Solomon Wilcots: Joe Burrow Is Not For Sale

It doesn't matter what anyone offers, Wilcots says; the Bengals will not – and should not – trade the No. 1 pick

Zach Gelb
April 14, 2020 - 9:17 am

The Cincinnati Bengals could, in theory, trade Joe Burrow for a haul of draft picks, but Solomon Wilcots isn’t betting on it.

“Kicking my feet up, my card’s already made out with Joe Burrow’s name on it,” Wilcots said on The Zach Gelb Show, referring to the No. 1 pick. “He is clearly and undoubtedly the most prolific quarterback in the 150 years of college football. What he did at LSU, winning 15 in a row – he went through seven teams that had a top-10 defense, and every single week, as the competition rose, so did his game. So did his focus. By the time he got to Oklahoma in that semifinal championship game, he carved them up for eight touchdown passes. By the time he got to Brent Venables and his great defense with Clemson, yeah, they got hits on him early, but he showed us he knows how to get off the carpet. He won that game going away. Going away. I watched him do it every single week at LSU. He went through a gauntlet of defensive players that are going to be playing on Sundays, and the guy never took one step backwards.”

But if the Miami Dolphins are willing to give an absolute haul – multiple first-round picks this year, multiple first-round picks in future years – shouldn’t the Bengals test those waters?

Wilcots, who played for the Bengals from 1987 to 1990, says no.

“Sometimes, some things aren’t for sale,” he said. “I know there’s a lot of people in our society [who] believe that everything is for sale. Well, I feel sorry for them because they don’t know the value of some things. There’s nothing you could give me for Joe Burrow. In fact, I’ve already paid the price of having to lose all those games just to get him. No, I’m going to have Joe Burrow as my quarterback for the next five, 10 years – whatever it takes. I don’t think the Colts would have ever traded away that first overall pick to get Peyton Manning. Because you know what you’re trading away. You’re trading away Peyton Manning. And in this case, you’re trading away the [guy who had the] greatest football season of any quarterback in the 150 years of college football.”

Wilcots also dismissed the notion that the Bengals, who haven’t won a playoff game since 1990, don’t know what they’re doing. After all, the franchise made the playoffs six times in seven seasons from 2009 to 2015. Granted, they went 0-6 in the playoffs, but they assembled enough talent to compete.

Burrow will be a key part of that going forward.

“It’s going to be hard to screw it up,” Wilcots said. “Can you screw it up? Absolutely. When Atlanta took Brett Favre, they didn’t know what they had. They were better off trading him because they would have wasted him. . . . I think Joe Burrow is that good. He played in a pro-style system, learned a lot watching tape of Drew Brees, being schooled by Joe Brady – it’s a pro system. He knows what he’s doing. By all the metrics of PFF, he knows how to play under pressure, how to play from a clean pocket – he can do everything. He can get it done. It is up to the organization to make sure that they support him in a way that allows him to be the great quarterback that we think he can become.”