Joe Burrow gives a pretty definitive answer to whether he'd play for Bengals

Joe Burrow says he won’t pull an Eli Manning (or, for older fans, a John Elway) and refuse to play for the Cincinnati Bengals.

The LSU quarterback’s desire to play for Cincinnati, which holds the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL draft, has been a topic the past couple weeks. It was a topic because Burrow hadn’t clearly stated whether he would be happy to play for the Bengals.

On Tuesday at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, he cleared it up.

Joe Burrow on whether he’d report to Bengals: ‘Yes. Of course.’

Burrow was asked about the Bengals on Tuesday morning and said he would report, via Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic.

Another quote from Burrow — “I’m not gonna not play” — got some attention on Tuesday and it made it seem like Burrow was again avoiding giving an answer. Burrow explained why he had not offered a clear answer about the Bengals, via Dan Hoard, the radio voice of the Bengals.

The quotes highlighted by Dehner should be taken at face value. He says he will play for the Bengals and won’t try to force a trade. Unless Burrow’s representatives are telling Cincinnati something else behind closed doors, it’s all systems go for Burrow to be the first pick, if the Bengals want him.

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow speaks during a press conference at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow speaks during a news conference at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Burrow had a huge season

Burrow is coming off perhaps the greatest single season for a quarterback in college football history. He set numerous records while leading LSU to an undefeated season and national championship. It’s rare for a player to come from fairly off the radar to be the No. 1 overall pick, but Burrow was that good, even with his small hands.

The Bengals could look at others, like Oregon’s Justin Herbert or even Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa if the medical reports on his injured hip are clean. But for weeks it has seemed like a foregone conclusion that Burrow would be the top pick to Cincinnati. The only roadblock seemed to be if he said he’d be unwilling to play for the Bengals.

That isn’t the case, he said. Burrow said he’d report to the Bengals, and Cincinnati will presumably be happy to have him.

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