We're going to run down the top-five stories of the week Friday morning as a slight reminder during one of the wackiest weeks in Bengals (and NFL history). This is our way to reset things into perspective and remind ourselves that these things actually did happen.
|No. 5: Bengals Sign Bruce Gradkowski To A Two-Year Deal|
Andy Dalton is largely expected to start the start at quarterback, provided he doesn't struggle and lose the job during Training Camp and Preseason. Yet if things stayed the way they were, Jordan Palmer's 15 career passes -- all of which were during blowouts -- would be the team's most experienced quarterback and most likely backup. This would cause anxiety attacks amongst even the more serene people.
Along with having a veteran presence to guide Dalton along, the Bengals needed something slightly more experienced in case Dalton had to leave the game one way (injury) or the other (performance). A quarterback they liked for some time, along with that basic-level connection with newest offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, was former Browns, Buccaneers and Raiders quarterback Bruce Gradkowski.
The Bengals signed him to a two-year deal as a primary backup and spot starter.
|No. 4: Trade Chad Ochocinco For Two Late-Round Picks|
It was time for Chad Ochocinco to move on. For him. For the organization. For the organization's fans. His proclamations that he just wants to win a Super Bowl wouldn't be satisfied with his time remaining in Cincinnati. Instead of having Chad's $6 million on the payroll, who would be a free agent next year, the Bengals wisely decided to trade him, getting something in return.
This is one of those few situations where the Bengals actually worked something out that was a win-win for everyone. Ochocinco gets to experience a well-run organization that wins and the Bengals can finally move on with their youth movement. There was nothing Chad could have done anymore to make this organization better. But he should also be honored as one of the team's best wide receivers in franchise history.
|No. 3: Sign First-Round Draft Pick Two Days Before First Practice|
Why is this higher on our list than Chad Ochocinco? Chad's departure, one way or the other, was a foregone conclusion. The Bengals signing their fourth overall pick, wide receiver A.J. Green, two days before the first practice during Training Camp, wasn't.
We've posted the history of the team signing their first round picks and the cliff notes version goes like this. Johnathan Joseph and Carson Palmer are the only players drafted in the first round to sign contracts and miss zero time during training camp.
It's just nice that as we're heading into Georgetown, negotiations between the Bengals and their first round pick isn't projected to spill over to mid-August.
|No 2: The Press Conference|
If you turned the television to ESPN, navigated the internet to any mainstream sports website, the words echo to this day. Mike Brown's proclamation that Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer is retired, will not be traded because Palmer signed a contract. The response on sports talk radio, the reaction from sports writers around the globe and the comments on these very pages were of absolute confusion turned to venom and hatred.
The good news at the time that if Palmer retired, the Bengals could place him on the Reserve/Did Not Report list to free up his salary to help sign a free agent like Johnathan Joseph.
|No 1: Bengals Lose Johnathan Joseph|
Former Bengals radio voice Brad Johansen said it best.
Ocho is the sexy story but him leaving was a foregone conclusion. The loss of J-Jo is a REALLY significant loss...
We can't comment on what actually transpired during the negotiations; we're not sure if the issue was about money or if Joseph just wanted to leave for a new team and city. No matter. The end result is that the team lost Joseph and there's nothing but inexperience and Adam Jones fighting for the job as starting cornerback.