Houshmandzadeh previously has detailed the Bengals’ past cheapness

Mike Florio
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

We recently pieced together the various bread crumbs pointing to Joe Burrow potentially hoping that the Bengals won’t draft him. Past comments from one of the people who is working with Burrow before the draft adds to the pile.

In 2018, former Bengals receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh explained to Colin Cowherd the various ways in which Bengals owner Mike Brown has been extremely careful with money.

Houshmandzadeh said that the Bengals used to lock up water and Gatorade after practice, that they provided used jockstraps to players, and that on the night before home games they didn’t take the team to a local hotel.

“We stayed at home,” Houshmandzadeh said. “So as a rookie you figure, ‘Oh, I was inactive last week, I’m gonna be inactive this week.’ You’d go out. You’d go out and just go straight from the club to the stadium on Sunday.”

That changed, Houshmandzadeh said, when Marvin Lewis became the head coach. But Mike Brown continues to own the team. And he continues to understand the connection between minimizing expenses and maximizing profits.

Houshmandzadeh has said publicly that he and others who know how the Bengals do business won’t be saying bad things about the Bengals to Burrow. But with Houshmandzadeh already saying negative things publicly, he doesn’t need to say anything privately to Burrow.

Actually, nothing Houshmandzadeh says should matter much. Former Bengals franchise quarterback Carson Palmer, a No. 1 overall pick, already has said it all. He believes based on his time with the team (and with other teams) that the Bengals aren’t trying to win a Super Bowl. If that’s what Palmer believes, how can anyone who hasn’t spent years with the Bengals disagree?

Indeed, in the two weeks since Palmer said what he said, not a single current or former Bengals player has come forward to say that Palmer is wrong. Which serves only to strengthen the perception that Palmer knows what he’s talking about.

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