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Bengals Legends: Cincinnati Releases Ickey Woods

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Bengals Legends is a series we'll be running at random that talks about events that's happened during Bengals history the day of, or the days surrounding it's publication. Not everything is featured on this date here; just the stories we think you might be most interested in.

A few months before May 13, 1992, the Bengals lost running back James Brooks to the Cleveland Browns through free agency and on that date, May 13, the Associated Press reported that the Cincinnati Bengals released running back Ickey Woods.

"He was a big-time player for us his first year," general manager Mike Brown said. "We remember not only what he did, but the flair with which he did it. He was a showman."

"We tried to give him every chance to come back. We owed him something."

After rushing for 1,066 yards, 15 touchdowns and a 5.3 yard/rush average his rookie season in 1988, a knee injury claimed Woods' short career. During the second game of the 1989 season, Woods tore the ACL in his left knee and he missed the rest of the season. From 1989 until his final NFL season in 1991, Woods posted 459 yards rushing, a 3.6 yards/rush average and 12 touchdowns.

The Woods family remains in Cincinnati with Ickey coaching the Cincinnati Sizzle -- a professional football team with his ex-wife as one of the players on the team -- and last week held a 5k walk/run to raise money for the Jovante Woods Foundation in honor of his son who passed away last year.

+ Stanley Wilson Has Another Relapse. Running back Stanley Wilson suffered another drug relapse and entered a Phoenix rehabilitation clinic on May 10, 1989. Wilson, who was publishing a book based around the events of his relapse during Super Bowl XXIII, was "distraught about the way the media and his teammates reacted" after learning Wilson was selling his story. Wilson was sentenced to 22 years in prison in 1999 after being convicted of stealing $130,000 worth of property from a home in Beverly Hills.

Stanley is largely remembered for his relapse during the Super Bowl where he told teammates:

"I forgot my playbook," Wilson told several teammates. "I'll meet you guys downstairs."

After taking a head count and waiting for Wilson, head coach Sam Wyche and running backs coach Jim Anderson went to Wilson's room to check in on him. Wyche's eyes were "read and brimming wet" wrote Paul Daugherty in 1999 telling his team that "Stanley has had a relapse."

Stanley Wilson used cocaine that night. He snorted it. He smoked it. He couldn't stop. Some 20 minutes after the meeting was to begin, running backs coach Jim Anderson found Wilson in the bathroom of his room at the Holiday Inn in Plantation, Fla., a few miles north of Pro Player Stadium. The player was sweating and shivering. White powder flecked his nose and upper lip. The devil was back, for good.

"Oh, Stanley," Anderson said to his fullback. "Why?"

After He's Happy, Trade Him. Bengals quarterback Jack Thompson sat out half a season in 1982 because he "trying to break his contract" with the Bengals after Thompson claimed that the Bengals "illegally refused to pay him during the 1982 players' strike." You've heard of players sitting out because they want more money. But quarterbacks wanting to break their existing contracts is totally unheard of in Cincinnati (uh hum, Carson). An arbitrator agreed. Cincinnati didn't have to pay Thompson anything, even though the quarterback claims he didn't have a vote in the players' strike.

Thompson and the Bengals reached a settlement on May 15, 1983 with the modification that there's only two years remaining on his contract. Thompson wanted to have more playing time and be a contributing part of the Cincinnati Bengals.

He was. At least for a few weeks when the Bengals traded Thompson to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on June 3, 1983 in exchange for Tampa Bay's first round pick in the 1984 NFL Draft. That draft pick ended up being (we believe) linebacker Ricky Hunley, who never signed with the Bengals after being selected seventh overall. So the Bengals traded his rights to the Denver Broncos and picked up draft picks that would end up being safety David Fulcher, wide receiver Tim McGee and punter Greg Horne.

Andre Smith Switches Agents: Bengals offensive tackle Andre Smith reportedly fired his agent Rich Smith and replaced him with Alvin Keels. This is a fun one. Remember when Smith was having, let's say trouble, making smart decisions like suddenly leaving the NFL Combine or sprinting without his shirt on? All of this, plus the typical prospect digging we find before the NFL Draft, caused Smith's stock to dramatically dive. So Smith fired Keels, his original agent after the Combine, believing that agent replacement works not unlike pixie dust and happy campfire songs. He hired Rich Smith who worked hard to rebuild Andre's image to the point that the Bengals selected him sixth overall. Several weeks later, Andre fired Rich (without the benefit of earning his keep for helping Andre) and on May 12, 2009, rehired Keels.

Flashback: The Success Of Chris Perry: We wrote a posting that when Chris Perry plays, the Bengals typically win. From 2004-2007, the Bengals were 13-9 when Perry played. Back then we were uncertain what the team's running back position would look like. Rudi Johnson was a shell. Chris Perry was durability concerns on steroids turned into a below average back that fumbled the football. Long story short, after the 2008 season, his 13-9 record went to 13-awful.