Reports are a-buzz as of 5:10 pm EST when ESPN.com reported that FoxSports.com (wow, how many .coms are involved) that "Bengals ready to release WR Antonio Bryant; he signed a 4-year deal in the offseason."
Conflicting reports as to the source of information are abound as Chris Burke at Fanhouse reported that the true source was:
"The agent for wide receiver Antonio Bryant said Thursday that he is not aware of the Bengals planning to release his client.
Reacting to a tweet from Newsday that said the Bengals are preparing to cut Bryant, Lamont Smith said he has not heard from the club and he thinks he would so they could reach an injury settlement before releasing him.
“That would be the protocol,” Smith said. “Because you would think they would call and say, ‘This isn’t going the way we thought and let’s try and do something.’ From what I understand, things have progressed the past week.”
Smith said now that the problem has been located—it’s not so much in the knee but in the structures around it such as the quadriceps muscles—there is hope that he’ll progress even quicker."
So aside from the media debacle that is being faced by the injured star, even the Bengals own media seems to be jumping on the bandwagon.
Should the Bengals release Bryant, they would have significant out of pocket expenses even with an injury settlement as reported via Bengals.com in the aforementioned article, Bryant is due a guaranteed $10 million. Though terms were not disclosed, Bengals.com author Geoff Hobson, indicated that the assumption that the guarantee includes the $7 million signing bonus.
Either way, this is clearly a failure of medical and scouting staff as apparently and according to the same article, Bryant's injury has finally been identified as mentioned prior from Bengals.com as:
"Smith said now that the problem has been located—it’s not so much in the knee but in the structures around it such as the quadriceps muscles—there is hope that he’ll progress even quicker."
The question begging to be asked now—with Bryant working out on the sideline according to the Cincinnati Enquirers' Joe Reedy is: why only now is the injury identifiable?
Not for nothing but when you sign a player of the caliber Bryant is and know he is coming off of a knee injury at a position where legs are important, you should have it checked. Not that Bryant is a used car but would it not make sense at least to take the car to the family's trusted mechanic before plunking down your hard earned cash?
The Bengals have made some remarkable moves this off-season but the residual judgement issues still remain and make one wonder.