LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is the projected No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Bengals own that top selection and need a franchise quarterback. An easy match, right?
Well, maybe not. There are some who have theorized Burrow could try to force Cincinnati to either trade him or not pick him altogether, presuming he doesn’t want to play for the organization. This is all speculation of course, even though Burrow did claim he has leverage over the Bengals in a recent interview.
“I do have leverage,” Burrow told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “[The Bengals] have their process and I have my process. We haven’t even gotten to the Combine yet. There’s a lot of things to happen. Right now, I’m focused on being the best football player I can be.”
Time will tell what happens with Burrow and the Bengals, but former NFL general manager Mike Tannenbaum was adamant on ESPN today that the Heisman Trophy winner has no leverage at all.
“He has zero leverage. This hasn’t happened since 2004 when Eli Manning orchestrated a trade from the Chargers to the Giants. He has zero, zero, zero leverage,” Tannenbaum said during a segment on Get Up!.
Tannenbaum went on to say that when dealing with a rookie quarterback, there’s no deadline to make the player happy. You can build up your team around him over time.
“When you draft a player, you have his rights for five years so you have plenty of time (to make Burrow happy),” he said. “It’s not like a free agency situation and if you think he’s the best player and he’s the best fit, you take him. As an organization, you work really hard to win him over, day-by-day. I know it’s not the ideal situation but if you believe Joe Burrow is the best player, you take him and you work on it.”
Burrow has repeatedly said he’d be happy to be chosen No. 1, though he’s never specifically said anything about playing for the Bengals. As long as that continues to be the case, these conversations will happen.