The Joe Burrow era is officially underway in Cincinnati after the Bengals signed their No. 1 overall pick Friday.
The hope is Burrow can lead a resurgence in the Queen City after the Bengals struggled en route to a 2-14 finish last season. But turning a franchise around is no easy task, especially when it’s one that’s now endured four straight losing seasons and no playoff wins in three decades.
Making things even more challenging for Burrow is he had no real offseason training program with his new teammates, and he’ll get no preseason games before making his first NFL start Week 1 vs. the Chargers.
So while hopes remains high for the future of Burrow and the Bengals, the 2020 season may present a lot of growing pains that lead to another losing season.
Peyton Manning knows this all too well. When the Colts took him No. 1 overall in the 1998 NFL Draft, they were coming off a 3-13 season, which is the same record Manning had as a rookie while he threw what at the time was an NFL-record 28 interceptions.
But over the next 16 years, Manning would enjoy a Hall of Fame career that saw him endure just one more losing season while he went to the playoffs 15 times.
So yeah, a bad rookie year is far from the end for Burrow if that’s what comes to pass. It just so happens that Manning is someone the new rookie got a chance to speak with this offseason, a conversation Burrow opened up about Friday.
“I couldn’t have appreciated that more,” Burrow told Bengals.come of his discussion with Manning. “I felt like we were in very similar situations coming in and he felt the same. He just gave me a lot of different advice when it came to marketing, how to handle the huddle, how to handle coaches, how assertive to be in your first year and how you build on upon that. It was a great conversation that I was very glad to have.”
Speaking of marketing, Burrow already has a great plan for managing the millions of dollars he’ll make in his pro career.
“I don’t plan on spending any contract money,” Burrow said. “I’m just going to live off the marketing money and let that accrue in my bank account.”
It’s good to know Burrow is getting advice from one of the best to ever play the position, and it sounds like he’s already taking it to heart. Hopefully, it helps the rookie have the kind of rookie season that lays the foundation for a very special career in Cincinnati, as well as a fruitful life off the field.