Originally Posted by macro
I don't think we can look at some of these cases in isolation and say that they should be dismissed from the team. Joseph's is a case in point. But there have been cases in the past year (especially the multiple offenders) with players that should have been kicked off the team and not brought back. When the players see these cases get a slap on the wrist from the coach, they know how much they can get away with and remain on the team. That's what had led to the string of nine. If Lewis had dealt with those first, more serious, situations appropriately, I don't think the other eight would have followed, or at least not most of them. Now that the precedent is set for tolerance, it would be unfair to Joseph to punish him.
As for Freel, he should have been suspended from the team without pay for some number of games. (The "without pay" part may be forbidden in his contract, I don't know.)
If Joseph is working hard in practice, studying film and performing on the field, I'm willing to give him a pass on a first offense. Same with the other players. I think the problem is that many fans and the media just see "arrest" and throw all Bengals players into one bag, regardless of the offense. The real concern involves those who are repeat offenders, or whose arrests are merely a sign of a person who has no respect for the law, the team, or themselves. One player is obviously Odell Thurman and the Bengals and the League have taken measures to address his transgressions. Another problem child is Henry, who I can only hope we haven't heard much about lately because he's on a short leash and has made a serious effort to reconfigure his life. If Henry messes up again, I have no problem with the Bengals cutting ties with him, regardless of his talent.
As for the rest of the guys who have been arrested in the past year, I think the Bengals took a calculated risk in drafting a few guys with issues and they may or may not pan out. I hope that most of these arrests can just be chalked up to people making mistakes. On the one hand, I can agree somewhat with Daugherty on this issue because I feel that some of the arrests are more of a "when it rains, it pours" situation. On the other hand, I like hearing that Carson Palmer doesn't like it and wants change
. I think this is an issue best addressed by leadership on the team.