Presumptive number one overall pick Joe Burrow made Bengals fans’ hearts skip a beat last week when he spoke about the leverage he had. For a down trodden franchise, it’s an easy jump from there to looking to previous precedent. After all, number one overall pick Eli Manning refused to play for the Chargers. Likewise John Elway with the Colts. Bo Jackson refused to play for the Buccaneers and Jim Kelly only played for the Bills after a stint in the USFL.
Players, particularly Quarterbacks, have a history of kicking up a fuss if they aren’t happy with where they are drafted. Now Joe Burrow is the ‘unmissable prospect’ that the Bengals hold the rights to selecting. So much has been made of Burrow’s comments to the Star-Telegram that the LSU alum was forced to clarify it at the Combine.
Burrow was quick to point out that it was the national media’s parsing of his comments that created the speculation. When stating, “I do have leverage”, Burrow was referring to what drills and other activities he took part in pre-draft, rather than how he treated the team that drafted him. That is clear when you look at the context of his previous statement.
So it appears that the speculation of Burrow playing hardball with the Bengals was a non-story. The LSU star has no interest in following in the footsteps of Manning, Jackson or Elway. The links to Burrow using draft trainer Jordan Palmer and his brother Carson ignominious exit from the Bengals were done in vain.
This is the build up to the draft and when silly season hits, anything can happen with an off the cuff comment, putting players just leaving college, some still too young to drink, through the ringer.