Yes, I'm a freak for RSS Feeds. Everything is always there, right there, all together, in front of you. For the lack of a better description, RSS Feeds totally rocks hardcore. Sometimes, they don't. Like when ESPN changes he RSS address, making me overlook the fact that James Walker hasn't spoken a word for two weeks. Some would say, "hell yes." While he can be suffocating with his "whoa, the Bengals are the Bengals until they prove me wrong" diatribe that makes me believe that only the Bengals are the ones forced to redeem themselves with a Super Bowl championship, he does bring up good information and good points.
In the two weeks that I've lost sleep missing James, he's reviewed some interesting things related to the Bengals. One, being a mailbag response regarding Marvin Lewis, Cedric Benson and Johnathan Joseph; all three are on the final year under contract.
Joseph, in my opinion, has the least chance of getting an extension after this season simply because of the money that's involved with great cornerbacks. We will take a look at what his price tag could be later this week. Benson is interested in a new deal and he's a great fit in Cincinnati. So Benson is a possibility by the end of next season. But Lewis is the tricky one, because to my knowledge this is about more than money. It also has to do with overall direction, and that's why this negotiation is so difficult to gauge. I know the Bengals have reached out to Lewis, but I'm not sure how easy or difficult it would be for both parties to reach a middle ground.
The one topic for discussion is Walker's belief that the Bengals could elect to let Johnathan Joseph leave for free agency considering the cost to keep Joseph and Leon Hall, who will be a free agent after the 2011 season, would be too high. If you compare Joseph to the league's best cornerbacks, expect the contract to be just as similar. Walker provides the numbers of the top-six highest paid corners in the league:
It's still a long way before this becomes a major issue. Though you have to wonder how much effort the Bengals will put into keeping Joseph, if they view other personnel with more priority. Brandon Johnson, Dhani Jones and Jonathan Fanene are just a few that will be free agents after this season.
Still, the question should be asked. If you were the general manager, what would you do? Sign both Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall to long-term deals? Just sign one? Would they be better off in the long-term grooming another player to replace one of the two corners?