Bengals coach Marvin Lewis can now contractually prohibit John Ross from racing people away from the football field.
The Bengals have announced that Ross, the ninth overall pick in the 2017 draft, has signed his rookie deal. The Bengals also have agreed to terms with linebacker Carl Lawson, a fourth-round pick.
“It’s great for John that this part of it is out of the way,” Lewis said in a press release. “This gives him the opportunity to focus on finishing school and then football, and I think that’s important.”
Two days ago, Lewis slammed the door on the possibility of Ross racing Cincinnati Red centerfielder Billy Hamilton. Ross set a Scouting Combine record by running the 40-yard dash in 4.22 seconds.
“John is not a circus act or anything. John is a football player, ” Lewis said at the time. “I don’t think either one of them needs to risk their careers in some kind of race.”
The standard player contract contains language prohibiting players from engaging in other activities than entail a significant risk of personal injury. While running wouldn’t seem to fall within that category, racing someone at top speed apparently does, in the opinion of his new boss. And now that Marvin Lewis is officially his new boss, Lewis can point to the paperwork as the basis for insisting that Ross choose not to run.