UPDATE III: No plans for grievance, writes Mark Curnutte.
UPDATE II: I did a Google search scouring Georgia county web sites that had searchable databases of anything Thurman. Such as arrests, dockets or reports. Nothing.
Who Dey Revolution concludes, "the Bengals ridding themselves of another unreliable player." I suppose there's a point to be made there. Though I would contend, unlike Michael David Smith, that Thurman's "long history of off-field problems", "with the law", is a bit of an overstatement. During his Bengals reign, his arrest came with a DUI that subsequently banned him for the next 28 games, was his sole problem with the law. Not supporting that little fact. But hardly a history. And hardly in comparison with the league's most violent and notorious offenders.
If he were arrested yesterday, or even at some point this calendar year, I would have the same reaction I did with Chris Henry. Adios. But he didn't. For all we knew, or were told from our ultra-informative media, he's been walking the line since, save an accusation that turned to nothing but hot air.
Some will make good reason for the Bengals cutting the linebacker. But the timing couldn't have been worse in Thurman's personal life, and the team, the players still on the roster, will think twice about spending time with their families if something unfortunate happens to their families.
Stripe Hype is gathering impressions with Bengals forums.
UPDATE: It's official. The Bengals have cut Odell Thurman (it's the same link as below, just updated).
"The NFL provided Odell the opportunity to earn his way back onto our team, but we have not seen the right steps taken by him," Lewis said in the statement. "With our offseason work in progress and new talent added at our linebacker position, we've determined it's best to keep moving in a direction that does not include Odell."
ORIGINAL: If reports are true, and the Bengals are releasing Odell Thurman for missing VOLUNTARY workouts several days after the death of his grandmother, then I officially find this to be incredibly low. Abandoning your family for VOLUNTARY workouts? Who would do that?
It was Marvin Lewis that called Thurman's representatives, Safarrah Lawson and said:
Thurman missed three voluntary on-field practices. Lawson said Lewis told him that the Bengals needed Thurman in the building, that he wasn’t in the building and that they were going in a different direction.
If all these reports are true, then this is just another example of how classless and clueless Lewis and the Bengals really are. I liked my blinders, but they're getting too thin to cover my eyes. There's also the issue of violating the Collective Bargaining Agreement, as per the PFT guys.
If the contention regarding the reason for the release is accurate, the move would be a clear violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, since the workouts were voluntary in nature. Over the past several years, a chronic failure by the NFL Players Association to enforce this rule has contributed to an atmosphere in which teams often think that they can treat attendance at the voluntary drills as mandatory — and thus they often do.
My first thought was, crap. In trouble again. Nope. It's because Thurman wasn't at voluntary camp, as per the initial reports. To me, it seems like the Bengals were angling themselves to cut Thurman anyway. That's the only reason that I can think of. Then again, why let him go this far and not cut him at the first opportunity? You never think that this team can twist the screws of their own dismal Public Relations, but they surprisingly have no problems finding more.