INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Heisman Trophy and National Championship winning quarterback Joe Burrow says he won't try and block a move to the Cincinnati Bengals if the franchise selects him with its No. 1 first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
"I'm not going to not play," Burrow said Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday in Indianapolis. "I'm a ballplayer. Whoever picks me, I'm going to show up."
There has been speculation surrounding the Bengals' potential pick of Burrow for the last few weeks. Burrow denies that he would try to block a move to the Bengals or sit out if he were selected by Cincinnati in April's draft.
"I'll play for whoever drafts me," Burrow said. "I'm just not going to be presumptuous about what they want to do. It's the draft. You guys [reporters] have been covering it for a long time. You never know what's going to happen."
The Bengals were 2-14 last season. They haven't won a playoff game in nearly 30 years and never have won a Super Bowl.
Burrow partially fueled the speculation when he hired Carson Palmer's brother, Jordan Palmer, as a personal quarterback coach. Carson Palmer played the majority of his career for the Bengals before demanding a trade from the team in 2011. He also criticized the Bengals in January, saying the AFC North franchise was never trying to win a Super Bowl during his tenure with the team.
Palmer was the No. 1 overall pick by the Bengals in the 2003 NFL Draft.
Burrow is a heavy favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the draft. Former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is expected to be the second quarterback selected.
"The only thing I've said is I didn't want to be presumptuous about the pick," Burrow said Tuesday. "So, that's why I've been noncommittal, because I don't know what's going to happen.
"They [Cincinnati] might not pick me. They might fall in love with someone else. You guys [reporters] kind of took that narrative and ran with it. There has never been anything like that from my end."
Tagovailoa was the favorite to be the top pick before sustaining a season-ending hip injury during his junior season. Burrow then wowed NFL scouts as the cornerstone of the best offense in the country en route to a national title. The Ohio State transfer led college football with 5,671 yards and 60 touchdown passes.
There is precedent for a top prospect refusing to play for the team that has the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft. Former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning was selected by the San Diego Chargers with the No. 1 pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. Days before the draft, Manning's agent told the Chargers his client would sit out for the 2004 season if they selected him with the top pick.
The Chargers selected Manning and immediately traded him to the Giants. Manning went on to win the Super Bowl twice with the Giants.
Burrow doesn't plan to work out during the combine, making his news conference, team interviews and other tests the only mediums NFL front offices could use to evaluate the former Tigers quarterback before the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Bengals have yet to meet with Burrow, but plan to speak with him in the next few days. Taylor and other members of the Bengals front office met with Tagovailoa on Monday in Indianapolis.
Taylor said the Bengals have not decided if they will keep the No. 1 pick or entertain trades for the pick.
"What our research tells us about Joe Burrow is that he's his own man," Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin said. "He's not going to be talked into saying things for other people's benefit."
Tobin said the Bengals have spoken to a lot of people who know Burrow about his personality. The Bengals also plan to spend time with the former LSU quarterback before the draft to get to know him on a more personal level.
"He did himself lot of good to put himself in this [No. 1 pick] conversation and position," Bengals coach Zac Taylor said of Burrow. "He is going to be a great NFL player."
Burrow -- who grew up in Athens, Ohio -- said he's excited about the possibility of playing close to home.
"Of course, I want to be the first pick. That's every kids' dream," Burrow said. "I've worked really, really hard for this opportunity.
"[Cincinnati is] 2 hours, 15 minutes from my house. I could go home for dinner if I wanted to. Not a lot of pro athletes could get to do that."