It's hardly a secret that the Cincinnati Bengals are looking to upgrade their offensive guard position this offseason. Nate Livings and Mike McGlynn, not particularly productive in the first place, are entering free agency as unrestricted free agents. Though Bobbie Williams will be turning 36 in September and soon an unrestricted free agent, there's many that believe he still has enough gas in the tank for another season or two. Regardless of what the team does with Williams, there's still a desperate need to rebuild the position.
Last year's fourth-round selection Clint Boling and 2010's fifth-round selection Otis Hudson are the team's only offensive guards signed for 2012. The team's overwhelming need to upgrade the position has led many to select players like Stanford's David DeCastro or Georgia's Cordy Glen in your garden variety mock drafts for the Bengals, who reportedly chatted with Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler on Thursday.
If not the draft, then free agency. There's a chance that the New Orleans Saints will be unable to sign offensive guard Carl Nicks, allowing him to sign with any team in free agency. Though the contract he'll demand could be rather expensive, it's led some to alternatively speculate Baltimore Ravens guard Ben Grubbs. However that opportunity might not be available to them either.
"We've offered -- I don't know if we've offered it yet -- but we're in negotiations of offering a lot of money,"
Looking through his Pro Football Focus grades, nothing extraordinary stands out. His run blocking grade has been scored as a negative in three of the last four years (2010 being the only year it ranked positively). His overall grade in 2011 (+1.4) was his lowest since 2008 and lower than Bobbie Williams (+1.9), who we figure will return to the team next season. We're not saying that the Bengals shouldn't make a run if Grubbs is available. But, meh.