Remember Warren Sapp's negotiations with the Bengals in 2004, which nearly brought the Hall of Famer to Cincinnati? It was widely believed that Sapp used Cincinnati as a negotiation tactic to increase negotiations among other teams; something that he argued wasn't true several years ago and he said Mike Brown pulled the offer.
Joe Reedy with the Cincinnati Enquirer, currently in Canton during this weekend's Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony, quoted Sapp on how those events transpired.
When Sapp left Tampa Bay in 2004, it appeared as if he was going to be joining the Bengals. But after Sapp had decided to accept the offer, Mike Brown ended up pulling it because he thought the team was bidding against themselves.
“I accepted the offer and – when he called back – they had taken the offer off of the table,” Sapp said on Friday. “I went to a Heat game and woke up the next morning and Al Davis was on the line. We went from there.”
Sapp's story hasn't changed. Seven years ago, the former Buccaneer and Raider said:
"They snatched the offer off the table," Sapp Wednesday, four days before he will take on the Bengals.
"They said they were bidding against themselves," Sapp said of the Bengals' offer in unrestricted free agency. "They gave me an hour to take the offer. I called back in 57 minutes and they took the offer off the table. They said they were bidding against themselves."
Anthony Munoz is the only member of the franchise to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Cincinnati Bengal. However, there are multiple players and coaches with ties to Cincinnati that eventually went into the Hall of Fame (though with another team). They include wide receiver Charlie Joiner (Chargers), and coaches Paul Brown (Browns), Forrest Gregg (Packers), Dick LeBeau (Lions), and Bill Walsh (49ers).