Peter King was in rare form in today’s Monday Morning Quarterback segment in his criticism of the Bengals and their handling of the Antonio Bryant situation. Here’s an excerpt of King’s harsh words:
Antonio Bryant: What a stupid signing.
One NFL medical person — don’t want to be too specific — told me Sunday that the injury that is apparently plaguing fired Cincinnati wideout Antonio Bryant could be Chondral Defect of the knee. “If you’re not looking for it, you won’t find it,” this official said. “It’s a long-term knee problem that won’t go away.”
He goes on to lambast the club some more, even going so far as to assert that the Bengals were the only team interested in Bryant.
Unfortunately in this case, King isn’t just spewing his usual “I hate everything Bengal” drivel. In this particular instance, he has a good point. How on earth did the club’s medical staff clear Bryant? How did it slip past the pro player personnel team? How did it get past the coaches, who let Bryant suit up for the first practice of the season? And why was the whole thing shrouded in more secrecy than a Politburo meeting with overly optimistic reports coming out of the club as late as Thursday?
The bottom line is the Bengals messed up on this one. Terrell Owens, at 36, signed for roughly 4 million less than what Bryant got without playing a down, and T.O. has already brought more practices, more catches, and more buzz than A.B. ever could. But then, the excitement stirred by Owens’ signing may end up paying for the Bryant mistake and then some.
And when the team needs a big time play during a Super Bowl run, odds are they’re better off looking to the new 81 than they ever would be looking at the original.