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Zac Taylor: Bengals “focused on building a winning culture”

Mike Florio and Big Cat speculate if presumptive No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow could -- or should -- refuse to play for the Cincinnati Bengals and try to force a move elsewhere.

Bengals coach Zac Taylor wrote a letter to Bengals season ticket holders, and it said a lot of the things it seems Joe Burrow wants to hear.

Mostly, it was rah-rah stuff designed to make the regular customers feel good about their investment, but given the recent comments from the projected No. 1 overall pick, it’s easy to cast them as a sales pitch to one guy in particular as well.

“It’s a new year and we are focused on building a winning culture that creates excitement for Bengals fans,” the letter began, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. “We’re officially ‘On the Clock’ for the 2020 NFL Draft and have a lot of draft capital that can improve our team. It starts with the No. 1 overall pick and we will be looking for a player that can elevate this team and help us win immediately. We will also add key pieces throughout the draft as we pick first in every round.

“There is going to be a lot of excitement when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces our first pick on April 23, and we want to see that enthusiasm continue all the way through the season.”

Then came the pleas to please buy tickets so they could have a home field advantage, and some more sales pitch.

Now, it’s unclear whether the LSU quarterback is trying to send the Bengals a signal, though his father insists that’s not what’s happening.

But when former Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer said the Bengals weren’t serious about winning Super Bowls, then, Burrow hired Carson’s brother Jordan Palmer to train him, and then Burrow himself said he wanted to play for a team “committed to winning Super Bowls,” it’s not hard to connect dots. Then came former Bengals wideout T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who is also working with Burrow and the younger Palmer, saying they weren’t disparaging the Bengals but that they should “strongly consider” any gigantic trade offers they might get.

It could be nothing.

But it’s worth noting that Taylor’s letter seems to address what remains a valid question about a franchise that hasn’t won a playoff game since the 1990 season, a question Burrow seems to want to know the answer to.