With the offseason upon us, lets look at what the Cincinnati Bengals should do this offseason. I have broken this down by who to let go, the free agency and the draft keeping track of the fluid cap room as best as possible. These are the moves i feel would be the best for the Bengals to make a run at the Super Bowl next year after being knocked out of the first round in this year’s playoffs.
Starting Cap: 27 Mil
Anthony Collins OT (UFA) 5-6 Million– Played very well once Clint Boling got hurt and the Bengals moved Andrew Whitworth inside. Solidifies the left side of the Bengals line and keeps continuity.
Andrew Hawkins WR (RFA) 1-2 Million – Hawkins is a restricted FA and will almost certainly be brought back. Very versatile player who can make big plays and plays special teams.
Dane Sanzenbacher WR (RFA) 1 Million – Sanzenbacher can bring what Brandon Tate does but is a better receiver in my opinion.
Vincent Rey LB (RFA) 1-2 Million – Rey played extremely well and made plays when he got the chance. He should be given more times to shine next year.
Taylor Mays LB/S (UFA) 1-2 Million – Mays never could play himself into a starting safety role, but he did play very well as a coverage linebacker and should be brought back.
Brandon Ghee CB (UFA) 1-2 Million – Ghee has shown a lot of talent, but an inability to stay on the field. Should be brought back cheap for depth purposes.
Mike Pollack OG (UFA) 1 Million – Will provide good depth at guard and can play center if needed too. Good, cheap depth.
Spend 13-16 Mil
Remaining Cap: 11-14 Mil
Michael Johnson DE (UFA)
Chris Crocker S (UFA)
Brandon Tate WR (UFA)
Alex Smith TE (UFA)
Dennis Roland OT (UFA)
Zoltan Mesko P (UFA)
Ogemdi Nwagbo DT (UFA)
Kyle Cook (Saves 2 Million this year) – Has been the weak link on the Bengals line for a couple years and is making too much money. Time to part ways.
Domato Peko (Saves 4 Million this year) – Is a great locker room guy, but his play on the field doesn’t warrant his pay. Would bring him back for cheaper, but not at 4 million.
Robert Geathers (Saves 3 Million this year) – Was hurt all last year and doesn’t bring much to the table for that price. Cheaper player can be brought in for same production.
Remaining Cap: 20-23 Mil
Kurt Coleman S (1-2 Mil) – Safety depth to replace Crocker.
Frostee Rucker DE (1-2 Ml) – Defensive end depth behind Dunlap, Gilberry and Hunt. Knows the system and has thrived in it before.
Remaining Cap: 16-21 Mil
Vontaze Burfict (6 years 45 Mil, 20 Mil guaranteed) – One of the best young linebackers on this team and the heart and fire of this defense. A must pay.
Remaining Cap: 9-14 Mil
1. Bradley Roby CB Ohio State – The Bengals need more talent at corner with Leon Hall coming back from an achilles injury for the second time and Terence Newman and Adam Jones getting older. Roby had a down year due to the scheme Ohio State ran, but with his speed and coverage skills, he can be a pro bowl corner back.
2. Dominique Easley DT/DE Florida – If not for a knee injury, Easely is very well a top 5 pick. If he drops to the Bengals in the second they should grab him. He provides pass rush ability from the defensive tackle position and was one of the most explosive defensive tackle prospects before he got hurt. Can also play some DE.
3. Logan Thomas QB Virginia Tech – Andy Dalton hasn’t shown that he can take the Bengals to a Super Bowl yet and someone must be brought in to push him and show the Bengals are serious about replacing him if he can’t get it done. Thomas has as much potential as anyone, but needs to sit and learn. Dalton will be the starter next year so Thomas won’t have to be rushed.
4. Tyler Larson C Utah State – With Kyle Cook no longer on the team, Trevor Robinson and last year’s seventh round pick T.J. Johnson will get first look at center, but I’m not confident either of them are the answer. Larson has been an extremely good and consistent center while at Utah State and should be an upgrade to a position that has been a weakness for the Bengals for years.
5. Wesley Johnson OT Vanderbilt – With the loss of Roland, offensive tackle depth is needed. Johnson is a bit undersized, but is quick and uses angles very well. He has good movement skills and gets to the second level with ease. Is very smart and shows an above average lower body and the ability to mirror in space.
6. Aaron Colvin CB Oklahoma – Aaron Colvin would be a second or third round pick if not for an ACL injury that happened at the Senior Bowl. With it happening this late in the year, the odds of him being ready for the beginning of the season isn’t high. The Bengals can afford to take a player like Colvin who has a lot of talent and let him sit and get healthy. It could be a steal in a couple years.
7. Larry Webster III DE Bloomsburg – Webster is built very much like Michael Johnson is. With the loss of Johnson, defensive end depth is needed. Webster may not start the year on the active roster, but he has the size, skill and athletic ability to develop into a very good defensive end.