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Bryant: The Right Choice


The free agent hot stove for the Bengals was as cold as ice as the market opened on Friday, thawed over the weekend, and got white hot as the week progressed, culminating with the signing of WR Antonio Bryant Wednesday to a 4 year, 28 million dollar contract. 

While speculation centered around Terrell Owens, helped in no small part by Chad Ochocinco’s public campaigning, team management focused on the best player for the roster.  And for once, they got their man.  Enjoy it, Bengal fans, because the next time it happens will probably come with Haley’s Comet. 

Bryant is a full seven years younger than T.O., required no compensation to sign (ala Brandon Marshall), and has the size, speed and athleticism the offense needs to draw coverages away from Ochocinco.  Watching film on Bryant, he looks like of a stronger, more aggressive Chad.  He has a similar frame (both 6-1), lightning speed, and a quick YouTube search finds several awe-inspiring catches. 

Detractors and nay-sayers will note that Bryant has had only two 1,000 yard seasons in his 8-year career, and is coming off a knee injury that wiped out much of his 2009.  He has some notable baggage, including a famous blow up at then-Cowboys coach Bill Parcells in 2004 and a DUI charge in 2006. 

The Bengals see the glass as half full. 

They’ll no doubt note that Bryant is a former Biletnikoff Award winner as the nation’s top collegiate wide-out in 2001.  They’ll show you tape of acrobatic, one-handed grabs, and coverage-destroying “9” routes.  They’ll remind you that Bryant has played for a cavalcade of bad teams with unsettled quarterback positions and weak running games.  The guy’s been catching passes from the likes of Quincy Carter, Alex Smith, and Josh Freeman; imagine what he’ll be able to do with Chad Ochocinco on the other side of the field and a Heisman winning, franchise quarterback under center. 

Terrell Owens would have certainly been more entertaining.  It would have been a hoot watching Chad and T.O. try to one-up each other.  It would have been hilarious watching Carson Palmer and Marvin Lewis try to keep them sane. The Bengals would have certainly gotten a lot more media attention and been regulars on ESPN and NFL Network. 

But in the end analysis, the Bengals made the right decision.  They went for substance over style. They chose to go for the player in his prime, shooting for the moon instead of the aged veteran heading into the sunset. 

They may still pursue Owens, particularly if the price is right.  After all, they need as many weapons as they can get.  Either way, I feel the Bengals made the right move for them, and I’ve got my popcorn ready.

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2 Responses to “Bryant: The Right Choice”

  1. Jim says:

    Bryant, is a horrible Buy. He is completely overated and doesn’t deserve that kind of money…example he wasn’t getting paid much in his two 1,000 yrd years he gets a big pay day and does shitty. He’s a pay and Bust

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