Personally speaking, Pete Prisco of CBS Sports is a writer that I respect a lot. He's knowledgeable, opinionated but still objective, and he is relatively positive when he talks about the Bengals. His in-season weekly power rankings are viewed by many who follow the NFL and he is very well-respected in the field.
Today, Prisco wrote up an interesting article about which free agents would be potential good fits with certain teams. He went through each team and gave a brief synopsis as to why that particular player would be a good acquisition for that particular club.
With the Bengals needing a starting wide receiver to pair with A.J. Green, Prisco looked in the direction of one of the more young and electric wideouts that could become available.
In the Bills' Steve Johnson, the Bengals would be getting a speedy, big play threat that could take a lot of pressure off of Green. Noting the current uncertainty at the position, Prisco writes:
Best match: Bills WR Steve Johnson
Jerome Simpson is a free agent and has some legal issues, and they need a weapon opposite A.J. Green. Johnson would be the perfect complement to the taller Green.
While Johnson doesn't have the legal issues that Simpson does, he does have some other baggage. He seems to channel his inner-Chad Ochocinco at times, making up wild touchdown celebrations and has had some issues with dropped passes. Even with these issues, there's no denying Johnson's talent.
He's eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving mark the last two seasons, has had over 75 receptions in both years and has a combined 17 touchdowns. Johnson has been a major catalyst in the re-surging Bills offense and was a major contributor to their early success in 2011. In his two career games against Cincinnati, Johnson has racked up a dozen catches for 195 yards and three touchdowns (ouch).
There's a chance that Johnson would be interested in joining the Bengals. They are coming off of a playoff appearance and seem to have a lot of pieces in place to continue to build on that success. In his four years in Buffalo, the Bills have never made the playoffs. In that same span, the Bengals have been twice. Johnson also went to the nearby University of Kentucky, so he might be inclined to rejoin the are to which he is accustomed.
But, while the prospect of Johnson being added to the up-and-coming Bengals offense is an intriguing one, the point may be moot. Aside from his on-field theatrics and occasional drops, Johnson may be looking for No. 1 wide receiver money. Though the Bengals have the money to spend on a player like Johnson, he would definitely play second fiddle to Green in Cincinnati. Furthermore, Johnson and his agent have recently exchanged offers with the Buffalo Bills, making his return there even more likely.
We'll see what both Johnson and Bills end up doing, but Prisco could be on to something if a deal can't be struck in Buffalo. If Johnson is available when free agency begins next month, the Bengals could look hard at Johnson as a wide receiver option.