Most NFL rookies have a hard time adjusting to the speed of the NFL game. Shirley is obviously already performing at an NFL level. And it obviously caught the eye of the Bengals. Good thing, too. With Chad Johnson holding out for a trade, the Bengals are no longer known as the lawless marauders, just bad employers.
But the concerns shifted toward Shirley's off-the-field issues his senior year as he was limited to three games because of three separate suspensions.
He missed the first two for conduct detrimental to the team. He played the next three games before getting suspended a second time after he was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.
Police say he crashed a car into an apartment complex on Oct. 8., which brought three misdemeanor charges against Shirley. He was accused of driving under the influence, driving with a blood-alcohol content of .08% or higher, and hit and run.
Still, Shirley went on to win an appeal with the university a month later and was reinstated for the final three games.
But a few days later, Shirley was charged with driving with a suspended license and expired registration, which led to his third suspension.
So much for the Bengals commitment to character guys which lasted, what, one season. Like Marvin Lewis finally accepted the inevitable and said, "(expletive) it, I need to win some damn games," and sold himself out. And what's worse, the Bengals probably didn't need to reach for him in the fifth round, as some expected him to be an undrafted free agent. This is going to be some year in Cincinnati.
Hat Tip: Shutdown Corner