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Former Bengals Center Dave Rimington Blasts His Former NFL Team

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When he played college football at Nebraska, Dave Rimington was to defenses as Jack Bauer was to terrorists. A complete dick. And Rimington's pedigree in college was not unlike another Chuck Norris quote. A two-time First-Team All-American. The only offensive lineman to win the Big East Offensive Player of the Year award. Two-time Outland Trophy winner. For god's sake there's an award that goes out to the best center in college football named the Rimington Trophy. A hundred years from now when heaven and hell wage the annual thanksgiving football game, you better believe Rimington is snapping that football.

Then the Bengals drafted him. In the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft, Cincinnati selected Rimington 25th overall. Five years later, the Bengals released Rimington after claiming that he failed a physical. Though that explanation is largely disputed because Rimington was a holdout. According to the UPI on August 23, 1988:

"Veteran Cincinnati Bengals center Dave Rimington, a five-week holdout who reached verbal contract agreement this weekend, failed a physical examination Monday and was released by the club."

Assistant general manager at the time, Mike Brown released a statement that read:

"The Bengals have withdrawn their offer to him to sign," said assistant general manager Mike Brown. "Rimington is now free to sign and play for any other team in the National Football League."

Bill Ordine, Inquirer Staff Writer, wrote on September 8, 1988:

According to Rimington, he was told by the team that the arthritis in his elbows and knees had gotten too severe for him to play. Of course, when he got to Philadelphia, he was given the go-ahead to play, and with only a week of practice, he was starting against Tampa Bay on Sunday.

That Bengals medical staff...

Cincinnati's lone Hall of Fame lineman took exception at the time because of the way Rimington was released, wondering "if he wasn't in the plans, why not do it earlier."

Rimington, a long-term President for the Boomer Esiason Foundation, still seems to be harboring bad feelings for the Bengals.

"I went from one of the best organizations in college football to probably one of the worst organizations in the NFL," Rimington said. "I went from a weight room that was half the size of a football field to a weight room that looked like a junior high weight room, and the strength coach didn't want anybody to lift. ... It was ridiculous the stuff we had to go through there. I just had to shake my head. It's like the black hole of professional football.

"Good players go there and you never hear from them again."