The Cincinnati Bengals officially signed free agent defensive end Tarell Basham to a one-year contract for the 2023 season last week.
But, there is more to the signing behind the scene.
Basham played his college ball at Ohio University and was coached by Jimmy Burrow, Joe Burrow’s father.
The Bengals’ newest defensive end was drafted back in 2017 by the Indianapolis Colts after being named the Mid-American Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2016, under Coach Jimmy Burrow.
This Ohio defensive end Tarell Basham is eating during this O-line vs D-line drill. pic.twitter.com/3fXJuzwFDJ— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) January 24, 2017
Cincinnati is now the fifth team Basham has played for in the NFL, and Jimmy Burrow had some fun comments after pen was officially put to paper.
“I may have to text him not to hit the quarterback,” Joe Burrow’s father said jokingly via Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “He’s a high-energy guy who goes real hard in practice. He’s got a high motor and loves to play.”
With this unique connection to Ohio, Basham is looking forward to getting to work in Cincinnati stating, “It was a chance for me to get back to Ohio. I feel like it’s my roots playing football at Ohio University. It’s where I came alive. It’s where I showcased my talents, which is how I got in the league in the first place. I was playing good old-fashioned Ohio football. It’s a state known for that,” according to Hobson.
It isn’t every day defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo gets a scouting report on a free agent signing from the franchise quarterback's father.
Coach Burrow said, “He can really run and has a good feel for the game. He’s long and very athletic. He can really rush the passer. It’s a really good fit whether it’s giving those guys a breather or putting speed on the field,” per Hobson.
Zac Taylor has done an incredible job changing the locker room culture over the last few years, and it is no surprise why the Bengals were excited to get Basham in the building after hearing what Jimmy Burrow had to say about the defensive end.
Basham should be a great addition both in the locker room and on the field in Anarumo’s rotation getting to opposing quarterbacks.