The major noise surrounding the first overall pick with the Cincinnati Bengals is whether or not quarterback Joe Burrow actually wants to play for the team.
There has been plenty of noise from former players, analysts and fans about the situation, but we rarely get to hear directly from Burrow himself. He addressed it all again while doing media for accepting the 2019 Davey O’Brien award.
“They have their process that they have to go through, so I’m just blessed to be in the position that I’m in,” Burrow told Drew Davison of Star Telegram. “If they select me, they select me. I’m going to do everything in my power to be the best football player that I can be.
“It’s a long process the next couple of months. We have the Combine. We have the pro day. There’s a long time until the draft. There’s a lot of information, a lot of different places, a lot of people saying a lot of things, but I’m just focused on training right now.”
Fans may still be upset that this answer doesn’t inspire more confidence that he has his bags packed ready to come to Cincinnati. However, the Bengals have done everything in their power to put out there that they are still evaluating, and that they still have their phones on.
The union seems inevitable, but you can’t blame the guy for not wanting to stick his neck out there when there is still the possibility that Cincinnati backs out of the spot (even though that seems very unlikely). It seems both sides are content to keep the suspense going.
Another quote to come out of all of this that seems important was Robin Burrow, Joe’s mother, seconding the idea that her son won’t be refusing to play for the Bengals.
“We have no idea where that comes from,” Robin said. “It’s a story out there that someone has created that doesn’t have any substance — from our perspective at least.”
This follows up Jimmy Burrow, Joe’s dad, has twice made the same statement. You could even say Burrow’s quote says he will play for the Bengals if they select him, so it isn’t even a matter of refusing to land in Cincinnati.
The only thing that makes sense is Burrow doesn’t want to be left with egg on his face by saying he wants to go to the Bengals, but then end up getting the rug pulled out from under him with a trade or the Bengals selecting someone else. That is honestly a fair stance to take, as Burrow even notes himself, it is still a long process. It is rare that a player is forced to have to publicly state this early where they’d like to land on multiple occasions.
As has been the case this whole time, this just seems like people getting riled up over rumors that aren’t based on anything. It is also unfortunate that this fan base has already been forced into expecting the worst, but it seems there is a light at the end of this tunnel.