Cincinnati Bengals: The NFL’s Good Guys?

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Dec 7, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis during warmups prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Vinny Rey, who was signed as a undrafted free agent by the Bengals in 2010, is an example of the team’s new rehabbed image. Rey, who works with the United Way, was named as the Bengals nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award. He also works with various nonprofit organizations, providing his time and efforts. Rey has become one of the more effective tacklers for the Bengals, posting 121 tackles last season.

Lewis wanted to stay, but only if there were changes in how the team operates.

Michael Johnson, who was drafted by the Bengals in the 2009 draft and re-signed with the team in 2015, is another example of the Bengals becoming a positive community presence. Johnson has started the MJ93 fund, which isn’t just a presence in Cincinnati, but also Atlanta and his hometown Selma, Alabama. He was even a part of President Obama’s march to mark the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery civil rights movement.

These are just two examples of a change in player procurement for the Bengals organization. There are more empirical facts, however, that can paint an even rosier picture of the current state of the team. From 2009 to 2012, the Bengals had only seven arrests.  Of those seven arrests, three of them have been dismissed by the respective judges. They have continued to grow as an organization towards bringing in the right type of players who can represent the team well.

There have been certain isolated instances, however, which can continue to prop up. Adam Jones has been in legal trouble three times in the last three years, with the most recent incident occurring in 2015. None of these incidents have resulted in serious repercussions for Jones, with $130 fine being the stiffest punishment he has received.

Next: Conclusion: Role Model Behavior Can Equal Success

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