Cincinnati ready for life after Dillon

If Rudi Johnson fails to recapture his 2003 magic, the Bengals will be left with a huge hole at running back.

Updated: June 1, 2004, 3:46 PM ET
By Darrell Trimble | NFL Insider
For years, running back Corey Dillon has been begging and pleading to get out of Cincinnati. He finally got his wish Monday when the Bengals traded the talented but disgruntled star to the New England Patriots.

The move looks like a winner for both teams. Though they won the Super Bowl, the Patriots lacked a consistent rushing attack. Dillon gives them a feature back that still has tread on his tires. The Bengals saved $1.3 million in the process. But there is a risk involved in the deal and it could be one that eventually defines the tenure of coach Marvin Lewis.

Lewis had little choice in the matter. Dillon had been hyper-critical of teammates and ownership and recently went so far as to call offensive lineman Willie Anderson a bum on national television. Dillon also said he would not return to the Bengals and share time with Rudi Johnson -- "Cause Rudi ain't Corey Dillon."