Shutdown Corner - NFL

Today is that rare day in Bengals history where everyone in the organization can hold their heads up proudly and command the respect of the professional football world. The Bengals are competent. They are powerful. They are successful.

And it's as if they didn't want that feeling to last longer than 24 hours. Multiple reports indicate that the Bengals are about to sign running back Larry Johnson, who was recently released by the Kansas City Chiefs after publicly criticizing his head coach and repeatedly using a homosexual slur. He's also got a spotty history with the law.

In short, he's exactly the kind of guy who would have fit in perfectly with the Bengals in their recent "We will hire anyone who can get arrested and fail to win football games" phase.

You'd think that now that the ship is sailing smoothly, they wouldn't want to mess with it, especially for a guy expected to be a situational player. The locker room seems united and harmonious. Much of the criminal element is gone, and what remains seems to have fallen in line. Why bring in a potential distraction now? Why bother with a guy who has recent and serious transgressions?

Cedric Benson(notes) was injured yesterday, but Marvin Lewis says the injury isn't serious and that Benson was likely to play against the Raiders this week. Even if he wasn't, Bernard Scott(notes) and Brian Leonard(notes) are capable fill-ins.

And even if you don't like them, you can't find someone other than Larry Johnson(notes)? He was averaging 2.7 yards per carry before the Chiefs -- the Chiefs, as in, the Chiefs who are way worse than the Bengals -- cut him because they didn't want to look at his face anymore.

If you need to bring in an outsider, Bengals, dip in to the UFL and bring DeDe Dorsey back to the squad. He knows the system, you know exactly what he's going to bring to the table and he's in game shape.

While I don't think it's a smart move for the Bengals, it works out beautifully for Larry Johnson. He gets to go from the Chiefs, who had virtually no chance of making the playoffs, to the Bengals, who look like one of the better teams in the league. A break like that should go to someone a little more deserving.

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