Let us go back to the offseason after the 2019 season. The Cincinnati Bengals earned the first overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft and were presumably going to take Heisman quarterback Joe Burrow.
The NFL media argued whether Burrow should force his way out of possibly going to Cincinnati in order to land with the vastly superior Miami Dolphins.
It turns out the Dolphins are confirmed to have offered their three first round picks in order to try and land the star from LSU.
In the 2020 NFL Draft, the #Dolphins had 3 first-round picks. They appeared willing to give up all of them and potentially more for the rights to the No. 1 pick — Joe Burrow. Instead, the #Bengals hung up the phone ☎️.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 30, 2022
My story on what might have been: https://t.co/nGAwgg7ToJ
This isn’t the most surprising news. Most people assumed this was the case. What is more noteworthy is how little Cincinnati gave the idea the time of day. Three first-round picks are pretty significant a deal.
However, we can see how it worked out for Miami — who is now looking for a new head coach after firing Brian Flores after only two seasons of making something out of nothing. Many will look back with the benefit of hindsight and say the Bengals could have drafted Justin Herbert with the fifth overall selection, then built around the now Los Angeles Chargers quarterback with the other two selection. That is with hindsight, though.
No one should blame the Bengals for hanging up that phone and presumably smiling all the way to the bank taking Burrow. Especially with where they sit now getting ready for the AFC Championship game.
After all, if a team is willing to make that kind of deal, it says plenty about how good the player you are about to select is.