Joe Burrow

No. 1 Pick Joe Burrow Has Yet To Sign Bengals Deal

Due to the ongoing pandemic, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has yet to put pen to paper on his rookie contract. In an interview on the Pardon My Take podcast, the No. 1 overall pick indicated that the deal might not be inked anytime soon.

[RELATED: Panthers Sign Derrick Brown]

We’re just waiting to see what happens over the next three months because we really don’t know,” Burrow said (via ESPN.com’s Ben Baby).

Most of this year’s 250+ rookies have yet to sign their deals, so Burrow’s situation is not unique. However, it could be indicative of a much larger issue. Some executives and agents have wondered whether it’ll take longer for top draft picks to sign this year, since teams are facing potentially enormous revenue losses.

Those league officials believe that the deals will be completed, eventually, but cash flow could be a concern for clubs. A season without fans would mean zero gate attendance revenue, a shortened season would mean significantly less dollars coming in, and a cancelled season would be disastrous, from a financial standpoint. With that in mind, teams may be looking to hold on to the allocated signing bonus money a little bit longer.

In the case of Burrow, the LSU product is due a ~$24MM bonus. After that, the bonus figures decrease pick-by-pick, in accordance with each player’s slot. New Redskins edge rusher Chase Young (No. 2 overall) is set to collect a $22.7MM bonus and Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah (N0. 3) is in line for $21.9MM. The figure decreases the further you move down the board, though every player from Nos. 1-11 is ticketed for an eight-figure lump sum bonus.

Meanwhile, like all of us, Burrow is eager for football – and life in general – to resume normalcy:

Instead of talking, we can get back on the field. Hopefully soon.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Won’t Look To Sign Veteran QB

The Bengals aren’t looking to sign another veteran quarterback to play behind No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow, head coach Zac Taylor says. “We’re set,” Taylor said. (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Ben Baby). 

After the draft, the Bengals parted ways with longtime starter Andy Dalton after months of fruitless attempts to trade him. For months, Dalton said that he was focused on playing as a QB1 in 2020. He eased up on that stance this spring, but it’s not clear whether he was willing to take enough of a pay cut in Cincinnati to make that work, or whether the Bengals even made him a realistic offer. Ultimately, Dalton found a vibrant market for his services once he was let go – the Patriots, Jaguars, and Jets all considered the veteran before he joined up with the Cowboys (while he backstops Dak Prescott, Dalton says he’ll be aiming to start in 2021).

For now, the Bengals have Ryan Finley and 2019 UDFA Jacob Dolegala as the backups behind Burrow. Finley, a fourth-round pick last year, posted a dismal 47.1% completion rate with an average of 5.4 yards per attempt in three starts. After that, the Bengals turned things back over to Dalton, who at least got to leave Cincinnati as a first-stringer in his final game.

Burrow – who completed 76.3% of his passes for an NCAA-record 60 touchdowns last year with only six interceptions – will be expected to carry the load in his first pro season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers Liked Tua Tagovailoa At No. 6

With the No. 6 pick in the NFL Draft, the Chargers found their new quarterback in Oregon product Justin Herbert. But, even if wasn’t there, GM Tom Telesco says he would have taken a QB, no matter what. 

We felt great about all three quarterbacks who went in the Top 6,” Telesco told Pat McAfee of Barstool Sports (Twitter link), referring to No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow and Dolphins choice Tua Tagovailoa. “Hopefully we won’t pick at No. 6 very often…if I do, I won’t be making very many picks hereIf you’re going to pick this high and there’s a potential franchise quarterback, you have to take him.”

Burrow to the Bengals was long considered a sure thing and Tagovailoa was connected to the Dolphins for months. As the draft drew closer, whispers of the Dolphins’ interest in Herbert grew louder and louder. And, days before the draft, there was talk of the Dolphins trading up to the No. 3 pick to select an offensive lineman, rather than a quarterback. That’s one rumor that Telesco didn’t bite on.

Every rumor I heard, I went through my head of, ‘How would we handle this if this happened?’,” Telesco told Pat McAfee. “Now, the whole, Miami taking a tackle at 3, maybe they really were, I just didn’t believe that one. You make plans, you talk with your head coach…you talk about trading up or down in certain situations. When you’re on the clock making the pick, you’re not discussing what you want to do, you’ve already decided.

The opinions on Herbert are pretty mixed in the football world. Those that are high on him believe that his elite arm strength will allow him to succeed as a starter. Others are concerned about his pension for holding on to the ball for too long in the pocket. At the same time, Tagovailoa’s health remains a major question mark moving forward and Telesco says he would have been happy with either QB as the heir to Philip Rivers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Select Joe Burrow With No. 1 Overall Pick

The wait is officially over. With the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft, the Bengals have selected LSU quarterback Joe Burrow.

Burrow, who joins Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield as consecutive Heisman winners to be drafted first overall, has long been the favorite to go to Cincinnati at the top of the draft. The Bengals, who earned the No. 1 pick after finishing 2-14 during the 2019 campaign, will now install what they hope is a franchise quarterback in Burrow.

An Ohio native, Burrow posted arguably the greatest quarterback season in the history of college football in 2019, completing 76.3% of his passes for 60 touchdowns (an NCAA record) against only six interceptions. Burrow, who transferred from Ohio State prior to the 2018 season, put up middling results during his first season as LSU’s starter before winning the National Championship in 2019.

While the Bengals had long maintained that they weren’t interested in moving off the No. 1 pick, the Dolphins certainly attempted to make things interesting. Miami pushed Cincinnati, and was still trying to move up earlier today despite the Bengals previously rejecting offers.

Now, Burrow joins a Cincinnati offense that boasts potential despite the club’s lackluster performance in 2019. Burrow will dropped into a unit that includes running back Joe Mixon and wide receivers A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, and John Ross. Second-year head coach Zac Taylor and general manager Duke Tobin could attempt to find even more offensive talent — perhaps at wideout or along the offensive line — on Day 2 or 3 of the draft.

Despite that firepower, the Bengals are still in the midst of a rebuild even after adding Burrow. Cincinnati did step outside its comfort zone in free agency earlier this year, however, spending ample money to add defensive tackle D.J. Reader, cornerbacks Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander, safety Vonn Bell, and linebacker Josh Bynes.

Andy Dalton, the Bengals’ starting quarterback since 2011, remains on the roster. He’s still a candidate to be traded or released, but the veteran recently said there is a “scenario” where he sticks around as Burrow’s backup. Dalton has a $17MM cap figure, however, meaning he’d likely need to accept a pay cut in order for that to be feasible.

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Bengals Have Sent Jerseys To Joe Burrow

Just in case it couldn’t get any more official, the Bengals are going to be taking LSU quarterback Joe Burrow first overall. Moments after we heard for the final time that they wouldn’t be trading the pick, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweeted that Cincinnati owner Mike Brown has sent jerseys to the Burrow family.

They’re #9 Bengals jerseys, and Schefter adds that will officially be the number he wears in the NFL. Burrow donned the same number in college. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner will be tasked with turning around the 2-14 Bengals, and commissioner Roger Goodell will be announcing his name just over an hour from now.

The Dolphins apparently tried hard to get the Bengals to trade the pick, but their attempts at a Godfather offer ultimately proved futile. The draft is of course happening remotely and Burrow unfortunately won’t be able to celebrate in person, but at least the family will be able to rock some Bengals/Burrow gear in their living room.

Dolphins Still Pushing For Bengals’ No. 1 Pick

The Dolphins are hoping to acquire the Lions’ No. 3 choice and package it with their own No. 5 for the Bengals’ first overall pick, Mike Florio of PFT hears. The Lions have told the Dolphins that they won’t give up the No. 3 pick without the No. 5 pick in the package, but Miami GM Chris Grier seems to think they can be swayed. 

Of course, even if Grier can swing that deal with Detroit, he still has to convince the Bengals to part with the No. 1 pick and pass on Joe Burrow. The Bengals say that’s not happening. So far, the Bengals have laughed off every offer, but it’s hard to imagine them hanging up on a team offering two Top-5 picks. At minimum, it’s something that they’d have to consider.

Burrow, by all accounts, is the Bengals’ favorite QB by a mile. But, with Nos. 3 and 5, they could tap their second-favorite passer and one of this year’s elite tackles. Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert would likely be available for them with the third pick. Then, they’d probably have at least three of this year’s top four tackles, if not the whole bunch, available to them. Tua/Herbert + Jedrick Wills/Tristan Wirfs/Andrew Thomas/Mekhi Becton would be a pretty excellent haul by any measure.

It remains to be seen what else Miami would have to give up in order to convince Cincinnati to forego the right to draft Burrow, and one wonders if the team’s No. 18 or No. 26 selections — at least one of which would presumably have to go to Detroit in this scenario — would also be in play. For a rebuilding outfit that has a lot of needs to fill and that has spent a long time stockpiling premium draft capital, that would be an exceedingly steep price to pay.

On the other hand, franchise QBs don’t grow on trees, and not only does Burrow have limitless potential, he has fewer red flags than Tua and Herbert. Though he may have benefited from LSU’s stacked roster in 2019, his otherworldly Heisman-winning campaign, which featured a 76.3% completion rate, 5,671 passing yards, and 60 passing TDs, make Burrow a tantalizing prospect.

If a team knew that a player would turn out to be Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, etc., that team would have no issues trading away its entire draft haul in a given year to draft such a player, regardless of how rich that haul might be. And while no prospect is really a sure thing, if the Dolphins are convinced that Burrow is a future Hall-of-Famer — and they seem pretty sure — then it would be hard to fault them for swinging this kind of deal (at least not until a couple years have passed).

Miami hasn’t been able to make any progress on talks yet, but deadlines spur action, and the NFL Draft is just hours away.

Rory Parks contributed to this post.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Reject Dolphins’ Offer For No. 1 Pick

The Dolphins have called the Bengals on multiple occasions to inquire on the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The Bengals told the Dolphins “in no uncertain terms” that they would not give up the top choice. 

No surprises on either end here. The Bengals have been laser-focused on tapping Joe Burrow as their quarterback of the future and the Dolphins probably see him as the best passer in this year’s class as well. The Dolphins’ love affair with the LSU star has been a poorly-kept secret throughout the year and they’ve been pondering a move up to No. 1 since January.

The Bengals, meanwhile, have been hitting the b-button on teams asking about the pick. Unless they’re playing really, really, really hard to get, Burrow to the Bengals is a done deal.

Unable to climb to No. 1, the Dolphins may move up to No. 3 via trade with the Lions. Initially, they tried to make the move without sacrificing their No. 5 pick, but that doesn’t seem to be on the table.

After a strong 2018 season, Burrow shattered all expectations with a 76.3% completion rate, 5,671 passing yards, and 60 (!) touchdowns through the air. He also added another five rushing TDs for good measure.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Still Won’t Consider Trading No. 1 Pick

The Bengals got a few calls from teams looking to move up, but they’re not even going through the motions. One Bengals source told Dianna Russini of ESPN.com (on Twitter) that they “could just turn our ringers off on our phones” when it comes to trades for the No. 1 pick. 

It’s no surprise. The Bengals are locked in on LSU star Joe Burrow as their quarterback of the future. They’ve been burning up bandwidth and using as much of their allotted time as possible to get familiar with him, go over the playbook, and strategize for their future together.

Other teams near the top of the order are at least giving thought to trading down. Giants GM Dave Gettleman could very well move the No. 4 pick, even though it’s not in his nature. The Lions are also willing to listen on offers for the No. 3 pick, though they’re high on cornerback Jeff Okudah, defensive tackle Derrick Brown, and Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons. Okudah is very unlikely to be available past No. 10 and there’s no telling where Brown or Simmons could land. The Redskins, supposedly, are willing to listen on offers for the No. 2 pick, but they’re probably still keyed in on Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young.

Nothing is certain in this year’s NFL Draft, but Burrow-to-the-Bengals seems like a done deal.

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Bengals “Maxing Out” Their Time To Talk With Joe Burrow

The Bengals have been using every possible minute to talk with Joe Burrow, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. That’s just the latest indication that the Bengals will take the LSU quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick in next week’s draft. 

[RELATED: Joe Burrow’s NFL Draft Profile]

The Bengals’ infatuation with Burrow has been the worst kept secret in the NFL for months. We’ve been surprised before in the NFL Draft, but it would be a genuine shock if the Bengals selected anyone else.

In the days before the draft, teams do their best to run misdirection plays, anonymously downplaying their targets and signaling interest the players they don’t want. Still, the Bengals haven’t been able to hide their crush, nor have they made a real effort to conceal it.

It doesn’t look that way,” confessed head coach Zac Taylor when asked about the possibility of trading the pick. “If there is a guy there that you believe in that can really change the franchise over the next 10-15 years, then that’s a hard thing to pass up on.

Even in January, the Bengals were up-front about their affinity for the LSU star.

He’s got natural pocket feel. He feels it,” Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said. “It seems like he never takes his eyes off down the field. He extends the play really, really well. He’s a lot faster than you might assume when you see him running away from all those SEC guys. He’s got incredible up-field accuracy. The ball hardly ever hits the ground in a game, which is rare. He just naturally puts the ball in places where those guys can make plays.”

There will be lots of surprises in store throughout draft weekend, but the Bengals seem locked on Burrow with the top pick.

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Bengals HC: “Doesn’t Look Like” We’ll Trade No. 1 Pick

It doesn’t sound like anyone will be able to talk the Bengals out of taking Joe Burrow. In an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show, head coach Zac Taylor more or less dismissed the possibility of trading the No. 1 pick. 

[RELATED: Taylor Says AJ Green Is “Fully Healthy”]

It doesn’t look that way,” Taylor said (via Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer). “If there is a guy there that you believe in that can really change the franchise over the next 10-15 years, then that’s a hard thing to pass up on. You know, people all the time ask me what would it take to give up that pick and if there’s somebody there that people are willing to give up a lot for, that they believe in, then that just really verifies what we think about those players as well.”

The Giants are “open for business” at No. 4. The Lions are at least willing to listen on offers for the No. 3 pick. Beyond that, it doesn’t sound like teams will be able to move much higher up the board. By all accounts, the Redskins are laser-focused on Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young at No. 2, and the Bengals are locked in on Burrow.

The Bengals’ infatuation with Burrow has been apparent for months. The only thing that was in question, really, was Burrow’s desire to play in Cincinnati. But, at the combine in February, the LSU star put that speculation to rest.

Yeah. I’m not going to not play. I’m a ball player,” Burrow said. “Whoever picks me, I’m going to show up.”

That’s good news for the Bengals and bad news for other teams hoping to snag Burrow. The Dolphins, at one point, had their sights set on him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.