-out: Joe Burrow

The pillar of the Cincinnati Bengals’ franchise in both the short and long-term, the team obviously can’t afford to see Joe Burrow sit this season out.

The immediate fall out if Burrow were to make such a decision would entail Ryan Finley or Jake Dolegala being thrust into the lineup. We’ve already seen that Finley isn’t ready to handle a starting job and considering the coaching staff didn’t feel comfortable enough to give Dolegala a single snap in a lost season, it safe to assume he isn’t ready either.

The Bengals would almost assuredly suffer another losing season and find themselves picking near the top of the draft.

In the long run, things look even worse. Burrow wouldn’t be able to lay the foundation of his career or build any on-field chemistry with his new teammates. Plus, it would be difficult for decision-makers to evaluate the roster in the absence of Burrow, making it nearly impossible to determine what they need to address next offseason.

Perhaps the worst part of all, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner would be 25-years-old in his opening season in the league. Historically, quarterbacks that make their NFL debut at an older age tend to not perform as well. Not to mention, the Bengals will want to get Burrow on the field as soon as possible to keep their championship window open for as long as they can.

Thankfully, there is no reason to believe Burrow, or any of the other players mentioned, will sit out this upcoming season. However, while the possibility remains, it’s an important subject to keep an eye on.

Next. Predicting the winners of the Bengals’ training camp battles. dark