We've heard that a bulk of the Bengals activity through the first weekend in free agency, is making phone calls. Mostly to receivers. Receivers like Nate Burleson and Kevin Walter signed themselves out of the market. Brandon Marshall is being courted by the Seattle Seahawks and Anquan Boldin was shipped from Arizona to Baltimore in a trade.
With all of the movement that's happened, the choices for the Bengals, Joe Reedy writes, falls to Antonio Bryant and Terrell Owens.
Bryant has had a few issues early in his career, but he is a really good player. He is similar to Chad Ochocinco with his route running but plays with a mean streak similar to WR Steve Smith of the Panthers. When he played for the Browns, I remember him talking to one of our DBs during the game and after the game the DB told me Bryant is nuts. I think if the Bengals were choosing between T.O and Bryant, Bryant would be a better fit. Both are super talented, but Marvin Lewis hates self promotion. I know he deals with some of Chads celebrations and things off the field, but he really just wants a guy to be a football player. Marvin also likes his players to have a chip on their shoulder, and Bryant seems to have that.
On issues like this, we tend to rely on guys like Thornton who likely has the resources to do additional scouting and, just maybe, being a former NFL player might give him the insight into what to look for.
Bryant, who will turn 29 on March 9, has consistency issues. Since 2004, Bryant has played a full 16-game schedule once and his production shows. He's recorded more than 80 receptions once in his career and twice he surpassed the 1,000 yard receiving mark. While he's talented, it should be of note that Bryant hasn't always been with the best offenses with Cowboys, Browns, 49ers and Buccaneers.
Even so, does Bryant bring that much more than what Laveranues Coles brought? If I were to go out on a limb, I'd probably fall of the branch because I can't defy gravity. I also think that the Bengals have Owens targeted first and Bryant is the team's backup plan if Owens signs elsewhere. Neither veteran receiver is scheduled for a visit with the Bengals.