OK, so once again the Bengals will be a object of ridicule tomorrow when they announce the [re]signing of Chris Henry. Since the most recent charges on Henry were dismissed he's allowed back in the league, but will still face a four week suspension to start the season.
I'm not going to lie: I'm lit up about this right now. This is, perhaps, the worst roster move in the history of Cincinnati sports.
Before people start talking all sort of crap about Marvin Lewis, recognize what this is: this is entirely a Mike Brown decision.
Marvin Lewis categorically stated that he was done with Henry. But a couple of weeks ago, Mike Brown was quoted as saying,
"I happen to be a redeemer. I think people can be made better and right. If that's a fault, so be it. These guys misstepped, they made mistakes, they paid prices for it that have been verging on ruinous, but that doesn't mean I dislike them personally."
That is such crap. That's not redemption, that's buying loyalty with the hopes that it will eventually pay dividends. True redemption would be giving Chris Henry a job as a ballboy. You're just buying low with the hopes of selling high.
The move to resign Henry is all Mike Brown's doing and Marvin Lewis will be forced to go along with it— especially since, in any other town, Marvin would be on the hotseat for the lack of playoff appearances. So since Marvin has no leverage (with no opportunity to jump ship for another coaching job), he's going to have to eat crow and look like an idiot, struggling to explain why he changed his mind. And, of course, he didn't change his mind. Mikey wants it, so he gets it.
Understand what you've done here, Mike: you've cut your head coach off at the knees so you could be the hero. You brought in another receiver that you really didn't need, neutering your head coach in the process. And you wonder why Chad Johnson acts out the way he does. How is Marvin supposed to control a locker room that understands that his word isn't the final authority. I now wonder: was Marvin fully willing to take those first-round picks from Washington and rebuffed by you? Your micromanaging continually harms this franchise and sullies your reputation as well as that of your employees. It's beyond embarrassing.
This is a textbook case of poor leadership— right in my own backyard. Sure, a Super Bowl victory would help everyone forget how stupid this seems now, but Chris Henry ain't getting us there.