Well, fellow Bengal fans, there’s been quite a stir around the league since the Terrell Owens signing story broke. Reactions and opinions have not been in short supply.
While Chad Ochocinco has gushed openly about being Robin to T.O.’s Batman, the controversy and speculation revolves around the team’s other franchise receiver, Antonio Bryant.
Several NFL observers have surmised that the signing of Owens was a direct result of concern within the Bengals organization that Bryant’s knee is not fully recovered from a 2009 injury, and that he’s not ready to go. They’ve suggested that “A.B.” will end up on the PUP list, shelving him for the first 6 weeks of the season.
They’ve even gone so far as to say the team has considered cutting the former Buccaneer, and that team officials are suffering from “buyer’s remorse.”
The gossip mill has also churned out conjecture that Bryant isn’t happy with the snap count and role he’ll have now. PFT suggested that the team would consider cutting him outright, and there was even anxiety about whether or not Bryant would surrender Owens’ signature #81 without a fight.
All this in less than 24 hours.
Speaking on NFL Network’s Total Access tonight, former Bucs DT Warren Sapp provided the first known reactions from Bryant on the T.O. signing. Sapp is a close friend of Bryant’s, leading off the telecast with the answers to these “burning questions.”
Sapp said that Bryant is *not* concerned about T.O. coming to the Queen City, that he will willingly give up the #81 jersey, and that his knee is ready for camp.
Through Sapp, Bryant reported that while the knee did flare up (as reported here) it is fine now and ready for the first practices of camp tomorrow. He conceded the team will be careful with him and hold him out of ½ of the two-a-days to be careful with the knee, but there was nothing further to be concerned about.
Regarding the number, Sapp stated that Bryant has had a different number throughout his career, so he has no qualms about changing it for his new teammate.
Hopefully this will settle the hearsay.
Assuming the reports from Sapp are accurate, the team should have a formidable offense to go with an already stellar defense.