Bengals Banter: A Change In Relations Between Team And County?

CHANTILLY, VA - MARCH 02: Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown arrives at a hotel fora meeting with NFL owners on March 2, 2011 in Chantilly, Virginia. The NFL owners are meeting in Chantilly to discuss negotiations with the players union about a collective bargaining agreement that expires March 3, at midnight. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Not only would it appear that relations could be improving between the Cincinnati Bengals and Hamilton County, the Bengals overall image continues to blossom from rose pedals into a showering of greatness not unlike an acid trip during a Pink Floyd concert (from what I've heard of course). So we're laying it on a little think -- that's what we do. Yet the step the Bengals took in absorbing 70 percent of the costs for new practice and playing fields appears to be a significant redirection from history.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer's Sharon Coolidge, the $1.6 million worth of fixes includes structural repairs to Paul Brown Stadium as well as "new sound system processing equipment". The 2012 stadiums capital plan, which will be voted on today, also includes $3.5 million worth of fixes for the Cincinnati Reds' Great American Ball Park.

Does this mean that the Bengals are getting an indoor practice facility? No. We presume that the Bengals original agreement with the University of Cincinnati -- $2,500 for four hours or $5,000 to rent the their bubble for an entire day -- will remain in effect (or be applied at some point during the 2012 season). Does it mean it's particularly odd that Brown would absorb 70 percent of the costs? Yes.

In late July Hamilton County voted in favor for $307,000 worth of upgrades for Paul Brown Stadium's scoreboard, which included high-definition feeds. Hamilton County Commissioners decided to vote for the upgrades after saying they didn't like it -- how's that for public service backbone? Why did they end up voting for it? Commissioner Chris Monzel reportedly voted in favor after receiving advice from lawyers, fearing that the team could sue the county.

So yes, it's somewhat surprising that the team would pay 70 percent of the costs related to field replacements -- not the rest. But while we'd love to associate the generosity as a sign of change from the Brown family, our first inclination is suspicion.

+ SB Nation released another version of their mock draft, this time selecting a wide receiver at No. 17 and cornerback at No. 21. This is probably the first mock draft that forced me to pause and go, "really?" Another wide receiver with their first pick in the NFL Draft? I'm pretty open-minded to a lot, but this one made my brain explode.

+ Continuing his project to grade the Cincinnati Bengals in 2011, Jason moves on to the Bengals defensive line and the team's linebacker group.

+ The Tampa Bay Buccaneers contacted former Packers and Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman for a second interview. They are also compiling a list of "finalists" from a list that includes Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.

+ That being said Mike Zimmer was reportedly seen at Mobile, Alabama with the Bengals coaching staff, scouting players during practice in preparation for the annual Senior Bowl.

+ Anthony Cosenza applies some history for the Cincinnati Bengals trends when selecting a running back.

According to one report, a Cincinnati Bengals scout was seen talking with University of Cincinnati running back Isaiah Pead and also Boise State running back Doug Martin (we presume it's the scout).

+ It's Monday (actually we delayed this posting so it's Wednesday, but you know). That means Jason has another edition of his Monday Touchdown.

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