There’s been a fair amount of speculation that if the Cincinnati Bengals drafted LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with their #1 overall pick, that Burrow would refuse to play and attempt to orchestrate a trade.
Well, Joe Burrow put an end to that speculation on Tuesday.
The Heisman Trophy winner and national champion was asked whether he would play for Cincy, if drafted by them, during a press conference at the NFL Combine.
“Yeah, I mean I’m not going to not play,” Burrow said. “I’m a ball player. Whoever picks me, I’m going to go show up.”
Much of the speculation was fueled by Burrow’s statement that he wanted to play for a team that was “committed” to winning championships. Burrow also mentioned having “leverage,” as the top quarterback in the draft.
It’s easy to read Burrow’s comments about wanting to go to a contender as a shot at the Bengals, who have never won a Super Bowl and not won a playoff game in a nearly a generation. Though, it’s just as easy to see Burrow’s comments as a mere statement of the obvious, that he would like to have a successful career with a team that wins a lot of football games.
“I think with any quarterback, fit is really important, but you don’t have a lot of say in that in the draft,” Burrow explained. “Whoever picks you, picks you and you’ve got to go play. I’m going to try to make whoever picks me work. I think my skill set is really diverse that can fit in a lot of different schemes, so I’m going to try to be the best player I can.”
Burrow sees his upcoming meeting with the Bengals as no different than a meeting with any other team.
“We’re just going to talk ball, just like every other team,” Burrow said. “I’m excited to get to know what their offense looks like, what they see for me, what they see what I can get better at. That’s something I’m asking all these teams when I’m interviewing with them: What do you think I can get better at? Because I’m always trying to learn; I’m always trying to improve.”
The fact that Burrow grew up in Ohio and has family that isn’t far from the Bengals facility, probably makes the task of taking over the reigns of the league’s worst football team a bit easier.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn