Having the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft puts you directly in the spotlight, whether you like it or not. As we’ve witnessed over the past few weeks, everyone wants to talk about the Cincinnati Bengals, Joe Burrow, and how apparently the latter shouldn’t want to play for the former.
Carson Palmer drew the most buzz with his word of warning for Burrow, and another former Bengal is here to echo that sentiment.
CBS Sports NFL analyst Solomon Wilcots, who played for the Bengals from 1987-1990, went on CBS Sports radio host Damon Amendolara’s show and unequivocally backed Palmer’s sentiments when asked about them.
“Carson Palmer was a guy who was strong willed, talented, and needed more around him,” Wilcots said. “He needed more support around him ... he walked away from the game because the love for the game had left him. And that’s a shame. And organizations need to be wary of that—that one man, in a bad environment, cannot turn it around by himself.”
The full answer can be heard here:
I asked Solomon Wilcots if Carson Palmer’s warning to Joe Burrow about the Bengals was fair. “Absolutely. Absolutely. I’m 100% behind Carson. I watched as it sucked the life out of him.” pic.twitter.com/zJotYN61p4— Damon Amendolara (@DAonCBS) February 5, 2020
At this point, the reality of the Bengals is extremely established. Unless they absolutely hit it out of the park on consecutive draft classes, the likelihood of them building a contending roster around a quarterback is low with their current spending habits in free agency. This is why they need a quarterback like Burrow in the first place: to hide engrained roster deficiencies that they’re too conservative to fix. It’s also fair that Burrow realizes this before going into Cincinnati.
The consistent issue with this narrative (that doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon) is that we’ve heard nothing from Burrow’s camp that indicates this is a problem. Everyone with a microphone in front of their face has made it their mission to convince Burrow not to play for the Bengals, and with less than 80 merciful days until the draft, they are ultimately going to fail. Badly.
A text from Joe Burrow's dad on the continuing thought that Joe might not want to go No. 1 (to a certain team):— Jeremy Rauch (@FOX19Jeremy) February 5, 2020
"Not sure where that information is coming from. We are excited Joe has put himself in a position to be considered a possible high draft choice." @fox19
It is fun to watch the plebeians squabble from the top of the mountain, though.