clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Flashback Friday: The Trade Of 1978

We're trying something new, to break the pattern of mundane storylines without resolution for the time being, we're going to work on a Flashback posting every Friday, hoping to give some knowledge about the history of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Continuing our random "get to know your Bengals' history" concatenation (an improv of knowledge when current storylines grow stale), let's complete last week's look at the great Lemar Parrish by highlighting another player's demand for a trade and how that player became linked with Parrish during the year of the Horse.

Coy Bacon, entering the NFL with the St. Louis Rams in 1968, was eventually traded to Cincinnati from San Diego in exchange for future Hall of Fame receiver Charlie Joiner in 1976. Yes. Joiner spent four seasons in Cincinnati before submitting a Hall of Fame application with the Chargers.

During that first year (1976) Bacon destroyed the competition, generating 22 quarterback sacks, which stands today as the team's unofficial mark (sacks weren't officially recorded until 1982). He earned a Pro Bowl berth and second-team All-Pro honors that year, following it up with another Pro Bowl selection the following year.

Yet. As the story trends usual patterns around that era, Bacon wasn't happy, echoing Lemar Parrish's demand for a trade. Along with denouncing the franchise, Bacon's dislike for the Bengals' conversion to a 3-4 defense led to a subsequent demand for a trade.

Parrish, a cornerback many view as greater than Ken Riley (and his 65 career interceptions), had already been demanding for a trade after several seasons, arguing that he wasn't fairly compensated while hating on Paul Brown because the head coach never complimented his players. Some quotes from Parrish in 1976.

"Paul never showed any affection for the guys," he added. "I don't care how good you are or how good you play, a guy likes to hear something from the coach."

"No cornerback in the league is better than I am, but a lot are getting paid better than I am."

"If they can't meet my salary standards, I got to move. I can't spend glory."

The Bengals packaged Bacon and Parrish into a deal with Washington for the Redskins' first round selection in 1979 prior to the 1978 season. Paul Brown said at the time that Bacon "became expendable" after Cincinnati drafted Notre Dame's Ross Browner as the eighth overall pick during the 1978 NFL Draft.

And Brown was right.

Browner, the team's elected Most Valuable Player in 1978, set a Super Bowl record for most tackles by a defensive lineman in Super Bowl XVI, finishing with 59 quarterback sacks during a nine-year career in Cincinnati -- which ranks third in franchise history. Bacon would go on to play another four seasons before calling it a career.

The Bacon/Parrish trade to Washington resulted in the Bengals selecting 12th overall in the 1979 NFL Draft, grabbing Louisiana State running back Charles Alexander. Seven seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, Alexander posted 2,645 yards rushing, 13 touchdowns and a 3.5 yard/rush average, never leading the team in rushing.

Among virtually every team in the NFL, the Bengals have had their share of trade demands, ranging from Bacon to Parrish, from Chad Johnson to Carson Palmer. In time another will come and go but knowing the character of the players on this team, right now, we're not expecting it anytime soon. It's a great time to be a Bengals fan.

As for Bacon, he would eventually become a man of God later during his life following a drug-related shooting. He died in Ironton, Ohio in 2008.