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The cost of NFL mediocrity is unacceptable

Ask ten Bengals fans in Cincinnati about the questionable character issues, you'll likely get ten completely different opinions. Everyone will agree the arrests are frustrating to defend from other fans (read: Steeler fans). Everyone is just as concerned that the arrests are creating friction in the locker-room. But there's a divide in opinion among fans.

You have some fans that want to lynch mob the arrested. Others sit back and say, each situation is different so we shouldn't over-react. Some go directly to Marvin Lewis and his questionable selection on character. Others just don't care and want a team that wins football games -- the cost of mediocrity in the NFL is unacceptable.

After Johnathan Joseph was arrested, the team's leaders -- Carson Palmer, Willie Anderson, Brian Simmons, John Thornton and Levi Jones specifically -- spoke out. They understand the arrests are frustrating fans. They understand the arrests are embarrassing to them in the scope of the NFL community. What we've come to understand, is that the leaders of the team, like fans, are finding the arrests unacceptable.

No matter how you cut it, it is what it is. The question now is, will this resolve itself or will the team be forced to make some personnel changes? Odell Thurman and Matthias Askew were the only one's arrested that missed the season -- Askew was kicked off the team. Marvin Lewis sat Chris Henry and Deltha O'Neal a game while Eric Steinbach and Reggie McNeal had no noticeable repercussion. A.J. Nicholson was like an artifact in Indiana Jones unable to be found. Frostee Rucker went on IR early and was done for the season.

Mark Curnutte discusses the future using the draft as an indicator whether the team will draft questionable character guys.

Lewis faces a decision come April. He has said twice publicly since the end of the season that he will tighten his disciplinary process, returning to the stricter methods of 2003 and 2004.

Bengals need to take a stand [Enquirer]