Found February 05, 2013 on
Fox Sports Ohio:
The Cincinnati Bengals arent afraid to take a chance on a player.
Tuesday the team announced it had reinstated linebacker Brandon Joiner on the 90-man roster. Joiner just got out of prison after serving eight months of concurrent three-year sentences for robbery and felony drug charges.
The knee-jerk reaction is to say the Bengals are bringing in another criminal, but this story may be different.
Joiners crime took place in 2007, when he was a freshman at Texas A&M. The Bengals signed him as an undrafted free agent a year ago, and stood by him since he was sentenced last May. He also has said and done a lot of right things since he left A&M and went to Navarro Junior College and Arkansas State.
The Bengals declined an interview request with Joiner, saying theyd rather wait for him to be with the team when he meets the media. Its the same way they handled linebacker Vontaze Burfict a year ago, and Burfict had an excellent rookie season after leaving college with a troubled reputation.
When Joiner was sent to prison last May, the Bengals posted a statement on the teams web site that read: "Brandon must serve a sentence for a crime he was convicted of in 2007 -- when he was 18. But his positive actions during the past five years, including significant community service work, graduation from Arkansas State University and an unblemished subsequent behavior record, have generated a group of active supporters that includes Mike Beebe, the Governor of Arkansas, and Hugh Freeze, Brandon's head coach at Arkansas State and now head coach at Mississippi. In kind, the Bengals support Brandon's future opportunity for a career in the NFL."
The Bengals never wavered in their support. They had signed him well aware of his legal issues and retained his rights while he was in prison by placing him on the reserve-did not report list.
Bengals linebacker coach Paul Guenther even sent Joiner letters and called him while he was in prison.
The support made the time go by faster, Joiner told the Cincinnati Enquirer the day of his release. Its a spiritual, mental and physical drain. You have a lot of time to think about your life and where youre headed. Along the same time of it being a curse it was a blessing and now I have a great opportunity. When something is taken from you, you go get it and dont look back.
Joiner left Arkansas State in 2011 as the Sun Belt Conferences co-Defensive Player of the Year. As a defensive end, he tied for fourth nationally with 13 sacks. In two seasons with Arkansas State, he 24 tackles for a loss and 17 sacks. He was considered one of the better outside pass rushers in the draft.
But a very serious mistake from his past kept teams from drafting him.
In November of 2007, Joiner and a former A&M teammate broke into a house and stole cash, a cell phone and drugs from a known drug dealer.
Joiner was indicted on three felonies, and kicked off the A&M team.
His attorney, Jay Granberry, worked out a plea deal that allowed Joiner to continue school and play football while doing community service. The next four years he spent holidays in jail and in his spare time did his service work.
Joiner spent two years at Navarro Junior College, two at Arkansas State and did not get in trouble again. Because of the way he acted while in college, there was hope he might avoid prison.
Joiner now rejoins the Bengals after not playing for a year.
While some players are dogged by trouble, others come back from legal issues. Quarterback Cam Newton was kicked off the Florida team after he tossed a stolen laptop out a window as police approached. Cornerbcak Janoris Jenkins returned three interceptions for touchdowns as a rookie for the Rams, and he too was kicked off the Florida team for marijuana use. The Browns took a chance on receiver Josh Gordon after he missed two seasons due to personal and legal issues, and he had a good rookie season. Burfict was considered high risk because of his quick temper on the field (22 unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in college), but he led the Bengals in tackles with 127.
Joiner will compete at outside linebacker, where Cincinnati has a need.
He has a long way to go.
But the Bengals are willing to give him a chance.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Rookie linebacker Brandon Joiner has been activated by the Cincinnati Bengals after completing a prison term.
The Bengals signed Joiner out of Arkansas State as an undrafted free agent last year, knowing he would be going to prison in Texas over a robbery that led to his indictment in 2008. He was placed on a reserve list and missed all of last season while completing his sentence...
Linebacker Brandon Joiner, who was released from prison last month and placed on parole, has been reinstated to the Cincinnati Bengals roster, the team announced Monday. Joiner signed with the team as an undrafted free agent last May, but he was sentenced to three years in prison on robbery and drug charges from a 2007 incident that took place when he was at Texas A&M. The...
Promising young driver Kyle Larson will attempt to run the full Nationwide Series this year in a joint effort between Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and Turner Scott Motorsports.
Larson is of Japanese descent and last year's NKNPSE Championship was the first series title for a driver from NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program.
The 20-year-old will attempt to make his Nationwide...
The ex-Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader and high school teacher who pled guilty in October of having a sexual relationship has been caught violating her parole. Jones is pictured with the student Cody York, who is currently her boyfriend, above.
Sarah Jones reportedly will have to wear an electronic monitoring device after she left Kentucky to do a radio interview in Cincinnati.
Sarah Jones, the former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader who had a sexual relationship with her underage student, has to wear an ankle monitor after violating her probation by doing a radio interview in Ohio, FOX 19 reports.
Jones avoided jail time by pleading guilty to lesser charges in October. She had several conditions for her probation, and she reportedly is not allowed to leave...
Kyle Larson will drive the No. 32 Clorox Chevy Camaro full time for Turner Scott Motorsports in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this season.
The Earnhardt Ganassi Racing development driver's will make his Nationwide Series debut in the Drive4COPD 300 on Feb. 23. He also will compete in the Battle at the Beach and the ARCA race during SpeedWeeks before the Nationwide Series event...
Turner Motorsports will field a car in the Nationwide Series for Kyle Larson. Larson is a developmental driver for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. In 2012 Larson won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Championship.
Larson’s first race in the Nationwide Series will take place at Daytona as the 20-year-old climbs into the No. 32 Clorox Chevrolet Camaro fror the DRIVE4COPD...
Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (EGR) announces today that Kyle Larson, the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) Champion will look to run a full-time NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) schedule in 2013. Larson, the 20-year-old driver from Elk Grove, Calif. will attempt to make his series debut behind the wheel of the No. 32 Clorox Chevy Camaro fielded by Turner Scott...
CONCORD, N.C. (Feb. 6, 2013) – Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (EGR) announces today that Kyle Larson, the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) Champion will look to run a full-time NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) schedule in 2013. Larson, the 20-year-old driver from Elk Grove, Calif. will attempt to make his series debut behind the wheel of the No. 32 Clorox...
Credit: Getty Images
MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM), in conjunction with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (EGR), announced today that Kyle Larson, 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) Champion, will look to run a full-time NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) schedule in 2013. Larson, the 20-year-old driver from Elk Grove, Calif., will attempt...