2012 NFL Free Agency: Bengals Could Fill Roster Holes With Veterans

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 24: Running back Michael Bush #29 of the Oakland Raiders rushes up field against the Kansas City Chiefs during overtime on December 24, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Oakland defeated Kansas City 16-13 in overtime. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

The best way to fill holes in your roster is with the draft, there's no question about that, but it's not the only way. There is always free agency and even though many free agents aren't worth a second glance, there are some that could help the Bengals become a better team. There are always a few players that show up on free agency lists that have no chance of being picked up by any team other than the one they just played for and there are players that can be had for the right price.

Here is a list of players that the Bengals have a shot at obtaining, and players that they have no chance at signing, at the positions they need.

Running Backs:

The Bengals have a shot at signing:

Michael Bush: The Raiders may not have the money for both Darren McFadden and Michael Bush, especially if Bush asks for more money. It's likely that Bush will look to sign someplace where he will be the feature back.

Ryan Grant: Every running back wants the ball and in Green Bay Grant has to split carries with James Starks. Starks is beginning to emerge as the No. 1 back even though Grant is on top of the depth chart. I would be surprised if the Packers tried really hard to re-sign him.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis: The Patriots have like 40 running backs and they're all good at different things. If they draft another running back this year, the law firm may be looking for work elsewhere.

Peyton Hillis: The Browns and Hillis seem to be on two completely different pages when it comes to about everything. The Browns still have Montario Hardesty and they're in position to draft Trent Richardson.

Hell will freeze over before the Bengals sign:

Matt Forte: There's not way that the Bears let Forte walk away, especially since Jay Cutler is good sometimes and sometimes he's not so good. Forte is their most consistent player on offense.

Arian Foster: He has the ability to run for 100 yards and have 100 yards receiving in any game. With both Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart out for much of 2011, Foster was the offense. The Texans won't let him walk.

Ray Rice: He's tiny but effective, and like Foster, he's great at running the ball and catching it out of the backfield. Often times he's the most consistent player on offense as Joe Flacco can be a roller coaster.

Marshawn Lynch: Don't get me wrong, I would love to have Lynch, but he loves Seattle and Seahawks fans love him. If they let Lynch walk away, the fans would never forgive them.

Wide Receivers:

The Bengals have a shot at signing:

DeSean Jackson: Sounds stupid, right? Well, not that stupid. Jackson was benched this season and his attitude seems to be hurting his career in Philadelphia (a city that's seen its fair share of diva wide receivers). The question is, would you want him?

Mario Manningham: The No. 1 guy on the Giants is Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz' emergence probably makes Manningham expendable. He could be available at the right price.

Jerricho Cotchery: The Steelers used Cotchery as their third wide receiver, especially after Antonio Brown stepped up. With Emmanuel Sanders on the roster, they don't need Cotchery.

Pierre Garcon/Reggie Wayne: Both of these guys are free agents and they're both capable of being a No. 1 receiver. Will the Colts be able to re-sign both of them? Maybe not.

Hell will freeze over before the Bengals sign:

Dwayne Bowe: He's the only thing that the Chiefs offense has going for it. There's no way that they let Bowe get away from KC.

Marques Colston: Drew Brees has 100 receivers to throw the ball to but Colston still seems to be his No. 1 receiver (other than Jimmy Graham). They'll probably re-sign him.

Vincent Jackson: Philip Rivers struggled in 2011 and it's not likely that they'll take away his best receiver heading into 2012 in an attempt to fix him.

Jordy Nelson: Nope. After Nelson's year, he's stuck in Green Bay.


The Bengals have a shot at signing:

Deuce Lutui: Remember him? The Bengals signed him but he failed his physical and went back to Arizona. Honestly, the Bengals are probably better off looking for a guard in the draft.

Chad Rinehart: Rinehard could be a good backup or an eh starter. He wouldn't be a huge upgrade from what the Bengals have now. Only the guards that they wouldn't be able to sign would be big upgrades. Speaking of them...

Hell will freeze over before the Bengals sign:

Carl Nicks: The Saints won't let one of their best guards walk away. They have to protect one of the NFL's best quarterbacks.

Ben Grubbs: Baltimore will re-sign their best offensive lineman. There's no way they'd let him walk away, especially to a division rival.


The Bengals have a shot at signing:

Terrell Thomas (CB): He's coming off a season-ending injury in the preseason but he can be a good No. 2 corner for a team. The Giants may not throw a ton of cash at him to keep him in New York.

Marcus Trufant (CB): He's old but he's just as good if not better than Nate Clements. I don't know if the Bengals would want him but he could be a stopgap cornerback.

Bob Sanders (S): Sanders is a free agent. You probably know him best from his days in Indianapolis when he couldn't finish a season if his life depended on it.

Madieu Williams (S): He played for the Bengals once. I don't know if they'd want him back but they could likely get him.

Hell will freeze over before the Bengals sign:

Cortland Finnegan (CB): The Titans won't let their best cornerback walk away. Would you really want this guy anyways?

Brent Grimes (CB): Atlanta can't afford to lose him and the Bengals won't be able to afford his paycheck.

Michael Griffin (S): Griffin is becoming one of the most consistent safeties in the NFL and there's really not a great chance that the Bengals will be able to pull him away from the Titans.

LaRon Landry (S): He didn't finish the last two seasons but the Redskins are better when he's on the field. They'll probably attempt to keep Landry in Washington and the Redskins have enough money to make it happen.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Cincy Jungle

You must be a member of Cincy Jungle to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Cincy Jungle. You should read them.

Join Cincy Jungle

You must be a member of Cincy Jungle to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Cincy Jungle. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.