The Marvin Jones Situation Perfectly Captures The Essence of The Bengals
By: Alex Marcheschi
Being a Bengals fan is like being a smoker: you know the long term effects will kill you, you stink, you’re wasting money, but in the moment you can justify it to yourself.
These last two Bengals losses have been bitter pills to swallow, but they weren’t surprising. We rarely win “spotlight” games…@ Dallas & @ New England both fit into that category. The season appears to be a wash already. The offense is dead without Hue, Marvin Jones, Sanu, Andre Smith and Eifert. It’s starting to look like Whitworth is finally losing it and Russell Bodine is officially trash.
I was thinking about it the other day, and nothing really captures the essence of the Bengals quite like the Marvin Jones situation. Let me explain (for those who don’t know, former Bengals’ receiver Marvin Jones is statistically one of the best players in the NFL right now).
According to The Detroit Free Press, Jones had aspirations of being a number one receiver, so that’s why we let him go. Because, ya know, it’s just impossible to have two number one receivers on the same team. It’s not like the Jets have B-Marsh and Decker…Anquan and Larry Fitz never played together…Cris Carter and Randy Moss…it just doesn’t work.
Here’s what Marvin Lewis said on March 22, “We worked to sign Marvin (Jones) back,” he said. “His idea was to feel he could be a No. 1 at another team. And even though he said that wasn’t important to him, it became important, all of a sudden, again.”
Oh, it became important “all of the sudden” Marv? What a company man quote. Wonder if money had anything to do with it?
This is what Jones said last February, “I’d like to be back (in Cincinnati), but at the same time I am a free agent – no hometown discount, definitely not – but I’m a free agent,” Jones told NFL Media. “It wouldn’t be good for me not to test the waters a little bit. So it’s just an exciting process.”
That quote let’s you know that Jones knew, like most other Bengals free agents in history have known, Mike Brown was going to give him a shitty offer. And whattaya know, that’s exactly what happened.
As Bengals.com (in-house PR) reported, “Initial reports had the Jones (Detroit) deal at $8 million per year, a number that the Bengals believed to be comfortable with and were in range with it. But they couldn’t offer him the same amount of chances as a potential No. 1 target now teamed with Golden Tate and not Green and Eifert. They were so in sync with the numbers that they thought they were close to a deal Tuesday night.”
The Bengals being “comfortable” and “in range with” $8 mill actually means the Bengals offered like $6.9 million. That’s classic Katie Blackburn number magic. Jones ended up signing a 5-year, $40 million dollar deal with the Lions with $20 million guaranteed. We should have offered substantially more to make up for the lack of targets.
That’s not ridiculous at all. Anyone who watched Jones play here could tell by the “eye test” (I know, but seriously) that he was a beast. You could tell he was about to start peaking. And now look what he’s doing in the Motor City under the boy-genius Jim Bob Cooter.
Clearly his numbers would be a little worse if he stayed, but the Bengals would be much better. LaFell has been decent, but he’s old as hell, drop prone and the only reason he’s open near the red-zone is because teams can double AJ easily now with no Eifert, Sanu and Jones. The fact that management decided to nix Andy’s weapons in arguably the most important year of his career tells you all you need to know.
It’s called being a team, having a coaching staff and being creative. I mean damn, are we an NFL team or not? With Hue gone, creativity has gone out the window. There’s a common denominator to the Bengals offensive success, and it’s Hue Jackson. He was the receivers coach when we had Ocho and TJ. Terrelle Pryor is dominant right now for the Browns. Lewis can’t figure out receivers without Hue.
Lewis just said he watches every single Browns game yesterday…wtf bro, if you love him so much why don’t you marry him? (aka why didn’t you step down and hand the reigns to him?)
And to top it all off, going back to that Detroit Free Press article, here’s what Lewis said on March 22:
“I think that’s the best part of the NFL is our system provides an opportunity for players that, if they play their tail off and it doesn’t work out where they are, they can go to another team,” Lewis said. “But the first part of it is they got to produce. And we’re going to provide opportunity for new guys to produce, just like we have in the past. The guys have had a tendency to want to stay put and, if you look at the history of free agency, the guys are more successful when they re-sign with their teams. There’s very few instances where a guy’s gone to another club and become a successful player.”
That is the limpest, blandest, dumbest, most Bengally quote I have ever seen. Make a bold decision for me one time. Damn. Let’s take another look at that last sentence, “THERE’S VERY FEW INSTANCES WHERE A GUY’S GONE TO ANOTHER CLUB AND BECOME A SUCCESSFUL PLAYER.”
Are you serious Marvin? That’s literally a giant part of the NFL, free agents leave and go play great somewhere else all the time. That was you trying to justify letting Jones walk, and he probably saw that quote. Now look at him.
Oh yeah, and here’s what Marvin Jones wrote for The Player’s Tribune on August 18, “I’ll be honest: Money was a factor (in going to Detroit). You have such a short amount of time to play this game, and you have to take what you can get when you can get it. Winning was a factor. I genuinely feel like this Lions team can win.”
There you have it folks, Detroit is officially a better NFL destination than Cincinnati. Welcome to Siberia.
I’m hurt, I ain’t dead…but I’m almost dead. You’re killing me Marvin Lewis, you’re killing me.
p.s. – here’s a live look at the “very few instances where a guy’s gone to another club and become a successful player.”