It is no secret that the national media has had plenty to say about the Bengals when talking about what the team will do with the first overall pick, or rather whether Joe Burrow should allow himself to be selected by the team.
Most of the attacks stem from former Bengal Carson Palmer talking about his time with the team as a first overall pick, and alluding to the idea he didn’t feel they were committed to winning Super Bowls.
All of this has led to more and more people saying Burrow should pull an Eli Manning and tell the Bengals not to draft him. This noise has been growing louder and louder, but Burrow and Cincinnati haven’t even gotten a chance to formally meet yet.
This noise has finally gotten too loud for some current and former Bengals, though. Tyler Boyd, the teams leading receiver the past two seasons, led the charge.
The way the media talk so down on us (Cincinnati Bengals) is really absurd. The disrespect is crazy but it's life all it consist of is proven people wrong.— Tyler Boyd (@boutdat_23) February 19, 2020
It is true that the Bengals were the worst team in football during the 2019 season, but too many analysts and critics are ignoring the fact this hasn’t been the norm for the team over the past decade. Everyone is quick to forget the five straight playoff appearances that Andy Dalton and A.J. Green engineered when they arrived.
Not to mention the same people who launch insults at Cincinnati are trying to prop up the Dolphins as a desirable destination when we just watched their last first round quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, make the playoffs his first year away from the team after only accomplishing that once in his entire career with Miami.
It is also worth noting that these words from Boyd are coming from a player who signed a four year extension this past offseason, so he clearly saw the direction this team is headed. He had every opportunity to leave and probably end up with a similar offer elsewhere, but he chose to stay and become a leader in Cincinnati.
As far as former Bengals to fight against the mob of critics, both Willie Anderson and Chad Johnson offered their support for the franchise and city they called home for most of their careers.
Joe Burrow has not said he doesn’t want to play for @Bengals . As fans y’all should be going in on media every time they report this garbage! We have to show @Bengals in good light to national media ! #Bengals #JoeBurrow #Whodey— Willie Anderson (@BigWillie7179) February 18, 2020
Having dinner with Burrow prior to the draft to let him know he’s in great hands because that fucking city rocks and everybody will love you. https://t.co/eohSXgwBWA— Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) February 18, 2020
Odds are these will largely be ignored by the national media. It doesn’t fit in with the suspense they are trying to build for such an obvious pick. However, since they cite former players as their reason for why Burrow should want nothing to do with the franchise, these seem more than relevant.
Both of them are right on the money as well. Anderson notes that Burrow has never directly said he doesn’t want to be a Bengal, and it is just media twisting the fact he isn’t overly committing to the team before the NFL Combine has even started. As far as pushing back goes, clicks count all the same whether they are angry or happy unfortunately.
Johnson is right as usual. He saw first hand how this city can embrace a player. Some fans may have grown tired of his antics, but his celebrations and trash talking made him a fan favorite to this very day for plenty of fans.
There has also been one outlet that has been hammering home any and all click bait insinuating that Burrow doesn’t want to be a Bengal. They even cited former Bengal Solomon Wilcots as another voice trying to warn the LSU quarterback. Wilcots responded directly calling out the story for misrepresenting his words.
Don’t just read headlines and be misled. I believe @bengals will win with Joe Burrow. If you listen carefully you will understand that any QB taken with 1st overall pick will need multi levels of support to become a winner. https://t.co/d5TaK6MlDm— Solomon Wilcots (@SolomonsWisdom) February 19, 2020
Doubt that there will be a followup to the original post with Wilcots’ update, but that is the way this narrative is being pushed. Bengals fans should rest easy in the idea that this is all manufactured outside noise. Neither Cincinnati or Burrow have done anything to show they won’t end up being connected come April. We all just have to wait this out. Until then we can rest easy knowing current and former Bengals still have this team’s back.