Releasing Henry a starting point

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 7, 2008

Jim Walker/Tribune Sports Editor

Maybe they won’t have to call in the EPA after all. The Cincinnati Bengals appear — remember, looks can be deceiving — to have started to clean up their roster.

Last week wide receiver Chris Henry had his fifth arrest since December of 2005. Before Henry could get his bail money down, the Benglas cut their ties with him.

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Only Job would have been more patient with Henry. No one could really find fault with his dismissal. Except for Bengals flamboyant wide receiver Chad Johnson.

Upon hearing Henry had been waived, Johnson was flabbergasted. He said the Bengals needed Henry.

No, the Bengals need Chad Johnson. They also need T.J. Houshmandzadeh. And they need to get a wide receiver they can count on to be on the active roster and not serving an eight-game suspension or sitting in a jail cell at kickoff time

Henry is a talent, but what players don’t understand is there are a lot of talented wide receivers available. The draft is full of them every year and they don’t have to be the most famous names. Remember, Terrell Owens came from Tennessee Chattanooga.

This move should serve as a wake up call not only to Henry and the other trouble Bengals, but to the front office as well. Team officials need to do their homework and research the player’s background prior to the draft. If there is a red flag, you might want to back off.

And clean up the mess you’ve already got. If the players aren’t eligible to play, it doesn’t make a difference how good he is.

The Bengals have taken step number one. Let’s see if they keep walking or decide to take a back seat.