PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 12: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is sacked by Pat Sims #90 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the game on December 12 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
When a team has holes, like the Bengals so clearly do, the fans want to address the needs with the "best option". Maybe the best is a draft pick, maybe the best is a high priced free agent, but rarely is the "best" even plausible. People want the sexy move. Sign Carl Nicks. Trade up for Trent Richardson. Sign Vincent Jackson. Trade Andy Dalton for Troy Polamalu, Matt Forte, and sign Peyton Manning. Sign Anthony Munoz. Swap Mike McGlynn for Joe Thomas and Jerry Rice.
Dream players and dream scenarios are just that--dreams. And as Marvin Lewis stated yesterday, "you win by developing your own players". Focusing on our own players means re-signing our own free agents, which at this point mostly lie on the defensive side of the ball. Reggie Nelson, Jonathan Fanene, and Frostee Rucker are the biggest names Cincinnati would love to have back, but another free agent requires significant attention as well: Pat Sims.
The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy writes that defensive tackle Pat Sims wants to test the free agent waters. He writes:
In the case of defensive tackle Pat Sims and offensive tackle Anthony Collins, they both want to test the market to see if they can get starting spots elsewhere.
Sims provides valuable defensive line depth, especially in run stopping situations. However, if he is looking for a starting spot then he indeed will have to play elsewhere as Atkins and Peko have cemented themselves as the top two guys. Hopefully the Bengals can re-sign Sims, however, if that proves false, then Cincinnati must search for a replacement.
Cincy Jungle's own Josh Kirkendall wrote about both of these prospects last week as they were both personally worked out by Cincinnati Bengals defensive line coach Jay Hayes. Neither player is first round talent, but each would provide depth at the position and if they progress over the years, could earn a starting spot should anything happen to Atkins or Peko. Vaughn Meatoga is ranked by Scouts Inc. as the No. 22 defensive tackle in the 2012 NFL Draft and Alameda Ta'amu is ranked as the 12th.
If Sims does indeed leave Cincinnati, he would leave an absence in the defensive line rotation. That position is not nearly as pressing of an issue as cornerback, running back or guard, but would still require attention before the 2012 season kicks off. A mid-to-late round draft pick could be the perfect route to fill that void.
Or Cincinnati could alleviate some stress and just re-sign Sims.