Thursday, February 26, 2009

Free Agency for the Bengals.

Well here we are a few days before free agency begins for the NFL, the Combine is over and I am stuck wondering what the Bengals will do.

First I would like to touch on what the Bengals SHOULD do in free agency. I of course emphasize should because for reasons I have blogged about before they will probably not do what makes most sense and instead continue to "build through the draft." It is not that I am against that way of thinking, I am actually for it, but the Bengals issue continues to be that they do not scout well, or at all, since they do not have the personnel (smallest scouting department in the league,) or go after bargain deals because of character issues.

There are quite a few free agents out there that will help the Bengals and fill holes that they would not have to waste draft picks on. With as many player as the Bengals look to lose they will have to sign a player or two in free agency, but ultimately it will not be the right players. Areas of need include running back, offensive tackle, center, wide receiver, safety, and corner back. They also need a defensive tackle and a defensive end, maybe a linebacker, but I think they would definitely over pay in free agency for that and can focus on that in the draft instead.

What's out there:

Running backs. We are thin at running back and even if we draft a running back we could still use a free agent to ensure that we have enough suited up on game day. I would hate to have to see Dan Coats the running back! For a variety of reasons I did not find too many running backs worthy of spending money on. Too old, too many miles, not worthy of spending money on take your pick. When I say too old, by the way, I mean 30 or older. Most running backs peak at 30 and it is downhill after that. No sense in signing a running back to three years at 30!
  1. Cedric Benson. Just freaking re-sign him. We are thin at running back and he already knows the system. On top of that he hasn't had a DUI, or OVI in almost a year. Either he is a lot better at drunk driving now or just stopped doing it.
  2. JJ Arrington. Not ideal, but literally the second best option out there. Again I say re-sign Cedric please.
Tackles. This is another position I would like to see the Bengals address in the draft. They have the #6 overall pick and there are three tackles that I can see worth drafting that will be NFL ready and better options than just about any free agent.
  1. Ray Willis. Young and pretty good, only gave up 1.5 sacks last year. Incidentally he is the only tackle I can justify spending money on.
Centers. Again an area the Bengals can focus on in the draft, but it might be good to have a veteran center come in to show the new kid the ropes. Or just get one in free agency and don't worry about drafting one, but please god do something. Eric "The Ghost" Ghuicuc has to go! Rich Brahm we miss you please come back!
  1. Jason Brown. This guy is from Baltimore and has to practice against the Ravens D all the time, so you know he is good! Plus he is young. He might cost a little bit, but I say go for it!
  2. Geoff Hangartner.
Wide Receivers. After drafting three last year you would think that we would be fine, but it looks as though we will lose TJ (which is insane) and while Caudwell looked good, not sure about health over a full season. Simpson still looks VERY raw as well. Looking back we should have traded Chad last year for two first round picks to Washington and taken the extra money and locked up TJ, of course Mike and Marvin were busy winning a pissing match with Chad. No one listed will replace TJ, not even close, his heart, his competitive fire, his desire, and his hands on third down, but we will need a veteran to replace him none the less.
  1. Nate Washington. Great down field threat, but cannot replace TJ on third down.
  2. Devery Henderson. Same issue as Washington.
  3. Michael Clayton.
  4. Reggie Williams. Like his size and that he can block, but can he catch?
  5. TJ Houshmandzadeh. Again just re-sign him. Pittsburgh did it with Hines Ward when they let Plaxico walk and it seemed to work out pretty well.
Safety. I am always looking for a great safety. I miss David Fulcher and Madeiu broke my heart. I like Ndukwe, but still looking for the next Fulcher, not that anyone can replace him.
  1. Gibril Wilson.
  2. James Sanders. Got to love that he comes from the Patriots, you know because they actually know what they are doing. They lose their franchise QB and still almost make the playoffs. We lose our franchise quarter back and we go 4-11-1.
  3. Chris Crocker. One of ours that I would like to se re-signed. he will come cheaper than the other two and if he continues to play with a chip on his shoulder then he might be the best safety we have.
Corner back. I said before the start of last year that Deltha had lost a step and just didn't care anymore. The Bengals must have been listening for once and cut him. His replacement however, was not suitable. David Jones just did not do that well, even in the nickle. We need someone who can play the nickle and maybe even return punts or kickoffs?
  1. Bryant McFadden. Got to love anyone from Pittsburgh's defense.
  2. Phillip Buchanon.
  3. Justin Miller. And he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns!
My real guess is that none of these guys are on the Bengals radar, Marvin has nearly said as much. They are looking to get 2nd and 3rd tier guys that would be backups and special teamers on most teams, but will start here. Just about any ONE of those guys could help and in three cases just resign what we have, but alas I have to remember that Mike Brown is still in charge.

And let me just say good bye TJ. It was a pleasure to watch someone go out and play this game with an unbridled passion and untameable fire. To watch a FOOTBALL player. A wide receiver that will risk his body to make that crucial third down catch is rare in football and you are just wired that way. You are ten times the football player and more importantly the man that Chad Johnson is, it is a shame that 'ol Mikey Brown does not see that. Please once you leave don't hate Cincinnati too much, hate the owner, hate the management, but don't hate Cincinnati, because we love you!


Hoopes said...

George! TJ to Seattle maybe??? I don't care much for Stacy Andrews, but TJ??? Really? Ohhhh, nevermind... He has talent and is able to make plays and is a great player that stays out of trouble, why would we ever want to keep him??? This could be the last straw, if they get rid of him, you've heard it from me, it's off to Steelers or Colts land for me...

Cleveland Andy said...

Since this post, JJ Arrington and Gibril Wilson have already signed with other teams. you can scratch them.

i don't know the Bengals as in-depth as you do, but what i do know is that they have many holes to fill. without researching the contract status of every guy on the roster, i will guess that they need a few defensive lineman, safety, 2 offensive lineman, and a running back. Your safe at the kicker spot with your franchise guy, though...sweet.

LBs might be thin, but Rivers will be back.

If I were a Bengal fan, I would pray that they would build this team from the inside-out. draft and sign DEs, DTs, and OLs with the first 4 moves because:

1. you have to control the line of scrimmage
2. you have to protect Palmer
3. you have to be good against the run to have a chance
4. being good on the lines means you don't have to be as talented at the skilled positions or defensive backfield (i.e. more holes, more time to get open, less time to cover, and less times needed to sell out with a blitz).

I'm sure this is not how it will play out. what are the odds the Bengals have interest in Vick?