+ What's Marvin Lewis' point when airing his displeasure after Stacy Andrews' departure? However, we slightly disagree with Joe Reedy's assessment that "Andrews and Moran did give the Bengals their opportunity". In my opinion, I never really felt that Andrews wanted to remain -- and if there's a pinch of truth to what Marvin Lewis says, then Andrews kept every deal on the table until a better one came along. You can say that that the Bengals are notoriously cheap, and underpay their players, and there's mountains of truth behind that. However, I'm just not certain that's completely Cincinnati's fault, especially for a player that eventually signed to play with his brother -- which figured to be his plan all along.
For starters, the only reason that they have compensatory picks is because they choose not to pay the draft picks and veterans who have performed well for them, and likewise to spend limited amounts on other peoples’ free agents. Indeed, this year’s crop of four compensatory picks (a third-rounder, a sixth-rounder, and two in the seventh) comes from the fact that the Bengals lost via free agency in 2008 the following players: Landon Johnson, Bryan Robinson, Justin Smith, Alex Stepanovich, and Madieu Williams.
The Bengals replaced that five-man exodus by signing only Antwan Odom.
So, in this case, cheapness equals more draft picks.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, so I'm not going to dissect that. Historically speaking, Florio and WDR are more justified in their points than not. Based only on 2008, I don't agree. First of all, if we signed Madieu Williams and Justin Smith to contracts that they signed with the Vikings and 49ers respectively, then the Bengals would have had to spend $78.75 million, with $33 million guaranteed -- both signed six-year contracts. I could be in the minority, but that's two-sack super-star Justin Smith and Madieu Williams, who was good, but hardly irreplaceable with durability concerns even in Cincinnati.
The question that I want answered is: How many total Pro Bowls were earned, in their career, between Williams and Smith? None. That's no Pro Bowl players for $78.75 million that we could have spent, but didn't, and received draft picks instead.