The Cincinnati Bengals will never be successful under current ownership and leadership. Why? They lack any content to their character. Owner Mike Brown, after publicly parting ways with one of the NFL’s true miscreants, disgraced receiver Chris Henry, welcomed him right back on Tuesday with a new two-year contract. Head coach Marvin Lewis - who just as publicly said Henry was through as a Bengal - played the ever compliant head coach just trying to hang on to his valueless job.
For both Brown and Lewis, there isn’t enough Lava soap in existence to wash away the stink of this decision.
Henry has been the poster child for all of the problems that have plagued the Bengals off the field. He’s been arrested five separate times, the most recent of which was just last March when he punched a college kid and then broke the kid’s car window with a beer bottle. The charges were dropped, but it doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. It was that incident that finally caused both Brown and Lewis to sever ties with Henry, though there was plenty of prior justification.
Of course, that was March, and no football games are played in March. It was an easy decision to make. Training camp was still four months away. The college draft hadn’t yet taken place. There was still plenty of time to juggle the roster and find a way to replace a semi-talented receiver whose only real accomplishment to date has been the record pace at which he seems to find criminal trouble.
Then August beckoned. Chad Johnson, who ultimately reported to camp after threatening not to (he should have listened to his incredibly verbose inner monologue), injured his shoulder in a preseason game against Detroit. T.J. Houshmanzadeh, the Bengals’ other go-to receiver, has missed both of the Bengals’ preseason games with a sore hamstring. That’s left the Bengals a little thin at receiver, which is kind of a problem in an offense that is based predominately on the throwing arm of quarterback Carson Palmer.
Thus did Brown, after much soul-searching no doubt, place a call to Henry. It wasn’t as if Henry needed call waiting on his cell phone to make sure Brown could get through. Henry has been unemployed since March. Not a single NFL team was even interested, which may be due in part to the fact that Henry has been suspended for the first four regular season games. Naturally, Brown felt that with that kind of competition for Henry’s services a two-year deal made sense.