Johnathan Joseph: Bengals are cheap, Texans are not


Johnathan Joseph left Cincinnati to sign a five-year, $48.75 million contract in Houston last year, so it’s not surprising that Joseph views the Texans as a more generous team than the Bengals. But Joseph says that goes beyond players’ salaries.

According to Joseph, Texans owner Bob McNair cares about the players’ families and is willing to provide whatever is needed to make the players comfortable, while Bengals owner Mike Brown nickel-and-dimes them about everything from sports drinks to road trips.

The first thing about Houston is it’s an organization run from a different perspective,” Joseph told “In Cincy, the team lives off money it earns from football. Houston’s owner has other business interests and he controls the money. Numerous things that go on such as the way Houston interacts with my family; we’re treated in a first-class way. They helped us when my wife lost our baby daughter in a miscarriage. But they help with anything you ask of them because they are a very caring organization with positive attitudes about its players. In Cincy, we’re told how much Gatorade we could take home. In Houston we get what we request. You get soap and deodorant at your request. You don’t have a roommate on road trips.”

Joseph is far from the first player to complain about the Bengals’ spendthrift ways, but he puts it in particularly stark terms: Sometimes there’s more to how happy an owner can make a player than how big a paycheck the owner will sign. Sometimes it’s about showing consideration for a player’s family, or not making an issue of it if the player says he’ll sleep better on the road if he has his own room. That’s what Joseph says he’s getting in Houston, and what he says he didn’t get in Cincinnati.

36 responses to “Johnathan Joseph: Bengals are cheap, Texans are not

  1. Mike Brown is cheap? That sounds a little far fetched to me. Mike provides a large staff of scouts, a top notch GM, state of the art practice facilities, pays top dollar for free agents, and goes out of his way to absorb the majority of his stadium costs to keep the tax payers from paying too much. Wait a minute…

  2. I side with Cincy’s owner. If I paid someone that much money, I would expect them to buy their own Gatorade and deal with any arrangements I made for them.

    I get tired of reading about douche bag millionaires complaining about simple things!

  3. So let me get this straight… Joseph is basically saying he is making 48 million dollars but he can’t go out and buy his own soap and deodorant? He has to get that from the team? Maybe I should go into work tomorrow and ask my boss if the company will cover my soap, my deodorant, or my gatorade….

    And athletes wonder why we laugh at them when they make outrageous salary demands…

  4. Now, I maybe wrong about this, but isnt giving the players additional “perks” that are not in thier contract a violation of the cba or something.

  5. I remember Roy Williams talking about how he had to rent a TV for training camp because the team opted for rooms without them.

  6. Spoken by a guy that got ‘his’ from the Texans. Of course he’ll say that. He was a fortunate beneficiary of the Texans needing a top corner last year. Don’t start w/the Dunta Robinson stuff. Pay Me Rick was never the same CB post-knee injury.

    For people bringing up Mario Williams, you need to understand that the Texans couldn’t pay him and keep the nucleus of a playoff team together. Sign Mario and you’d have to cut even more than they did. The Texans – who went deep into the playoffs without Mario playing 3/4th of the season – were smart not to overpay Williams which Buffalo did.

    The Texans will miss DeMeco Ryans for his leadership and Mike Brisiel for his toughness in the trenches. They had to make tough choices this year but that’s what all contending teams need to do eventually. The most important thing is to re-load at the positions where you were forced to cut.

    There are concerns on the right side of the OL, at backup TE and fullback, kicker, and signing another gaggle of FAs next year but so far the Texans appear to have done a good job managing through their transition without having to do a total re-build.

  7. 99 out of 100 employees think the boss is cheap. Its always easy to talk when its OPM (other people’s money). Let’s see what Joseph’s employees say about him in the (very slight) eventuality that he ever becomes a businessman and owns and runs his own company.

  8. Its called the culture of an organization Joseph, every organization is different in how they conduct their business. SMH, dude wants Mike Brown to buy him deodorant and gatorade now thats funny.

  9. @ greasyfinger. While I agree to some extent that these players are already millionaires who can afford to buy their own gatorade. It’s important to realize that its not really a matter of money, but the idea that an owner doesn’t make players pay for things that as circumstantial as gatorade. It’s the idea that the owner builds a relationship with players and gives them benefits. Who wouldn’t want to play for an owner that believes that the relationship between players and himself/herself is just as important as the signature that pays the players millions of dollars. It’s the family atmosphere. Hence, why cincy gets a bad rep as having an owner who doesn’t care

  10. The Texans sound as though they are concerned with winning first and foremost; the Bengals primary aspiration is to keep expenses down.

  11. It’s about the culture it creates but, seriously, both sides are multi-millionaires and can pay for the private hotel room or Gatorade. It’s low-class for either to make an issue of it.
    It’s apparently way better than it used to be. Back in the 80’s some players complained that they were only allowed to use one towel for a shower and it was paper thin lol.

  12. “Johnathan Joseph: Bengals are cheap, Texans are not”

    Calling the Bungals cheap is being really nice about it, it’s actually a compliment to the cheapest owner in all of sports.

  13. I worked for a Mike Brown type. He would pay for holidays only if they fell on a weekday.(If Christmas fell on Saturday we didn’t get Friday off.) Thanksgiving off but not Friday, don’t want anyone visiting family or anything. One day he has a big anouncement; after being vested for Seven years he will match our 401 with 1/4 of 1%. So generous. Started firing everyone as soon as they came up on seven years. I wouldn’t do anything extra for this clowns company.

  14. @cqbalzz

    Just because they didn’t re-sign Mario Williams doesn’t make them cheap. The Texans were already over the salary cap and had to cut several players just to get under. In order for them to resign Mario, they would have had to release at least 5 more of their top players, including Andre Johnson, Antonio Smith, Duane Brown, and Owen Daniel. That just wasn’t possible. Mario signed one of the larget contracts ever for an NFL player. Not re-signing him was not possible because of the salary cap. This ain’t baseball…

  15. The free Gatorade to take home is a bit excessive for millionaires to nickel and dime an owner for. I understand if there was a limit at the practice facilities but now the player is being cheap to ask for free goodies for their entourage.

    The next thing you will hear is that they have to pay for the complimentary allotted overpriced team apparel that’s worn off the field.

    The roommate road trip is the owners fault because each player deserves their own retreat to get mentally ready for a game.

  16. JJoe – a multi-millionaire complain about not getting free gatorade, deodorant, and soap is laughable… im sure you can also afford medical insurance on your salary… sounds like you are the cheap one, and yet another entitled athlete. it amazes me at the lack of perspective some of these guys have..

  17. Some of you posting are really not with it. The Gatorade comment was just an analogy. These guys are the best of the best at what they do and should be treated accordingly. You don’t expect an “A” listed actor to stay in a Holiday Inn and eat the buffet do you? People such as these expect to be treated better than the guy working at Burger King.

  18. “Whah whah whah, I had to pay for my own deodorant.”

    You can’t make this stuff up.

  19. Perks are an important park of where you work. Has anyone ever seen the type of things that go on at Google. Free lunches, video games, slides, etc. When you have 31 other teams that want you to work for them, the work environment can make all the difference.
    I remember watching a Packers player talk about the atmosphere they had in Green Bay. He said that when they went in for offseason workouts, the laundry staff would take the clothes you came in, wash it and dry it, and have it waiting in your locker before you were ready to leave. He said that the little things like that made playing in Green Bay an awesome experience, despite the fact that it was in a town that was so small.
    This is the kinda thing Jospeh is hinting at. It’s not about getting cheap soap and drinks, it’s about making everyone in the organization feel like they have one primary goal, winning. Anything that helps makes the player’s lives less stressful will help them win games. The Texans have set up one of the most professional organizations in sports. Notice how you rarely see bad publicity about the players and organization because they bring in guys like Joseph. Perks are an important part of any elite job. Even though Joseph has money, Bob Mcnair has A LOT more. Bob Mcnair is a class act and so are the Texans…

  20. Does Joseph want to take home towels, leftovers from the pre game meals, Gatorade, maybe an assistant to clean his house? Really? Given the teams track record re signing fa’s lately, this must not be a real issue. I toured the locker room with my son after the raider game in 07, and I can tell you first hand that there is a big cooler in the locker room full of Gatorade. If the video guy let us take what we wanted, I’m sure Joseph got what he wanted too. No real reason to slam an organization that treated you fairly except that maybe you aren’t a class act yourself after all. Besides that, we owned the moo cows or all ut one damn play in Houston, and were a play or two from beating them in the playoffs. J.Joe= overrated…glad his brittle bones are gone.

  21. I love how people are mad at the football players formaking millions of dollars and complaining about the owners. Especially since the millionaire (some billionaire) owners are charging players for individual gatorade bottles. Yeah, it’s not about the money guys. You’re missing the point.

  22. Okay, so JJo comes out and describes the differences between the Bengals and Texans. Then Bengal fans start to diss him for it. JJo is not over rated. He has been the real deal. The addition of him and Manning in the Texans backfield played a big part in the Texans going from 30th in the league in total defense to 2nd.

  23. My most heartfelt condolences to him and his wife on their tragic loss. I notice none of his critics care about that. He says his new owner helped and cared and that his old one would not have, and probably had nothing to say about it – just like his critics here. Thats most brutal statement he made about Brown. It counts the most whether you ignore it or not.

  24. Too bad McNair is so foolish when it comes to his head coach. No other losing (47-49) NFL head coach has remained with the same team for 6+ years. Texans go nowhere with Kubiak, period.

  25. clashpoint says: Jul 15, 2012 7:27 PM

    My most heartfelt condolences to him and his wife on their tragic loss. I notice none of his critics care about that. He says his new owner helped and cared and that his old one would not have, and probably had nothing to say about it – just like his critics here. Thats most brutal statement he made about Brown. It counts the most whether you ignore it or not.

    That’s bull crap saying the Bengals would not have cared about the loss of his child. They were there big time for Mike Zimmer when he lost his wife, and they were there for Chris Henry’s Mom, and they supported Andrew Whitworth a few years back when his wife had a miscarriage. So don’t talk about what you don’t know.

  26. Those that focus on the small things miss the point entirely.

    Any one of those items by themselves seems petty, but when you see multiple examples of Scrooge-like behavior by your owner it can certainly have an effect.

    Players compare notes. They know which teams run first class operations and which ones are more…..basic. That’s why you see more talent leaving the Bengals via free agency than arriving via the same route.

  27. Thank you for stating the obvious J. Joe. Mike Brown hasnt brought in a big name free agent ever… I mean at least while he was in his prime.. But for real complaining about not getting free deodorant, gatorade, and complaining about haveing a roommate on trips.. lol Man it must be terrible to have to pay $1.50 for a gatorade, or $5 for a stick of deo. Also having a roommate at the Ritz Carlton at $500 a night, thats just terrible.. lol. People have real problems in this world, and we pay lots of money to come watch these athletes, its insane how out of touch with the world they are.. Shut up and play football..

  28. At least we know Joseph isn’t a complete moron and can state the obvious.

    Next on the Johnathan Joseph News Network:
    The stove is hot when you use it.
    Followed by breaking news, water is actually wet.

  29. I’ll put it into a sense that most of us can understand:
    A happy employ is more likely to do well at their job and go out of their way to do it. For an owner who pays $1b for a team and makes $100’s of millions each year in earnings to not want to spend even $100,000 per month on the “extras” so that his employees (not just the rich players but also the staff who make considerably less) are comfortable and happy in their jobs is ridiculous. He’s the constant example of a tightwad who can’t see the forest for the trees.

  30. Finding out the Bengals are cheap is about as shocking as Joe Paterno and O.J. Simpson claiming they are 100% Not Guilty.

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