Will he, or won't he? That's the main question surrounding projected No. 1-overall pick Joe Burrow as he sits down at the 2020 NFL Combine in Indianapolis, with many wondering if he'd be adverse to playing for the Cincinnati Bengals, if it turns out he's their choice -- as expected. The topic has dominated draft headlines for weeks now and picked up steam recently after former first-overall pick and refuse to play in Cincinnati, and was further fueled by Burrow professing he "has leverage" heading into the draft.
And with that, the microphones could not have been any hotter as the Heisman and national championship winner sat down for his first interview at the combine. All the world wanted a definitive answer on if he's going to flex his draft muscle, i.e., leverage, and force his way out of Cincinnati before he has a chance to arrive there, or if it's all just smoke in front of a mirror.
Burrow answered the question definitively, and put all of the rumors to bed in the process.
"Yea," Burrow told CBS Sports with a smile. "I'm not going to not play. I'm a ballplayer. Whoever picks me, I'm going to show up."
And there it is, a promise to play for the Bengals, if they select him with the top pick in the draft.
That sound you hear is the sound of a collective sigh by the Bengals front office, who are desperately in need of locating the future at the quarterback position and have the opportunity to grab a signal-caller coming off of what many view as the best season of any player in college football history. The potential marriage would be made better still by the fact Burrow is an Ohio native, also morphing the situation into a homecoming of sorts.
"Yea absolutely [it would be exciting to play in Ohio] -- two hours and 15 minutes from my house," he said. "I can go home for dinner if I wanted to. Not a lot of pro athletes get to do that."
Not a lot of athletes have the leverage to decide who they don't want to play for going into the NFL draft either, but while Burrow knows he's in the unique situation of being able to use it, he has no plans on doing so.