It might be time for Cincinnati Bengals fans to worry about Joe Burrow’s “leverage”

Former LSU football quarterback Joe Burrow is expected to be the top selection in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Earlier this week, I wrote that Joe Burrow is bad for the 2020 NFL Draft.

But that opinion might’ve been premature.

The NFL wants some drama surrounding the draft. And when I wrote that Burrow was bad for the draft, the only drama surrounding him and the Cincinnati Bengals, who have the top pick, had been completely manufactured.

But that quickly changed this week — thanks to Burrow.

The former LSU quarterback pointed out this week to the Fort Worth-Star Telegram that he believes he has leverage heading into the NFL Draft.

Here are his comments.

“I do have leverage,” Burrow said. “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.”

Burrow also noted that even though he’s been working out with Jordan Palmer, a former Bengals player who is the brother of Carson Palmer (the top pick of the Bengals in 2003), he hasn’t talked to him about the state of the Bengals organization.

This is the first time we’ve heard Burrow insinuate that he has any sort of say over where he might get drafted.

While I’d still be surprised if Burrow tried to manipulate where he plays in 2020, these comments suggest that he’s at least entertained the idea.

This is a bizarre situation where I can see both sides. On one hand, players should go play where they’re drafted. That’s just how the draft works.

But on the other hand, I can understand Burrow not wanting to go to a franchise that’s been stuck in a perpetual state of mediocrity.

Burrow wants to win a Super Bowl. And he can’t do that by himself. If the Bengals don’t put him in a good situation, he’ll essentially be wasted for five years. Burrow is already 23, so I’m sure he doesn’t want to waste a portion of his prime years on a Cincinnati team that isn’t fully committed to winning.

Of course, the Bengals could call his bluff. Would Burrow really sit out? I tend to think he wouldn’t. But the Bengals might not be willing to gamble with the first overall pick.

At this point, perhaps the Bengals should trade the top pick for a litany of picks. I’m sure a team like the Carolina Panthers, who recently hired former LSU passing game coordinator Joe Brady, would be willing to make a move for Burrow (the Panthers need a quarterback, after all).

Next: 4-star QB to LSU would make a lot of sense

It’ll be interesting to see what transpires over the next two months. Maybe it’s much ado about nothing. But it certainly appears that I was wrong — Burrow might actually be good for the NFL Draft (and the drama the league desires).

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