There always seems to be a restrictor plate on the Cincinnati Bengals’ ambitions. OK is OK with the football team. There is something in The Family’s DNA that keeps it from going all out in the pursuit of excellence. This is the perception. Perception is reality, and reality sells tickets and leases luxury boxes.

The NFL’s free agency season is here. It’s characterized by certain teams opening their wallets and inviting players to make themselves comfortable. It’s another means of redistributing wealth. Lose a player, sign a player. Are the New England Patriots better or worse for signing Danny Amendola to replace Wes Welker? Atlanta says goodbye to Michael Turner and hello to Steven Jackson. Do we pencil in the Falcons for next February?

For years, the Washington Redskins made fools of themselves during free agency. Albert Haynesworth, Dana Stubblefield, Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith, etc. were baubles for owner Danny Snyder’s ego box. Washington was Example A of how money doesn’t buy brains.