Dave talked about how the Bengals have avoided controversy most of the offseason Tuesday night. I suppose you could say the team had controversial signings in Adam Jones and Matt Jones, but the players themselves, while signed with the Bengals, have gone unnoticed in the background of sport headline news that rarely has anything to do with sports. It got me thinking (dangerous, I know).
They very well could have had one issue, at least, this offseason . Johnathan Joseph, the team's first round pick in 2006, is playing the final year on his rookie contract after playing what could be termed as his best season in 2009. Pro Football Focus ranked Joseph as the league's sixth best cornerback, taking in a rating of 10.8 (note: Leon Hall was rated as the league's third best cornerback). His six interceptions tied for fifth best in the league and his 26 pass deflections ranks sixth. (Note Part 2: Hall had just as many interceptions and more pass deflections).
While Joseph isn't going to get the money that Darrelle Revis is going to make, it's good to know that Joseph is content playing the final year under contract, which will give him a base salary of $875,000. No, Joseph isn't holding out, he's not demanding more money after having a sensational season. You barely notice him in the offseason. He's not tearing up Twitter. He's not going on SportsCenter, doing radio interviews. He's in no way shape or form discussed any contractual unhappiness. And the truth is, compared to other cornerbacks in the league, Joseph does deserve a significant raise compared to what he's making now. Leon Hall may put up better numbers, but the combination of the two has enabled both to make significant results in their production by feeding off one another.
"Everybody is different. Not everybody has the same situation," Joseph said. "I'm just trying to have the best year I can have."
"It shows positive signs," Joseph said of the negotiations. "It's one of those things that hopefully we can get it done. But if not, I'm here for the rest of this season and I'm focused on this season. I'm not that worried about it, but it's one of those things you'd like to get behind you."
Demanding trades. Issuing ultimatums. Sitting out of mandatory workouts. Going public. None of these things have applied with Joseph. He just wants to kick ass. But as a silent ninja; not a foul mouthed templar that drinks mead and pinches the toosh of wenches.