Former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow told reporters ahead of the NFL combine that he will play for any team that drafts him, which means he has to face the reality that he will likely be heading to the lowly Cincinnati Bengals. The 2019 Heisman Trophy winner is expected to be someone who can come in and turn the Bengals around quickly, but he's going to need some help.
According to Peter King of NBC's Football Morning in America, Burrow met with a Bengals delegation last week, and he made it clear that he wants the team to find a way to keep wide receiver A.J. Green. The seven-time Pro Bowler has played in just nine games over the past two seasons, as different foot injuries have kept him on the sideline. Green, who turns 32 this offseason, has been one of the best receivers in the NFL over the past decade. In 111 career games, he has recorded 602 receptions for 8,907 yards and 63 touchdowns.
This weekend, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported that the Bengals plan to franchise tag Green, as they want him in Cincinnati this year either through the tag or on a longer deal since he is an unrestricted free agent. The Bengals have never wavered when it comes to their faith in their longtime star wideout, and earlier this offseason, head coach Zac Taylor made it known that .
"He's a guy that we're excited about to have part of this team, first and foremost. That's what matters right now," Taylor said. "As we go through the offseason, we'll figure out how it best fits. But right now, we expect him to be a part of the team. We want him to be a part of the team."
"He's certainly been a valuable member for the last couple years and done some great things. I'm excited to coach him, really for the first time this next season."
While the Bengals are just 8-24 over the past two years and haven't won a playoff game in 30 years, an offense that includes the likes of Burrow, Green, Joe Mixon, Tyler Boyd, John Ross III and Tyler Eifert doesn't look so bad on paper. It could be the dawn of a new day in the Queen City.