The Cincinnati Bengals have not been known as the best-run organization in sports, but this is just downright odd: Cincinnati has not offered their head coach Marvin Lewis a new contract who has one-year remaining.

The reason it is so odd is because last summer the Bengals were a big mess. They had released loud mouth wide receiver Chad Ochocinco and quarterback Carson Palmer refused to get off his couch except when his real estate agent showed the house.

Not only did the Bengals show promise last season with youngsters Andy Dalton and A.J. Green replacing Palmer and Ochocinco, but they made the playoffs. That’s something that has only happened three times since 1991 for the Bengals, all of which, by the way, were with Marvin Lewis as head coach.

At the very least, Cincinnati should contend again this season. Obviously, that’s not the ultimate goal, but still an accomplishment with Baltimore and Pittsburgh in the same division. Certainly, it’s much more than what the other Ohio team can say.

But if the Bengals enter next season without a long-term offer to Lewis, players may lack confidence in him because quite frankly, no extension means ownership lacks confidence. And once the players tune out the head coach, the season is over.

Then, instead of competing this year for a division title, Cincinnati will be in rebuilding mode again with a new head coach.

A new era has officially begun in Cincinnati, the Dalton-to-Green era. Wouldn’t the Bengals want Lewis to be a part of it?