D.J. Reader picked Bengals over Broncos because of Joe Burrow

Cincinnati Bengals defensive end D.J. Reader
Cincinnati Bengals defensive end D.J. Reader /

The Cincinnati Bengals are 3-1 on the year and their defense is a big reason as to why. D.J. Reader was signed last offseason in free agency and has been a big piece of this new-look Bengals defense and he recently told Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com that he signed with the team because of quarterback Joe Burrow.

"My agent was like, your options are, who are you going to be on, Joe Burrow or Drew Lock? I was like, I really think I’m going to go with Joe Burrow, Joey B. I like what they’ve got going on, I’m excited. That’s really what it came down."

While the decision between Burrow and Drew Lock seems obvious now, Reader made this decision before Burrow had even taken a pro snap. Meanwhile, Lock was coming off what looked to be a promising rookie campaign and some people were buying into what the Broncos were selling.

Well, fast forward to the present day, and Lock wasn’t named the starter in Denver while Burrow led his Bengals squad to a fun come-from-behind victory. It’s pretty clear that Reader made the right decision just on that information alone.

Reader continued:

"“We know how good Joe is. This training camp was intense. A lot of emotion, a lot of junk talking. A lot of things going on and he was being aggressive,” Reader said. “We know what Joe is made of. It’s exciting for us to watch the world see what Joe is made of. You’re not over there on third down waiting to grab your helmet. You’re sitting there waiting on him to make a play. That’s exciting as a defensive player knowing that you have somebody with the ball in their hands that can do something like that.”"

D.J. Reader chose the Bengals because of Joe Burrow.

Free agents picking Cincinnati over other teams is something fans hope becomes a trend and if Burrow continues to play to the level that he did on Thursday night, this team could shock a lot of people in 2021.

Reader was injured for a lot of 2020 but he’s bounced back in a big way this year. He has 14 tackles, two quarterback hits, and one sack through four starts and has helped the defensive line improve after a rough 2020 season.

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Having a franchise quarterback is something teams covet and the Bengals have theirs. Not only that, but they’re getting talented players to sign with Cincinnati as a result.