I wish I had time to get to this yesterday but was busy scrambling after the weekend. While ultimately I can find comedy and a silver-lining with the high profile Antonio Bryant disaster, I can find nothing of the sort with the Bengals decision to let go of Rashad Jeanty. Similar to how the Bengals buried the decision to bring the hugely unpopular Brat back in an article about the extension of the hugely popular Mike Zimmer, the Bengals slipped the release of Jeanty into a casual "Update" mostly about the cutting of Bryant. I first saw the news via Joe Reedy who also appeared surprised and rightly described the move as "a shocker".
The Bengals did this, I would imagine, because both moves sucked and they wanted to avoid the attention.
Well, Jeanty's agent seems determined to make sure that never happens. He came out blazing, publicly criticizing the Bengals for mishandling Jeanty's injury and creating this predicament in the first place. Good for him. For those counting, that's yet another instance of questionable medical judgment by the Bengals staff, and the second in as many days. But we'll come back to that issue another time.
Instead, I'd prefer to simply note that this is all very shitty. Because Jeanty a) is a raging bad ass, b) provides critical depth at linebacker, c) provides stability in the locker room and d) is just the type of guy the Bengals should reward, not punish. I enjoyed Cnati.com while it existed and perhaps my favorite piece they ever produced was this profile of Rashad Jeanty. I throw out lots of links. Make sure you read it. Here it is again. Just in case. Some quotes:
"He probably has the highest pain tolerance of anyone in the world," said fellow linebacker Keith Rivers.
(on missing 2nd half a game after broken bone pierced out through the skin) "It's hard to let your teammates down. I feel bad, I've got to be down to not play," Jeanty said. "It's how I feel, I have to play for my teammates. To hell with me, it's for my teammates. I take pride in that, I'm sensitive about my teammates."
Despite starting 15 games for the Bengals at Sam linebacker in 2008, he was pushed from starter to backup when the team selected Rey Maualuga in the second round of the draft. Despite playing the same position, Jeanty has served as a mentor to Maualuga.
I could keep going but I'll stop there. Literally every sentence in the article reinforces what a remarkably tough, selfless, and dedicated teammate Jeanty was. So to see it end abrubtly and potentially due to the Bengals own ineptitude fucking pisses me off. And just when I thought I couldn't get more pissed off, I read Rob Weintraub's twitter feed and saw yet another take:
Strange that Mike Brown--Mr. Open Arms for erratic knuckleheads--would chuck a good soldier like Rashad so cavalierly.
(nodding head in agreement)
Anyway, as Mr Weintraub goes onto note, forget the Bryant thing, this release is the one that is truly awful. Was Jeanty a super critical piece necessary for a playoff run, well, hopefully not. But who knows? And more importantly, who cares? Even if Jeanty ultimately was expendable, the circumstances of his release reflects horribly on the Bengals. Welcome to Bengals fandom, where even during an offseason of promise and excitement, Mike Brown still seems to find a way to taint it.
I hope Jeanty lands on a team where he will be appreciated. He deserves better than the jokers who run the Bengals.