Another year, another Playoff loss for the Cincinnati Bengals. It appears for now that Marvin Lewis will be sticking around for another year, so I guess for now we’ll have to do this based on that. What can the Bengals do to become more than a Wild Card letdown? Let’s dig into it.
Main Players to Cut
(Number indicates cap space created)
CB Dre Kirkpatrick ($7.507 Million) – The Bengals are pretty deep at CB, and Kirk just hasn’t cut it. He just isn’t worth it.
DT Domata Peko ($3.725 Million) – At 31 years old, he’s beginning to decline.
RB Cedric Peerman ($1.085 Million)
Total Cap Space Created – $12.317 Million
Players to Re-Sign
An exclusive list of the players the Bengals HAVE to bring back, regardless of pay.
None – Again, this list is reserved for absolute ELITE talent.
The players that the Bengals should focus most of their attention on bringing back.
George Iloka (S) – He’s young, he’s talented, he knows the system. Bring him back.
Reggie Nelson (S) – A little aged, but he was a huge part of this Bengals defense. Bring him back for a few more years.
Mohamed Sanu OR Marvin Jones (WRs) – Unless the price is right, bringing both of them back isn’t worth it. There are plenty of talented rookies to bring in as a third guy. Just get one of them back.
Adam Jones OR Leon Hall (CBs) – The Bengals are deep at corner back, they shouldn’t shell out money for BOTH of these older CBs. But they don’t want the secondary to be too young, they should focus on one. Jones has been better, but Hall is less of a head case.
For the Right Price
The Free agents that are only worth bringing back for a bargain.
Whoever is left – If the Bengals can bring back Sanu, Jones, Hall, and Jones for the right price, they should.
Brandon Tate (WR/KR) – A nice special teamer, he fits well in Cincy.
Vincent Rey (LB) – He had an off year, but he’s been part of this team for a while, for the right price he’s worth the gamble.
I’ll continue to repeat myself on every article, but the main point of this is the big name players they should sign. Every team should look for depth in Free Agency. So, what big time move do the Bengals need to make? None
There isn’t any huge hole on this team. There’s no reason for the Bengals to spend a ton on any position, assuming they resign a majority of the Free Agents I said they need to. They have a great secondary, they have a great defensive line, their offensive line is intact, they have weapons. Just keep drafting and developing.
The NFL Draft
Draft Needs (CB, DE, WR, LB)
The Bengals have a lot of options with the 24th pick. Do they find an immediate impact player? Or do they go raw and build for the future? Here’s my Big Board for the Bengals at #24, aka the best realistic options for them:
- Noah Spence (DE/Eastern Washington)
- Jaylon Smith (ILB/Notre Dame)
- Kevin Dodd (DE/Clemson)
- Jarran Reed (DT/Alabama)
- Andrew Billings (DT/Baylor)
- Darron Lee (LB/Ohio State)
- Corey Coleman (WR/Baylor)
- Josh Docston (WR/TCU)
- Eli Apple (CB/Ohio State)
- Michael Thomas (WR/Ohio State)
Ideally, the Bengals will find somebody that can help the pass rush, help Dalton look competent, or somebody who is a raw future prospect.
Crazy Move the Bengals Could Make
Certain teams are stuck in weird situations. In my opinion, the Bengals will NEVER win a Super Bowl with Marvin Lewis and Andy Dalton. That’s just me. Some might disagree, that’s fine. For team’s like the Bengals, I’ll suggest wild NBA like moves that they could make to benefit themselves. For the Bengals, it’s probably obvious.
Trade Andy Dalton
Quarterbacks have value. Dalton puts up numbers. Personally, I think he has some talent, but his numbers are inflated by the talent that surrounds him. So now’s the time to capitalize on that. Send him to a team like St. Louis, Cleveland, Philadelphia, New York (Jets). Acquire a ton of assets. Like Jared Goff or Carson Wentz? Send those assets over to San Diego or Dallas. Don’t like the quarterbacks that this class has to offer? Keep them, add more to your dominant defense, and try to “Broncos” your way to the Super Bowl this year. Or save them for next year. The possibilities are endless. Fire Lewis, get rid of Dalton, and show the world that you’re tired of 11-5 seasons ending in wild card losses.
Photo Credit – http://fansided.com/2014/10/07/cincinnati-bengals-safety-george-iloka-says-team-doesnt-want-bandwagon-fans/