The 2020 NFL Combine is underway from Indianapolis, and the potential No. 1 pick, quarterback Joe Burrow, is unsurprisingly getting a lot of attention. It’s also unsurprising he’s been asked about the idea that he doesn’t want to play for the Cincinnati Bengals, who hold the No. 1 pick.
Burrow quickly refuted that:
Joe Burrow on the speculation that he did not want to play in Cincinnati: “You guys (in the media) kind of took that narrative and ran with it. There has never been anything like that from my end.”— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 25, 2020
There’s no real definitive place as to where exactly this narrative started. But Burrow’s right that he’s never said he doesn’t want to play in Cincinnati. Let’s go back through some of Burrow’s quotes to debunk this story once and for all.
Burrow on the possibility of going No. 1
Jan. 31: He said he wants to go No. 1 overall, but he also wants to win:
"You want to go No. 1. But you also want to go to a great organization that is committed to winning. Committed to winning Super Bowls." - Joe Burrow on @dpshow— Andrew Perloff (@andrewperloff) January 31, 2020
Feb. 25 at the combine: He said he’s going to play wherever he is drafted:
#LSU QB Joe Burrow, asked if he’ll play for the #Bengals if they take him No. 1: “I'm not going to not play.” He adds: I'll play for whoever drafts me."— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 25, 2020
Burrow on “leverage”
Feb. 17: “I do have leverage,” Burrow said via the Star-Telegram. “They have their process and I have my process. We haven’t even gotten to the (NFL) combine yet. There’s a lot of things that happen leading up to the draft and a lot of information gathered.
“Right now, I’m focused on being the best football player I can be. I’m in this unique spot. You can go watch my film. I don’t have to prove myself at pro day and at the combine, so I’m in a unique spot where I can focus on getting ready for the year.”
Feb. 25 at the combine: He clarified his comments that he what he meant by leverage is that he won’t throw at the combine or LSU’s pro day. Meaning, he’ll use the leverage of his great college career to his advantage through the draft process.
Joe Burrow said the leverage comment was about the combine and he's not looking to force a move. Said he's not going to throw at the combine. pic.twitter.com/q3HrmVhNEX— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) February 25, 2020
Burrow on being drafted by the Bengals
Feb. 17: “Look, this is a long process, right?” Burrow said via the Star-Telegram. “They have their process that they have to go through, and so I am blessed to be in the position I’m in. If they select me, they select me, I’m going to do everything in my power to be the best football player I can be.”
Feb. 25 at the combine: He said he’ll happily play for the Bengals:
Joe Burrow on if he will happily report to the #Bengals it they select him at No. 1.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) February 25, 2020
“Yes. Of course.”
The. End. Of. This.
Burrow on playing wherever he will be drafted
Feb. 18: He said he will play for whoever wants to pay him: “Whoever wants to pay me money to play the game of football, I’ll play for ’em,” Burrow said in late January on Bloomberg News via Pro Football Talk. “It doesn’t matter to me.”
Feb. 25 at the combine: He addressed why he’s potentially come off as noncommittal about where he’ll end up:
Joe Burrow: “I just didn’t want to be presumptuous about the pick. That’s why I’ve been noncommittal. Because I don’t know what’s going to happen. They might not pick me. They might fall in love with someone else. You guys kind of took that narrative and ran with it.” #Yep— Dan Hoard (@Dan_Hoard) February 25, 2020
Being the potential No. 1 overall pick doesn’t come without silly narratives to talk about — Burrow’s “small” hand size has already been a topic of conversation, to which he had the perfect response.
But is there anything in his quotes to suggest Burrow doesn’t want to play in Cincinnati? Not in the least bit. Of course Burrow is aware the Bengals have had losing seasons in each of the last four years. It doesn’t matter — he’s going to play wherever he is drafted. Period. So can we all move on from this, please?