Orson Charles was finally sighted (er, cited)…unfortunately he showed up on the police blotter brandishing a firearm at a fellow driver (allegedly) rather than showing up on the stat sheet. Some players are worth standing behind until the legal process plays itself out. Charles is not one of those.
Some crimes are more tolerable than others (i.e. drunk and disorderly citations, etc). Flashing guns at drivers is not one of those.
Ever since 2006 when the Bengals had 9 players arrested or suspended, the Bengals have been labeled as criminals/thugs and a franchise that tolerates criminal/thug behavior. As we saw last year on "Hard Knocks," nothing could be further from the truth and the Bengals have come a very long way in terms of player arrests and rebuilding their image since 2006.
However, the label still sits just below the surface and is readily recalled whenever a Bengal missteps – in fact, in shameless attempts to grab headlines, ESPN even likes to attach the Bengals name to players who get arrested even though the Bengals were not their current nor most recent team (see Nate Webster).
When a player as marginal as Charles messes up in such an irresponsible manner, it cannot be tolerated and swift actions need to be taken from the front office.
The sad part is (from a roster standpoint at least), Gresham most likely will leave in free agency after the 2014 season and I had high hopes for Charles and thought he could step in as the primary blocking tight end. Unfortunately, Charles has forced the Bengals hand and should never get that chance…not with this team at least.
What this arrest should do is end the debate of whether the Bengals should go with a traditional fullback on the 2014 roster or continue with Charles. Cut Charles and bring in a real fullback. Particularly one that is good enough that coaches don’t feel the need to use DTs and TEs to take his snaps.
Particularly one that can be seen in the backfield on Sunday’s rather than hanging out in the back seat of Hue Jackson’s car while he warms Hue’s car seats. And particularly one that is aware of the fact that Cincinnati is not the Wild Wild West and I-75 is not the Oregon Trail.