Ja’Marr Chase’s dad admits he wanted Miami Dolphins to draft his son

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Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

If Ja’Marr Chase’s dad had his way, his son might have been starring in the NFL for the Miami Dolphins instead of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Jimmy Chase told the “Bengals Booth Podcast” that as the 2021 NFL Draft was approaching, Miami looked like the most attractive landing spot, at least as far as the elder Chase was concerned.

“I was like, ‘I don’t know anything about Cincinnati and they’re not that good right now,'” the elder Chase admitted to Jimmy Burrow (Joe Burrow’s dad) and broadcaster Dan Hoard. “‘So, why don’t we just go to South Beach, right?’ I could just go sit on the beach and watch Ja’Marr on the team, right?”

The younger Chase was coming out of Louisiana State University, where he had been teammates with the younger Burrow, who just happened to be Cincinnati’s quarterback at the time. The two former LSU Tigers were going back and forth about becoming Bengals, which was a clear clue to the elder Chase.

“A week before the draft, Ja’Marr said, ’Dad, Joe texted me,’” the elder Chase continued. “And, I’m like, ‘OK, Ja’Marr is really even-keeled.’ When he texted him, he didn’t say what Joe texted him, just that Joe texted him. So he had talked to Joe and texted him once or twice that week.”

The younger Chase was indeed selected by the Bengals with the No. 5 pick.

“I said, ‘I like Joe and everything, but, Cincinnati, Ja’Marr?’” the elder Chase joked. “‘I don’t know about all that.’”

At the time, it was thought that Cincinnati was looking to improve its offensive line in front of the younger Burrow, with University of Oregon lineman Penei Sewell a popular mock draft selection. But little did anyone know that the quarterback was pushing for his former teammate.

It certainly worked out for the younger Chase, who has become one of the elite receivers in the NFL and helped the Bengals reach Super Bowl LVI, which they lost to the Los Angeles Rams in the final moments. Cincinnati also played in the AFC Championship Game last season and lost to the Kansas City Chiefs.

With the next pick in that 2021 draft, the Dolphins took University of Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle. It has worked out pretty well for him and Miami also, without the postseason success, but that could change this season.

Waddle and Tyreek Hill form arguably the best receiving duo in the league and last season helped the Dolphins to their first playoff berth since the 2016 NFL season. With a dynamic offense led by head coach Mike McDaniel and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, Miami is expected to at least contend for the AFC East title.

There’s also a chance the Bengals and Dolphins meet in the playoffs with a spot in the Super Bowl on the line. Then, the Chase family would really get to see how their draft-day preferences worked out in the end.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NFL for almost three decades. He has been an avid follower of the AFC East since the days of Bob Griese and is looking forward to an exciting new era in the division.