Charles Davis: Joe Burrow Speculation "Makes You Wonder"

Davis believes Burrow will play for the Bengals, but at this point, it seems far from a sure thing

Zach Gelb
February 24, 2020 - 9:59 am
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With almost two months to go until the NFL Draft on April 23, speculation continues to swirl about Joe Burrow’s future. Will he play for the Cincinnati Bengals? Or will he try to force a trade and go somewhere else?

Time will tell, but know this: Burrow believes he has “leverage” during this process.

What should NFL fans make of this ongoing saga?

“Well, it’s just the normal speculation that goes on would be an easy answer,” NFL analyst Charles Davis said on The Zach Gelb Show. “But we don’t hear about this type of potentially trying not to be the No. 1 pick or be the No. 1 pick and go to another team [very often]. John Elway, Eli Manning – but it’s not an every year thing, is it? Most of the time, guys do fall back on, ‘Hey, I’m the No. 1 pick overall. It’s an honor and privilege to be in the NFL. Whatever leverage I have, I’m either not exercising or I don’t think I have enough.’”

Burrow, however, hasn’t said that; in fact, he has said the exact opposite. 

“It’s interesting to hear Joe Burrow use the word leverage,” Davis said. “And truth be told, if you listen to guys who played in that organization, they don’t exactly make an overwhelming case for not doing it, do they? The easy thing is to jump on this kid: ‘You’re going to the NFL. You go wherever you go.’ To hear people who played in that organization kind of voice concerns makes you want to wonder.

“Now I don’t think ultimately he’ll do it,” Davis continued. “I think ultimately he will step up there, take the jersey and go try his craft with Cincinnati. But it is something for him to consider.”

Especially since Burrow’s passing game coordinator at LSU, Joe Brady, is now the offensive coordinator in Carolina. 

If Burrow does force a trade, he would likely get some backlash in the short-term; in the long-term, however, it could be just a footnote.

“Elway did it; Eli Manning did it,” Davis said of forcing a trade. “At the end of their careers, did we talk about that very much? It’s a major postscript. I think for Joe Burrow, if he does exercise it, he’ll be vilified early, but if he plays to the level of an Elway or Eli Manning, you won’t hear about it after that.”