Former No. 1 Overall Pick Advises Burrow to Strong-Arm Cincinnati
LSU Tigers QB Joe Burrow has a lot going on in his life right now and some of it is out of his control, or is it?
With the NFL Draft coming up at the end of April and the Combine only days away some are speculating whether or not Burrow should try and find a way to not play for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Well, at least a former No. 1 overall pick Steve Bartkowski feels like he should.
Bartkowski has the unique knowledge of what it's like to be in the shoes of a young quarterback about to enter the professional ranks. In 1975 the Atlanta Falcons traded with the Indianapolis Colts and selected Bartkowski with the No. 1 pick in the draft.
The Falcons team that he was drafted to was not a winner before he got there and he wasn't able to make them a winner during his tenure with the team. He finished his eleven-year stint with Atlanta with a 55-66 record as the starter, making two Pro-Bowls and only one playoff appearance (1980).
Having the knowledge that he does, he suggests that Burrow "pull an Eli Manning" as he told Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram earlier this week.
“I know what it’s like to go to a bottom-feeder team. I’d hate to see that happen to him, to be honest. They beat me up. I spent more time at the hospital recuperating from injuries my first three years than I did throwing touchdowns. It was tough.”
Bartkowksi and Burrow got the opportunity to meet at a Davey O’Brien Award event on Sunday night in Fort Worth, Texas. While conversating Bartkowski, a Falcons’ Ring of Honor member, advised Burrow and his family to give a hard pass on Cincinnati.
“[Cincinnati] is not the best organization. You know, times change; things change. Atlanta wasn’t a good organization until Arthur Blank bought the team [in 2002]. It was a terrible organization. They didn’t know the right hand from the left, to be honest."
Now, does Joe Burrow have any leverage in his current situation? He believes he does.
“I do have leverage. They have their process and I have my process. We haven’t even gotten to the Combine yet. There’s a lot of things that happen leading up to the draft and a lot of information gathered."
He would go onto say, “Right now, I’m focused on being the best football player I can be. I’m in this unique spot. You can go watch my film. I don’t have to prove myself at pro day and at the Combine, so I’m in a unique spot where I can focus on getting ready for the year.”
It'll be interesting to see what exactly Burrow and his family will decide to do in this situation, you would think it would be difficult to walk away from a hometown team being from Ohio.