Agent: Thurman is out
BY MARK CURNUTTE | MCURNUTTE@ENQUIRER.COM
After sticking with Odell Thurman through a two-year NFL suspension, the Bengals will announce by the end of business today that they are waiving the second-year linebacker.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis called Safarrah Lawson, one of Thurmanís Atlanta-based representatives, and told him that the team has cut ties with Thurman, Lawson told The Enquirer this morning.
Thurman was in his native Monticello, Ga., last week to attend his grandmotherís funeral and take care of family matters, Lawson said. Thurmanís parents are dead, and the woman brought up Thurman, Lawson
Thurman missed three voluntary on-field practices. Lawson said Lewis told him that the Bengals needed Thurman in the building, that he wasnít in the building and that they were going in a different direction.
ďThe support he got from the fans, from the people of Cincinnati, from Marvin Lewis and (team president) Mike Brown, this comes as a surprise,Ē Lawson told The Enquirer in a phone interview.
Thurman missed the past two seasons because of a league suspension for repeated violations of its substance abuse policy. He was suspended for all of the 2006 seasons following a September DUI arrest in the East End.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell then extended Thurmanís sentence to an entire season. The league then denied his application for reinstatement last July and said he could re-apply following the 2007 season. Thurman was allowed to begin working out with the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium in January and was reinstated this spring.
The Bengals had no immediate comment on Thurman, public relations director Jack Brennan said.
The Bengals earlier this spring, on April 3, released wide receiver Chris Henry following his fifth arrest in 28 months.
Thurman led the Bengals with 148 total tackles as a rookie in 2005 and tied a franchise rookie record with five interceptions. He started 15 of 16 regular season games and the team's wildcard playoff loss to the Steelers -- which would be the last game he would play in a Bengals uniform.