CINCINNATI — One week in the past in the lounge of his childhood dwelling, Joe Burrow waited for a telephone name that confirmed the plain.
The Cincinnati Bengals have been deciding on him with the highest general decide within the NFL draft and anticipating him to instantly turn out to be their subsequent franchise quarterback.
That expectation was made even clearer on Thursday, when the Bengals knowledgeable veteran quarterback Andy Dalton he was being launched after 9 seasons with the membership.
Joe Burrow can be counted on to resurrect the Bengals. And it looks as if a logical development from his highschool days in southeast Ohio. Story »
The Burrow period is formally underway. And he is able to embrace the burdens that include that.
“I will are available in and be one of the best participant that I will be, and attempt to assist construct a tradition of profitable right here,” Burrow mentioned minutes after he was drafted on April 23.
On the floor, the transition from Dalton to Burrow can appear like a series response. In actuality, the Bengals can launch Dalton due to what they’re including in Burrow.
In 2019, Burrow posted probably the greatest seasons in faculty soccer historical past. He set the Soccer Bowl Subdivision file with 60 touchdowns, accomplished 76% of his passes, received the Heisman and led LSU to a nationwide championship.
By the point Burrow and his teammates lifted the trophy in January, the Bengals have been already making ready for the No. 1 choice within the draft, their first since 2003. In February, they formally sat down with Burrow on the scouting mix, a gathering that included crew president Mike Brown.
“He will make an ideal NFL participant,” Bengals second-year coach Zac Taylor mentioned on the mix.
The courtship between Burrow and the Bengals set the desk for what occurred when free company began in March.
Traditionally, Cincinnati’s entrance workplace has not spent high greenback in free company. Since 2015, the Bengals hadn’t dedicated greater than $6.7 million in common wage to a free agent, in response to ESPN Stats & Data.
That modified after a gradual begin throughout this 12 months’s negotiating interval. The Bengals dedicated to 2 huge offers to shore up the protection — a four-year, $53 million contract for defensive deal with D.J. Reader and a three-year, $42 million deal for cornerback Trae Waynes.
The spending wasn’t misplaced on Burrow as he went by way of the pre-draft course of.
“I used to be very enthusiastic about it,” Burrow mentioned after he was drafted. “I believe it exhibits the route this franchise needs to move. I believe it may be a profitable franchise for years to return, and I hope to play a giant half in it.”
The spending spree was a quiet vote of confidence in Burrow’s capability to step proper in because the beginning quarterback. When the Bengals spent that form of cash in free company, it eradicated the cap area required to pay Dalton the $17.7 million on the ultimate 12 months of a contract that was set to run out after the 2020 season.
Stephen A. Smith and Mel Kiper Jr. debate the Bengals’ administration and if Joe Burrow’s future can be in good palms in Cincinnati.
And the transition from Dalton to Burrow mirrors how Dalton got here into the league. In 2011, Dalton, the previous TCU standout, arrived in Cincinnati within the midst of a lockout between the homeowners and the gamers’ union. Burrow hasn’t bodily met with the crew but due to the restrictions in place by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even earlier than Dalton was launched, the aim was to get Burrow in control as shortly as potential. He and the remainder of the rookies will begin their digital exercise program on Might 11.
Taylor was hesitant to formally anoint Burrow because the Week 1 starter earlier than he even arrived. Burrow should nonetheless get acclimated to all the things that comes with taking part in within the NFL.
“That is a problem for everybody we decide — getting used to that and getting snug with how shortly you make selections,” Taylor mentioned. “We chosen him as a result of we all know he can deal with all of that.”
Over the majority of the final twenty years, the quarterback place has signaled the beginning and finish of an period in Bengals historical past. Carson Palmer reigned from 2004-10. Dalton commandeered the crew from 2011-19.
Beginning now, the franchise can be outlined by what Burrow does within the coming years.
“I am the No. 1 decide, nevertheless it doesn’t suggest something in 4 months,” Burrow mentioned on draft night time. “So I will proceed to work actually onerous to be one of the best participant that I will be for this crew, for this franchise and this metropolis.”