The Bengals are known for their off-the-field troubles, and this offseason is adding to that reputation.
Winning cures all evil, but Cincinnati doesn't do that enough.
Adam Jones has another arrest to add to his legal resume. Cedric Benson is jailed for causing bodily harm to a family member (of all people). A.J. Green is said to have somewhat of a diva reputation leading up to the draft, but would it be that much different or worse than Chad Ochocinco?
Here are some steps Cincinnati needs to take internally when the lockout ends.
He's been arrested more than 14 times already in his 27 years.
It's not a football statistic, but I know enough to say that 14/27 is not an ideal ratio in that category.
The last run-in with the law was on a Saturday night at 3 a.m. According to Jones, he was just having a nice dinner for his wife's birthday. Being at a bar that late with all of the prior issues makes him a Cincinnati Pig.
The Bengals should wash their hands of him not only before further knowledge of the incident but before Roger Goodell gets to have another swing at him.
Football-wise, Jones missed from Week 8 on because of a herniated disk in his neck. The injury alone could put him out of football permanently.
Benson beating up a family member still may not be his worst crime ever accomplished.
Everyone has their issues with family, but he should know that there's too much on the line with him being a free agent.
The Bengals would have no problem forgetting the incident, but it's not going to drive up his price for other teams needing a running back. A 28-year-old running back should not be given a top-price deal as it is, especially not one who has further pending legal issues.
He averaged 3.5 yards-per-carry last season.
Cincinnati should let him walk and plan to use the explosive Bernard Scott as their starter unless they want to invest money into a veteran.
With that said, Scott isn't an attractive thought in the backfield and Benson still has leverage.
Owens will not be back with the team.
He's 38 as a wide receiver and just tore a knee ligament in a non-football activity.
Cincinnati just drafted A.J. Green out of Georgia for another young receiving threat.
Owens also recently dealt with an unhappy mother of one of his kids. She claimed he hadn't been paying child support, to which Ochocinco would say, "Child, Please!" There isn't much doubt Owens won't be back, but the real question is what the team does with Chad Ochocinco.
While Chad is still under contract for the team, he won't be included in Cincinnati's future.
The oldest receiver besides Ochocinco on the roster is 28, and the team has drafted receiving options Shipley, Green, Whalen and Gresham in the past two drafts.
The Bengals will let the young receivers develop with the inexperienced quarterback, Andy Dalton, likely to start.
Teams have not openly expressed interest in Ochocinco, but he'll draw something. The second-round pick Washington offered a few years ago looks really nice now.
Owner Paul Brown has drawn a line in the sand, and he's not planning on caving to Palmer's demand of a trade.
Investing in the team has not been priority number one for Brown, so the draft picks he'd lose out on involving Palmer in a trade are not going to bother him as much as it will the fans.
A trade for Palmer would likely involve an NFC West team, so it's not as if the move would come back to hurt a team in the AFC North.
Palmer already has a nice bank account without the money he'd earn by playing in 2011. The new toy he would have to play with, Green, likely won't be enticing enough for Palmer.
As of now, it appears the two men will hold firm to their word.
The sixth-overall draft choice in the 2009 NFL Draft has provided his investor with absolutely nothing.
He has broken his foot twice already in his young NFL career.
The $21 million guaranteed to him in his four-year contract was likely front-loaded. The money is already spent and the Bengals still want to see something from the heavy offensive lineman.
Smith should be careful, because being out of shape could soon mean being out of the league. The team will hold onto him even if it's only for another year.