Debate the Bengals’ offseason possibilities in The Football Fan Forum
The Bengals spent their entire offseason trying to figure out some way to bring Carson Palmer out of the funk he was in late last year. They had the right idea to try to find some more big play receivers to compliment Chad Ochocinco. They brought in Antonio Bryant, Jordan Shipley, and Dezmon Briscoe. I didn’t like the Bryant signing because of how much they paid him and because of how Bryant has a reputation for not trying hard in non-contract years. His two best seasons in his career have both been contract years, and it’s not even close between those two years and the rest of his career. He’s also coming off of an injury plagued season.
Shipley and Briscoe have some promise, but rookie receivers notoriously struggle early so I don’t think they can be counted on. Same with rookie Jermaine Gresham. Palmer may have a slightly better year this year than last year, but not a whole lot. Their schedule is tougher this year and they also won 6 of their 10 games last year by 7 or fewer points. What are the chances they do that again? I also think they showed late last year that they weren’t really as good as we thought they were to start the year. I think they’ll have a slightly worse year this year than last.
Projection: 9-7 2nd in AFC North
Power Ranking: 12
Last season: 10-7
#21 TE Jermaine Gresham (Oklahoma)
Gresham was one of the best available players and gives Carson Palmer a much needed failsafe over the middle. He has never had anyone of Gresham’s caliber at the tight end position to work with so it should definitely be interesting to see how this effects him, but I’m betting it’s in a good way.
#54 DE Carlos Dunlap (Florida)
This pick is so predictable it’s not even funny. The Bengals simply do not care about character, so the low motor Dunlap makes a ton of sense. However, if you have too many players like this, it could be a recipe for disaster. However, there’s no denying Dunlap top 10 pick upside in the middle of the 2nd round and that’s a huge value. If he and 2009 3rd round pick Michael Johnson pan out, and Johnson made some huge steps in that direction last year, they could have an extremely dangerous pass rushing duo for a long time.
#84 WR Jordan Shipley (Texas)
Shipley was a bit of a reach, but the Bengals needed to get more weapons for Carson Palmer and Shipley can be a solid slot guy, in addition to someone who can help on special teams. If Antonio Bryant doesn’t pan out as a #2 because he becomes complacent after signing a large deal, Shipley can play there too. Shipley is also a great character guy which the Bengals need.
#96 CB Brandon Ghee (Wake Forest)
There is no reason Ghee should have been available in the end of the 3rd round. He has borderline 1st round talent. The Bengals didn’t need a corner like Ghee, with guys like Leon Hall and Jonathan Joseph on the roster, but they almost had to take his talent here. In this league, which is progressively becoming more and more of a pass first league, a 3rd starting caliber corner like Ghee makes sense. Plus, you never know when injuries could strike.
#120 DT Geno Atkins (Georgia)
Atkins is undersized and a bit of an underacheiver, but he has amazing upside and athleticism and fills a need for the Bengals. The Bengals badly needed a nickel rusher at defensive tackle and more depth inside as they could not stop the Jets on the ground at all last year.
#131 OLB Roddrick Muckelroy (Texas)
Muckelroy is a great value in the late 4th. He doesn’t fit an obvious need, but the Bengals needed linebacker depth and Dhani Jones is a free agent next offseason.
#152 G Otis Hudson (Eastern Illinois)
Who? NFL.com doesn’t even have a profile for this guy. He fills a need, but I can’t imagine him becoming much in the league and even if he does, what was the point of drafting him in the 5th.
#191 WR Dezmon Briscoe (Kansas)
It’s almost like the Bengals have a copy of my Big Board. This is the 3rd guy they have drafted that represents a significant value in terms of my Big Board. Briscoe could be a future #2 receiver for the Bengals and at the very least, he’ll be a solid short yardage and goal line receiver with his size. Carson Palmer has to love all of the options the Bengals have gotten for him this offseason. The Bengals aren’t going to let him have anymore sub 150 yard clunkers next year.
#228 G Reggie Stephens (Iowa State)
Another upgrade inside, but this one actually fits in terms of value. Stephens can play center as well and Stephens is a better player than Hudson, presumably.
The Bengals made a ton of picks that, in terms of my Big Board, were very solid picks. They may not look like great picks, but I really think they are. They filled a good majority of their major needs and they really did a great job getting Palmer more options and they did a great job of taking talent and players who can help this team win games.
Key undrafted free agents:
DE Rahim Alem (LSU)
RB Mikell Simpson (Virginia)
TE Jeff Cottam (Tennessee)
Positions of need:
Matt Jones alone isn’t going to help their wide receivers. Both he and Ochocinco are possession guys. The Bengals really need a deep threat to stretch the defense and take advantage of Carson Palmer’s strong arm. They also need more depth because Palmer forces to Ochocinco way too much and was completely lost when Darrelle Revis shut him down in the playoffs.
Signed Antonio Bryant, Signed Matt Jones, Drafted Jordan Shipley (#84), Drafted Dezmon Briscoe (#191), Signed Terrell Owens
Antwan Odom is good when healthy, but he rarely is. It’s time they stopped relying on him. 2009 3rd round pick Michael Johnson has a ton of upside, but if the defensive end they really like falls to them, they could take one early. If not, they still need some better pass rushers. They managed only 34 sacks last year and 8 of them were by Odom before he got hurt and 5 of those were in one game.
Drafted Carlos Dunlap (#54)
Cedric Benson is a good power back but he didn’t have a run of longer than 41 yards last year. He’s also often hurt and not the mostly historically consistent guy. If they can get a speed threat that can catch the ball out of the backfield, they will take him and pair him with Benson. CJ Spiller could be an option at 21. The Bengals will want to open up their offense in more ways than one this offseason.
Tank Johnson didn’t get arrested this year, but he didn’t play very well either so I doubt the Bengals resign him. They will need interior defensive line depth if they don’t.
Drafted Geno Atkins (#120)
Chris Crocker is average at best and they lack depth at the safety position anyway. Most likely this position will be addressed in the 4th-6th rounds, but if Earl Thomas falls to them at 21, he’d be a good longterm upgrade at the position.
Signed Gibril Wilson
They should wait for Chase Coffman, a 2009 3rd round pick who missed all year with injury, to develop, but if they feel there’s a better option through the draft, they’ll take him. They could also look for a blocking tight end in the late rounds too because they have a lot of free agents at the position.
Drafted Jermaine Gresham (#21)
The Bengals need a nickel corner so badly they are considering signing Pacman Jones. It’s in their own best interest to obtain a nickel corner through the draft. Not only is Pacman a character issue, but he doesn’t seem to have a lot of football skills left either. They will look for a nickel corner who can also return kicks because they struggled in that department last year.
Drafted Brandon Ghee (#96), Signed Pacman Jones
QB Jordan Palmer (exclusive rights)- resigned 1 year
RB Larry Johnson- signed with Washington 3 years 12 million
WR Laveranues Coles
WR Chris Davis
TE JP Foschi (restricted)
TE Reggie Kelly- resigned
TE Daniel Coats (exclusive rights)- tendered
OT Dennis Roland (restricted)- 1 year
G Bobbie Williams- resigned
G Evan Mathis (restricted)- resigned 1 year 1.2 million
G Nate Livings (restricted)- 1 year
C Kyle Cook (exclusive rights)- resigned 1 year .47 million
DE Frostee Rucker (restricted)- resigned 2 years
DT Tank Johnson- signed 4 years
OLB Rashad Jeanty (restricted)- tendered (low)
OLB Brandon Johnson (restricted)- resigned 1 year 1.7 million
MLB Abdul Hodge (restricted)- 1 year 1.1 million
CB David Jones (restricted)- resigned 1 year 1.1 million
CB Mike Mickens
CB Keiwan Ratliff
S Kyries Hebert (exclusive rights)- resigned 1 year
S Roy Williams- resigned 1 year
K Shayne Graham- signed with Ravens 1 year 1.5 million
Bengals waive WR Chris Davis
Bengals cut CB Keiwan Ratliff
Bengals sign S Gibril Wilson
Bengals sign K Mike Nugent
Bengals re-sign G Evan Mathis
Bengals cut CB Mike Mickens
Bengals re-sign OLB Brandon Johnson
Bengals re-sign CB David Jones
Bengals re-sign C Kyle Cook
Bengals re-sign G Bobbie Williams
Bengals re-sign DE Frostee Rucker
Bengals re-sign G Nate Livings
Bengals re-sign OT Dennis Roland
Bengals re-sign QB Jordan Palmer
Bengals re-sign MLB Abdul Hodge
Bengals re-sign S Kyries Hebert
Bengals re-sign S Roy Williams
Bengals sign WR Chris Davis
Bengals re-sign TE Daniel Coats
Bengals cut WR Laveranues Coles
Bengals tender G Evan Mathis
Bengals tender C Kyle Cook
Bengals tender G Nate Livings
Bengals tender OT Dennis Roland
Bengals tender QB Jordan Palmer
Bengals tender S Kyries Hebert
Bengals tender CB David Jones
Bengals tender MLB Abdul Hodge
Bengals tender DE Frostee Rucker
Bengals tender OLB Brandon Johnson
Bengals tender OLB Rashad Jeanty
Bengals sign WR Matt Jones