Sitting here wondering how I would angle the story, in my sapphire blue work chair listening to Rage Against the Machine, it occurred to me that I have three directions. I could basically state the facts and say Chris Henry is back with the Bengals, taking a leave of absence like I promised. I could question the front office's integrity, and call them out as liars. Or I could point out, whether you like him or not, Henry helps this offense, big time. So why not go through the points individually.
Known: Chris Henry is coming back to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Truth: No contract has been signed and Marvin Frazier is quoting as saying, "we're in talks and we're real close."
How close: Henry is in Cincinnati today getting a physical. If he passes, he's signing.
Question: Henry helps this team win.
Truth: The Bengals have gone 5-8 in the 13 games that Chris Henry has missed since 2005. When he plays, the Bengals are 21-14. Since 2006, the Bengals are 3-8 without Henry; 12-9 when he plays. Last year, when Henry missed the season's first eight games, the Bengals went 2-6, finishing the season 5-3. Point out whatever you want, but that's fact.
Quote: Marvin Frazier said: "I'm just glad they're willing to let the past be the past and give him a chance. I just hope that the Cincinnati fans will give him the same type of chance."
Truth: Marvin Frazier can kiss my ass. We've defended him more times than we'd like. Why should we give the guy a chance, after socially endangering others in the city, suspended in several games; who figured this guy was suddenly reliable? We're not some safe house for the poor, or school councilors. We're a professional football team.
Point: But that's the point, we're a professional football team... we have to win.
Agree: If Henry plays 12 games, then the Bengals offense is better during those 12 games -- there's no certainty that the Bengals won't be out of the playoff hunt after the fourth game. He's scored too many touchdowns not to agree, and his percentage of receptions to touchdowns or first downs is pretty damn good.
- 88 career receptions, 17 touchdowns, 60 first downs.
Wonder: There's a power struggle.
Truth: Who can say, and it's not really common knowledge enough to accept that generally; though some are floating the speculation around as fact. In any case, Marvin Lewis has been quick to point out that the team is not interested in Henry. Now, you can only take what he says for what it is. He's been caught lying several times to the media and fans, so there's not many fans that trust Lewis -- either to promote the truth, or to win football games. On the other hand, Mike Brown is Mike Brown. Gawd.
New Rule: If Henry gets in trouble again, what happens to the Bengals?
Truth: This off-season, the NFL enabled a new policy that teams will now be subject to fines for players that get into trouble.
Another strike: If Henry gets in trouble, he's out of the league forever.
Speculation: We've thought that two arrests ago. The latest arrest all but assured he'd be banned, until the case was thrown out and the charges dropped. The Bengals were interested, supposedly, the instant the case was through.
Integrity: This team has integrity issues.
Assumption: I couldn't agree more. Not so much the players (though yea, there's at least one now), but the front office lying to everyone about not bringing Henry back. I understand there's CIA super-secret perceptions with football teams, but give me a break. Fans are going to turn against the team simply because we're tired of being lied to. Like this team promising to wipe out the players with questionable character. After drafting Jason Shirley (who came into the league with character flags), and this, it's clearly not the case.
No doubt: Henry will contribute.
Explanation: I don't believe he helps this team win more -- evident by the last two seasons he did play with Cincinnati; seasons he was suspended at least a few games, like he's going to be suspended this season.Though it's hard to argue against the team's winning percentage when Henry plays.
The Reason: He's signed because of injury at wide receiver.
Myth-buster: No, he's not. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Chad Johnson and Andre Caldwell are hurt right now. Henry won't be available until the fifth game of the regular season, which is played against Dallas on October 5th; far enough time for all three receivers to be healthy. Unless, of course, we're being lied to. Knowing this organization, we're the biggest suckers for their promoted bull crap in professional sports history.
Whatever, Henry is back. So take it for what it is.