Back in October of Aught 7, I found myself a bit flummoxed at the idea that some national sportswriters had agreed should be a talking point--That Chad Johnson was the Bengals' biggest problem.
I wrote way back when (quoting myself here): "If the Bengals do stick the blame on Chad Johnson, it is the job of every one watching that team, and reporting on that team, to not just nod sagely and agree, but maybe, just maybe to say, 'Umm--what about the stinginess of the owners who won't fix a clearly failed defense?' or 'two healthy running backs to start the season seemed like a bad idea.'"
If I were the type of blogger to brag, I'd start listing ways in which the stinginess of the Cincinnati Bengals who won't fix a clearly failed defense is manifesting itself. Happily, I'm totally that type of blogger.
Viking Apologist miwacar has already commented on the signing of safety Madieu Williams away from the Bengals. Admittedly, $33 millions dollars ($13 million guaranteed) is a lot of money. Presumably Leslie Frazier had something to do with this, probably arguing that Williams was better than that defense was, that he just needed to get away from a team with no linebackers to do well.
Next up, Defense end Justin Smith, who had traded in his gaudy tiger stripes for a city that appreciates gaudy animal prints, San Francisco. The 49'ers signed him at an even higher cost than Williams got from the Vikings-$45 million, with $20 million guaranteed. The Bengals are letting a guy who pretty much the heart of a very depleted line go, in the hopes that they can sign some other dude for less. He's played well over 90% of the snaps in his career; he's either led the team in sacks, or finished second in sacks every single year he's been there. He's 28, which suggests just a few more years of good play, but his departure undeniably makes that team even worse on defense than they were before. Which was fucking horrible.
And then they failed to get Shaun Rogers from the Detroit Lions. Hilariously named reporter Chick Ludwig tries to get to the bottom of why the trade fell through, and gets a lot of different answers, with most folks blaming the league and the Lions (who were attempting to skirt a Million Dollar bonus, presumably because it would have cut into Matt Millen's budget for doughnuts and moustache combs).
Regardless, the Bengals, who had a shitty shitty defense, have now lost two of their relatively good starters, and failed to acquire one of the key free agents they were hoping to get. I look forward to Jay Glazer's report in which anonymous sources in the Bengals organization tell him that it was all Chad Johnson's fault.
(in this post, I've linked back to some posts in which I gave Mike DeCourcy the business. I wish to quickly point out that I think the man knows his college basketball, and isn't on the same level with such professional hacks as Gregg Doyel, Sid Hartman, or Tom Powers, who is still a stupid fat fuck.