Mark Curnutte offers the latest on the Cincinnati Bengals

Mark Curnutte started covering the Bengals and the NFL for The Enquirer in 2000. He previously wrote about urban affairs and other social issues for the Enquirer. He won the prestigious 1994 Unity Award from Lincoln University (Missouri) for "A Polite Silence," a seven-day series about race relations in Greater Cincinnati. He also has worked as an assistant features editor and features writer at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. Curnutte is second vice president and a three-year board member of the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA). He is a 1984 Miami University graduate.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Rep: No plans for Thurman grievance

The Bengals cleaned out Odell Thurman's locker Tuesday, the day he did not report for voluntary on-field practice, Safarrah Lawson, one of the linebacker's Atlanta-based representatives told the Enquirer this afternoon.

The Bengals announced late this morning that they had waived the second-year linebacker from Georgia.

Thurman attended the funeral for his grandmother, Betty Thurman, 80, on Monday in his hometown of Monticello, Ga. She had brought up Thurman after the death of his mother and death a few years later of his father.

"He was overcome by grief once he was down there," Lawson said. "The kid had a lot to deal with. She was the only family he had left."

The Bengals had three practices on field last week.

Thurman's representatives have no immediate plans to file a grievance over Thurman's release, Lawson said. At the same time, at least two teams already have been in contact with representives to express their interest in possibly signing Thurman.

"We just want to move on and get him back on the field," Lawson said. "He's disappointed. He wanted to reclaim his career in Cincinnati and help them get back to the playoffs."


at 5/19/2008 12:47 PM Blogger hey hey redlegs said...

another team is gonna snatch him up and i will guarantee it will come back and bite the bengals in the butt. GUARANTEE IT! watch the ravens get him

at 5/19/2008 12:55 PM Blogger Jason said...

Why did the "have" to release him? Is there anymore details we can get on this? Or did Mike and Marv really just cut him for missing "voluntaries".. This is just absurd, every article over the past 2 months just spoke of how well he had been doing. Why cut him out of no where, why not keep him at least through camp and see how it pans out before you release someone?

at 5/19/2008 1:11 PM Blogger ArGee said...

A very good guess is that Thurman is drowning his grief in a bottle. What a waste of talent.

at 5/19/2008 1:34 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Brown makes it really, really tough to be a Bengals fan. If things go like they have in the past, the Bengals will be without Ahmad Brooks after his court date June 6th. That leaves the Bengals with a rookie and below average talent. Sweet.

at 5/19/2008 1:52 PM Blogger Kevin said...

If the Bengals give Henry 5 chances after being arrested, I find it hard to believe they cut him due to a funeral. That seems like just bad PR to me.

They know something we don't and Marvin does not like to kick a guy while he is down. I bet we hear more to this story from somebody on ESPN.

Something tells me a Bengals rep was down there monitoring the situation and saw something. That or Odell could have reported, he was just hanging out instead.

On the other hand, the Bengals front office moves usually are head scratchers.

at 5/19/2008 2:14 PM Blogger ChicagoRed said...

If this is truly just for missing OTAs for his grieving period,
then the Bengals will have managed to quickly restore order to the world by eliminating all the goodwill they generated by holding the line on Chad. Not to mention the flak they'll catch for waiting two years for Thurman, then letting another team grab him and his talent.

We knew things would get back to normal quickly.

at 5/19/2008 2:23 PM Blogger Matthew said...

The guy had to to give his full effort and prove himself on a number of levels. He did not follow through on doing that in being absent and the team finally held him to a professional standard.

Needs have led this team to cut people a break hoping in the end they will turn it around. The problem is that every time you bend to accommodate a need you jeopardize the principles that hold your organization together: Discipline, commitment, etc. The key is to eliminate needs.

If this was just an extended absence from practicing football due to a death in his family that would have been understood. The reality is that this guy has had extended absences in the past even on top of the suspensions. His potential and talent are clearly there. His discipline and commitment are not.

Coming back "to bite us"? I say bring it on...if this team can't block or run over a linebacker who has spent two years outside of the sport abusing his body then they should shake in their boots at everyone they face. May Thurman find himself and enjoy success. If this team has a gimpy offensive line then he will come back to bite them. However, if this team does nothing about his approach to life and the sport he will stay and bite them by not producing. It's football and should be run with discipline.

Our sympathies are with you Odell.

at 5/19/2008 3:32 PM Blogger MsUC said...

I hope they hold CJ to same zero tolerance policy and get rid of chad after June 1.

at 5/19/2008 4:04 PM Blogger Jason said...

He is probably not filing a grievance because the Patriots or another GOOD franchise called him. Why would someone want to play for this franchise? He is probably happier now, with an even fresher start. Pro Bowl 08'.

at 5/19/2008 4:23 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

Kevin.. a bengals rep was not down there monitoring the "situation"..thats silly

He was supposed to be back today and did not show

maybe its something worse


at 5/19/2008 4:32 PM Blogger mentalmidget said...

Wow!! What a shock!! After all we've heard about Odell's progress, our beloved Bengals cut him? There HAS to be more to this story! The man loses the woman who raised him, he has no other family. Who is to say how the young man should handle his grief? If he needed 2 weeks, that's fine! Give it to him!! I, too, hope he's not drowning his grief in a bottle.

We all know he needed to be at the OTA but, geez, let the man grieve!! They cleaned out his locker Tuesday? Yes, another head-scratcher!!! I JUST DON'T GET IT!

Maybe he did fall off of the wagon and the Bengals can't divulge that info. Still, I'm shocked!!! Again, there HAS to be more to the story!

Hang in there Odell, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

at 5/19/2008 4:44 PM Blogger ArGee said...

C'mon. The Bengals wouldn't have taken this step knowing the knee jerk reaction, if they didn't have a good reason. The guy didn't show. The guy was stoned. Take that to the bank.

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