Tag:Cincinnati Bengals
Posted on: August 22, 2011 11:05 pm

49ers trade Taylor Mays to Bengals

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It was nearly three weeks ago that the 49ers emailed the 31 other NFL teams to see if there was any interest in their 2010 second-round pick, safety Taylor Mays.

For 18 days and two weeks of preseason games, there wasn't. But on Monday, the 49ers finally unloaded Mays on the Bengals for an undisclosed draft pick, according to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Michael Erler.

Mays played in all 16 games last season, including six starts, and totaled 31 tackles and two passes defended. He was drafted during Mike Singletary's tenure as head coach, but fell out of favor with coaches during the second half of last season. Singletary was fired and replaced by Jim Harbaugh, and Erler writes that defensive coordinator Vic Fangio all but said Mays wasn’t going to make the team.

So it's curious that the Bengals would give up anything to acquire Mays knowing that he would likely be looking for work in a few weeks. And if the argument is that Cincinnati didn't want competition for Mays' services if and when he became a free agent, we'd point out that none of the 31 teams originally expressed interest in Mays earlier this month.

Making the Bengals' decision even harder to understand: CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Paul Dehner Jr. doesn't think Mays will help Cincy's secondary either. "[Mays] won’t be an answer at safety. Mays hardly played the second half of last season and without doubt was going to be cut by the 49ers. Mays has incredible size and speed, but never showed anything resembling football instincts to be effective."

There's a saying that a change of scenery can revitalize a stagnant career. Unfortunately, we have yet to see that happen to a player joining the Bengals. Upside: congratulatory tweets from current Bengals and former USC teammates.

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Posted on: August 22, 2011 12:20 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2011 12:46 pm

Antwan Odom OK after being shot in the leg

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

UPDATED (12:40 p.m. ET): More from WKRG News 5's Jessica Taloney, who reports that Odom suffered only a flesh wound on his upper right thigh. He apparently was shot during a home invasion Monday morning after the shooter entered the house through an unlocked door. A man named Tony Gildersleeve has been named a suspect in the shooting.

When Taloney knocked on Odom's door today, Odom was eating breakfast with his family. Taloney also tweeted that the family seemed in good spirits, and there was plenty of laughter emanating from the house (Odom wouldn't come to the door, but a PR person who answered said everything was OK).


Life for former Bengals and Titans DL Antwan Odom has been brutal the past few years.

And this morning, it only got worse, as WKRG News 5’s Jessica Taloney reports that Odom was shot in the leg about 4:30 a.m. Monday. The injury is not life-threatening, and deputies in Mobile, Ala., are currently looking for the shooter.

OdomIt has been an absolutely terrible three years for Odom.

He recorded eight sacks in the first six games of 2009, but then suffered a season-ending Achilles injury. He was suspended for the first four games in 2010 for violating the league’s substance abuse policy (Odom said at the time that it wasn’t for steroids or performance enhancing drugs). After returning from his suspension, he only played four games last year, recording just three tackles before he was placed on IR with a wrist injury.

He wasn’t just injured, though. Basically, Odom was ineffective, which is why the Bengals cut him in July.

To make matters worse, his $1.1 million Cincinnati home burned to the ground last March (Odom, his wife and his five kids were not at home). And now, he’s got a bullet in his leg.

It’s safe to say that, assuming Odom recovers and that he turns out OK, he’s due for a few years of good luck.

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Posted on: August 21, 2011 11:14 pm
Edited on: August 21, 2011 11:21 pm

Plaxico Burress catches first TD pass with Jets

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It's seldom that a 10-year veteran with career totals that include 121 starts, 505 catches, 7,845 yards receiving and 55 touchdowns would merit a mention for playing in a preseason game, but Plaxico Burress is a special case.

After spending nearly two years in prison, and missing two NFL seasons, Burress is a free man and back in the league. He's now a member of the Jets, where head coach Rex Ryan doesn't hide the fact that he's all about giving people second chances, especially if they can help New York win a Super Bowl.

Burress missed last week's preseason game with a bum ankle, but started against the Bengals Sunday. He hauled in Mark Sanchez's very first pass of the night, good for 20 yards. Burress managed two more receptions -- another 20-yard gain early in the second quarter and a 26-yard over-the-shoulder touchdown grab with 58 seconds remaining in the half.

Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Fred Bennett (23) chases New York Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress (17) as he makes the catch for a touchdown during the second quarter of an NFL preseason football game, Sunday, Aug. 21, 2011, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

In the scheme of things, the play was insignificant (it is the preseason, after all), although we suspect Burress will remember it differently.

Either way, it was eerily similar to this

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Posted on: August 21, 2011 10:37 pm
Edited on: August 21, 2011 11:19 pm

The Bengals may have something in Andy Dalton

Posted by Ryan Wilson

We'll be honest, when the Bengals drafted Andy Dalton in the second round back in April, we had very little faith that he'd have much of an impact on a team that won four times last season and finished last in the AFC North.

Not so much because Dalton isn't capable of becoming a competent NFL quarterback, more due to the fact that the Bengals are a perennially hapless bunch, and their last franchise QB opted for early retirement over playing another snap in Cincinnati.

Our opinion didn't change after Cincinnati's first preseason game in Detroit, a 34-3 thrashing. Dalton's first NFL pass was intercepted, and that turned out to be the highlight of his evening. Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh tried to remove Dalton's head from his body, and the nicest thing Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden could say about the rookie QB's first start was that it "wasn't a total debacle."

Dalton's second preseason game was equally rough, at least in the beginning. He completed two of his first five attempts -- all to Jets defenders. Yes, the conditions were horrible, but that's a weekly occurrence in the AFC North.

But Dalton didn't fold. After starting 0 for 5 with two interceptions, he finished 8 of 14 for 86 yards, most of which came on a second-quarter touchdown drive (the Bengals' first TD of the preseason).

"All I want to say about [our first TD drive] is that it's about time," Dalton said after the game, according to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Lisa Zimmerman. "We've got to keep getting better, and we all know it."

Cincy's problems aren't magically solved by a performance which, on paper, can kindly be described as pedestrian. But it's a something.

Despite the progress, the Bengals' offense still lacks a downfield passing game, and the rushing attack was nonexistent against the Jets. For Dalton to have a chance at success during the regular season, Cincinnati is going to have to play near-flawless football. Recent history suggests that's a long shot. For now, though, there's reason for optimism.

"[Dalton] continues to work through the rough spots of playing this game as a rookie," head coach Marvin Lewis said. "He experienced some different conditions, playing with a wet ball. It was just another good step as he moves forward."

How far forward depends on a lot of things, most of which are out of Dalton's control.

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Posted on: August 19, 2011 5:43 pm

Bengals decline to pick up Andre Smith's option

SmithPosted by Josh Katzowitz

While the news
that the Bills had release 2009 first-round pick Aaron Maybin automatically came with the analysis that Buffalo had made a bad pick and that Maybin was one of the biggest draft busts in recent memory, not too much has been said lately about Bengals T Andre Smith.

You know, the guy who was picked five spots in front of Maybin.

And perhaps Smith hasn’t been quite as terrible as Maybin, who still hasn’t recorded a sack in his career. But Smith has been a major disappointment for Cincinnati. And that’s why it’s not a surprise to read the news from the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Joe Reedy that the Bengals have decided not to pick up the option on Smith’s rookie contract.
The option would have extended Smith’s four-year contract by two years, and the team would have owed him more than $17 million. Instead, the contract will now end after the 2012 season.

After the Bengals made him the No. 6 pick in the 2009 draft, Smith got $21 million guaranteed, and almost immediately, he began his slide to irrelevance. He held out in 2009, and then almost immediately injured himself in practice. Then, he got overweight again (let’s face it: he’s perpetually been overweight) and hurt himself again last year.

Andre Smith's Journey
In all, Smith has made just four starts in his career (and has played in just 13 of 32 possible games), and he’s let a less-talented player named Dennis Roland continuously beat him out for a starting job. And while Smith played LT at Alabama and was expected perhaps to take over that position in the NFL, there’s no chance, barring injury, Smith could beat out Andrew Whitworth these days.

Smith has been better this year so far in the preseason, but as Reedy points out, the decision not to extend the contract has nothing to do with the past three weeks.

Instead, it’s all about his performance (or non-performance) during the first two years of his career.

“After several conversations it was decided it would not be picked up now, but both sides are optimistic about the future,” Jimmy Gould, Smith’s co-agent, told the Enquirer. “He’s doing well and we’re encouraged.”

That could be, but the chances of Smith playing in a Bengals uniform in 2013 have grown slimmer with this news. Then, like Maybin with the Jets, Smith might have to find a new location where he can rejuvenate his career.

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Posted on: August 18, 2011 1:44 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2011 1:55 pm

Vick, NFL say he wasn't steered to Philly

Posted by Ryan Wilson

On Wednesday, GQ previewed their feature on Michael Vick, which included a quote from the Eagles quarterback that suggested NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell steered him towards Philadelphia.

"I think I can say this now, because it's not going to hurt anybody's feelings, and it's the truth," Vick told GQ author Will Leitch. "I didn't want to come to Philadelphia. Being the third-team quarterback is nothing to smile about. Cincinnati and Buffalo were better options." Leith wrote that those two teams wanted him and would've allowed him to start, but after meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell and other reps from the NFL, Vick was convinced — and granted league approval — to sign with Philly. "And I commend and thank them, because they put me in the right situation."

By Thursday afternoon, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello had sent a series of tweets refuting Vick's recounting of events.

"On the Michael Vick story: His decision on where to play to put himself in the best position to succeed was entirely his own... Commissioner Goodell obviously met & spoke to Michael and his reps as part of his decision on whether to reinstate him & on what terms... But the commissioner would never steer players to or away from particular teams and did not do so in this case."

Eagles Offseason

The full GQ interview went live Thursday morning, and by midday, Vick was backtracking from his comments. He released the following statement through the Eagles website:

"I felt it was necessary to put out a statement today clarifying the article in GQ Magazine. I did speak with many people, but the decision to sign in Philadelphia was based on my discussions with my agent, my family and with Coach Reid. And after those discussions, it became clear to me that this was the place I wanted to play and resume my NFL career. The Commissioner never told me to sign or not sign with particular teams. Again, I want to make it perfectly clear that this was a decision I made and, as I have said numerous times before, I’m very happy with the way it has worked out for me and my family."

Make of this what you will.

As ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted Thursday after Vick's statement, "Does anyone really believe if Buffalo or Cincinnati offered Mike Vick more money than Philly, he wouldn't have gone there?" Good question, especially if one or both of those teams were willing to make Vick the starter.

CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman doesn't buy Vick's revised story, either.

Just remember: Goodell is the same guy NFL players decided to keep as judge, jury and executioner on all matters of punishment in the new collective bargaining agreement. Truthfully, is anyone shocked that a billion-dollar corporation would go into damage-control mode after such a revelation? Especially when the man in charge is as powerful as he's ever been?

In related news, we're expecting Vick to stick to his original story that the struggles at the end of his Falcons career rest solely with the coaching staff's inability to correctly assess his talents.

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Posted on: August 18, 2011 9:02 am
Edited on: August 18, 2011 9:08 am

Suh will appeal $20,000 fine for hit on Dalton

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh tweeted Wednesday that he had been fined $20,000 for manhandling Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton in the Week 1 preseason game between the two teams.

(One of the setbacks to communicating through social media, texting or email is that it's difficult for the reader to divine the true emotions being conveyed by the sender. Emoticons, ironically, only confused things. That said, Suh's tweet left little room for misinterpretation. The all-caps, rhetorical question marks, 108 exclamations points (!), and the "BIGFAIL" hashtag sorts gave him away.)

It should come as no surprise then that Suh will appeal the fine.

“Am I going to appeal it? Who wouldn’t?” Suh said Wednesday, according to the Detroit Free Press's Dave Birkett. “I mean, that’s my motto. Who wouldn’t? If you would, why wouldn’t I?”

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) tosses an interception against Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, right, on his first play of the game in the first quarter of a NFL football game on Friday, Aug. 12, 2011, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman was at Bengals training camp this week and he asked Dalton if Suh was a dirty player.

"I can't answer that. I don't know," said Dalton. "I thought what he did with me was a little over the top. I can tell you some of my teammates weren't happy about it. ...It was good to see those guys get my back. Suh is a big guy."

This makes the third time Suh, the Lions' 2010 first-round pick, has been fined for hits (or, as you'll soon see, pushes) to the quarterback. During the 2010 preseason, Suh appeared intent on removing Jake Delhomme's head from his body during a game against the Browns. That cost him $7,500. During the regular season Suh was docked another $15,000 for shoving Jay Cutler. (Yep, you read that right -- it was a hard shove. We know what you're thinking: the savagery tackle football has become.)

Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said there's "no malicious intent" in Suh's game.

“I think what’s happened to him is I've never seen this player in my life, meaning there’s no one that’s ever played like this at defensive tackle," Cunningham said. "And if you watch the tape and you have any sense for athletes, that’s what you’re going to see. What happens to him, there were two guys blocking him in the game, he beat them both, clean as a whistle, and he felt like he had the tackle. The quarterback had the ball in his hand, and that was it, he took him down. And that’s what he's supposed to do."

To Suh's credit, he understands that his freakish combination of strength, speed and athleticism can sometimes make the mundane spectacular. And occasionally, spectacularly expensive.

“Honestly, I really feel that I put the refs in a tough situation because of my strength," he said. "A lot of us players growing up and coming in, we’re getting faster, stronger, and some guys just have incredible strength on that football field. So I feel like we put them in tough situations … I’m not going to fault them for making a call that they’re erring on the safer side, because safety is important. It’s important for myself, it’s important for a quarterback, it’s important for every last 22 players on the football field."

Despite concerns from some teams (most notably the Steelers), NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell retained the ability to punish players for both on and off-field behavior as part of the new collective bargaining agreement. Using history as a guide, Suh can go ahead and make that check out to his favorite NFL charity.

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Posted on: August 17, 2011 11:17 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2011 5:24 am

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

Posted by Will Brinson

An interview with Michael Vick in GQ is set to hit the Internet on Thursday morning, and you can guarantee that after reading some of the quotes, it's sure to cause a bit of a publicity firestorm.

Well, that's based on some limited quotes, via Deadspin, that Vick gave to Will Leitch (of New York mag and Deadspin fame) anyway.

"Yeah, you got the family dog and the white picket fence, and you just think that's all there is," Vick said about the background involved in people hearing his story. "Some of us had to grow up in poverty-stricken urban neighborhoods, and we just had to adapt to our environment. I know that it's wrong. But people act like it's some crazy thing they never heard of. They don't know."

This is true, I think. I've argued as much, but whenever you play the "byproduct of culture or society" angle to anyone, they immediately put any number of examples that refute that back in your face. That's cool. It's their prerogative, and it's why there's not a singular opinion about Vick in our society.

Whatever you think about that subject, though, it probably is going to involve some discussion of race. Vick, based on his quotes, is fine with obliging that line of thinking.

Eagles Offseason

"I think that's accurate," Vick tells Leitch when asked if white people don't get how dogfighting plays out in black culture. "I mean, I was just one of the ones who got exposed, and because of the position I was in, where I was in my life, it went mainstream. A lot of people got out of it after my situation, not because I went to prison but because it was sad for them to see me go through something that was so pointless, that could have been avoided."

Hoo boy. Not to make comparisons with football players who have been to prison and then returned to the game, but these sort of quotes kind of sound awfully familiar, yes?

Look, we don't yet know the context of the full discussion between Leitch and Vick. But it's pretty hard to fathom that such quotes are taken out of context to the point that they seem somewhat inflammatory here but not within the scope of the full interview.

What's even harder to fathom is that Vick would actually break character and say anything remotely controversial. To this point, he's been picture perfect when it comes to rehabilitating his image. The comments above are the antithesis of that.

A.J. Daulerio at Deadspin makes a good point though -- from a sports perspective, the most controversial comments that Vick makes might have to do with his decision about where to stage his comeback.

Originally, Vick didn't want to go to Philadelphia. He felt like joining the Bills or Bengals (!) were better options.

"I think I can say this now, because it's not going to hurt anybody's feelings, and it's the truth... I didn't want to come to Philadelphia," Vick says. "Being the third-team quarterback is nothing to smile about. Cincinnati and Buffalo were better options."

Leitch then points out that Vick met with Roger Goodell and the NFL and was steered towards Philly -- "I commend and thank them, because they put me in the right situation" -- which could seriously fire up those two fanbases, given that having Michael Vick on their respective rosters would certainly change things.

Oh, and the fact that the league steered one of the (now) most dynamic players in the league to a particular situation. That should go over really well with the media in the coming days.

Despite the potential firestorm that could come on that front, though, it's hard to really fault anyone for pushing Vick a certain way -- no one thought he would end up playing as well as he did in 2010.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com