The Bengals never learn

Can I take a moment to ruminate about how much I hate the way the Bengals are run? Because it’s enough to make your head hurt.

First and foremost, the structure of the Bengals’ organization is built to fail. They have one of the smallest scouting departments in the NFL, which essentially consists of five or less full-time scouts. The coaching staff and owner Mike Brown, who is clearly just winging it as he goes along, handles the rest of the scouting, which doesn’t seem like a constructive way to build a roster. (The Cowboys are run in a similar fashion, although Jerry Jones has roughly 15 scouts working for him and unlike Brown, he has a talent for evaluating players.)

On Tuesday, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that the Bengals were close to signing Pacman Jones, who, somehow, isn’t fashioning license plates in prison right now. Granted, the deal is expected to be worth around the league minimum and largely incentive-based, but why? Why add him if you’re the Bengals? You’ve already got two solid cornerbacks in Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph, who combined for 12 interceptions last season, plus three players in Morgan Trent, David Jones and 2010 third rounder Brandon Ghee who can provide depth. I realize Pacman was a former top 10 pick with more than enough athletic talent to succeed, but how many chances has he been given? How many chances does a player like this deserve?

The running joke with the Bengals is that they’re a safe haven for malcontents like Pacman. But they appeared to be slightly moving away from that last year and they wound up surprising a lot of pundits by making the playoffs. Now they turn around this offseason and fall into the same trap that has haunted them for years. It’s mind-boggling.

Whether or not it’s a low-risk financial move, signing Pacman Jones is unnecessary for a team like the Bengals. One day, they’re going to need to break away from these bad habits or else their ceiling will never be higher than a first round exit in the playoffs.

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