ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 18: Thomas Howard #53 and Jonathan Fanene #68 both of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrate Fanene's sack against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on December 18, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
When the New England Patriots released a former Bengals defensive end, Cincinnati fans (myself included) entertained the very innocent idea of keeping the door open for Jonathan Fanene. There's the obvious knee issues facing Fanene; the primary reason that the defensive end was released by the Patriots on Tuesday. ESPN NFL Insider John Clayton writes that Fanene may undergo arthroscopic surgery later this week. Joe Reedy with the Cincinnati Enquirer, citing a league source, writes that Fanene's departure was due to "arthritis in one of his knees."
Another reason many Bengals fans are reluctant to entering Fanene's return due to perceived rip of the Cincinnati Bengals. However the word rip might be a tad overused in this case. In early May Fanene was asked about the differences between the Patriots and the Bengals.
"There's a lot," he said, "but I'm just going to pick out one thing. I see guys focus more. Not just the workouts but everything we do out here is more like a team effort. So guys really welcome me inside the locker room. It's not about all the talking and the media stuff, it's more like hard working and just do your job."
We can see, with our hypersensitive nature, how some may view this as a rip from Fanene. Our impression reading into it now is that he's referring more to the character of the lockerroom during his entire stay -- which he's generally right in saying. He didn't rip the front office or the coaching staff -- at least not directly. It's more than likely if he returns today, he would see the continued evolution of Cincinnati's lockerroom. In that respect I didn't see the rip. Anyway at the time we believe he was merely throwing the media a bone while praising the Patriots with a quote that would provide a nod of acknowledgement from Patriots fans. Did he burn a bridge? I didn't see. I still don't.
+ If you want a solid example of someone burning a bridge, give Cedric Benson a nod.
+ Former Bengals wide receiver isn't finished receiving trouble. According to documents filed in Broward County, Florida, Jacinth Preston filed a lien against Chad to recoup $130,000 that Preston claims to owe him. From TMZ:
According to the lien, if Johnson doesn't pay off the debt soon, his house could be foreclosed on.
+ Welp. I'm a jerk, arguing why the Cincinnati Bengals will not acquire Maurice Jones-Drew in a trade.
+ An updated look at the No. 2 wide receiver position battle.
+ Uni Watch rates the Cincinnati Bengals as the worst NFL uniform. You can only imagine how Bengals fans reacted.
+ Pro Football Focus first impressions from the Bengals/Atlanta game.