Rucker and Fanene Leaving In Free Agency May Point To The Departure of Reggie Nelson Too

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07: Andre Johnson #80 of the Houston Texans makes a reception against Reggie Nelson #20 of the Cincinnati Bengals during their 2012 AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Reliant Stadium on January 7, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

Like any Bengals fans sifting through the stories and tweets of the first two days of free agency, it's hard to be happy when your team doesn't sign anyone. Even more so when they let their own players leave without so much as a hint of an attempt to re-sign them.

As tough a pill it is to swallow, the fact that the Bengals were so willing to let Fanene and Rucker go is not a good sign for Reggie Nelson's chances of staying in Cincinnati. In recent history, the Bengals have often 'low-balled' their top free agents, only to see them sign a medium/large contract with another team shortly thereafter.

The Bengals weren't willing to place the franchise tag on Nelson (which was $6.212 million for safeties), which is worrisome because Nelson is reportedly looking for around $5-6 million annually.

The Bengals have, however, reached out to Nelson this afternoon:

As for the Reggie Nelson update, Bengals did call today but nothing new in terms of progress. 49 minutes ago via TweetDeck · Reply · Retweet · Favorite · powered by @socialditto

It would greatly disappoint me to see Nelson leave, not only because the Bengals seem to express no interest in signing their own, but also because Nelson's departure would leave absolutely zero good, experienced safeties on the team.

Despite all this negative speculation, I'm reserving my anger/sadness until free agency is, for the most part, over. Until then, just remember that we are slightly over 24 hours into NFL free agency. There's still a lot of good fish out there. Check out ProFootballTalk's "Hot 100" list for a constantly updated list of the remaining free agents, or ESPN's comprehensive list of all 2012 free agents.

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