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Joe Burrow never said he won’t play for the Bengals. Let’s put this rumor to bed

2020’s potential No. 1 pick has been asked quite a bit about playing for Cincinnati.

NFL Combine - Day 1 Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

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:

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:

Feb. 25 at the combine: He said he’s going to play wherever he is drafted:

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.

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:

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:

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?