Though Frostee Rucker left for a divisional rival in Cleveland, Jonathan Fanene scrambled out of town for the more stable and championship-groomed team in New England, signing a three-year deal worth $12 million with a $3.85 million signing bonus. We figure if the Cincinnati Bengals wanted to bring Fanene back, then they could have afforded it -- though I believe once the Patriots came calling, Fanene was set on joining New England no matter what the Bengals offered (and they weren't going to offer much for a backup, though productive, defensive lineman). But they didn't even bother with that much.
According to Mark Neal with ESPN 1410 in Dayton, the Cincinnati Bengals didn't bother with offering Jonathan Fanene a signing bonus.
Additionally Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that he heard Cincinnati's offer was a three-year deal for $7-7.75 million.
We have to assume, much like safety Reggie Nelson, that the team didn't try hard enough to bring Fanene back into the fold, not because of the money they have, rather the lack of overall interest in bringing him back. We can't say exactly if that's true because it doesn't make sense in our minds, but we're made unaware of any devious plans Cincinnati has at this point.
Marvin Lewis offered a very diplomatic response to losing both players, but not so much that you felt the team lost their minds by the sudden departure of two replacement-level players.
"Frostee and Jon have had productive careers here and have been great teammates, and their contributions in our line rotation have made them attractive to other clubs. They both seem to have the opportunity to play a larger role with their new clubs, and we understand that. We wish them well and we look forward to being able to replace their snaps with the depth we have and with players we may acquire through the draft or free agency."
Regardless. We have to believe at this point that the team has a plan. We're obviously not purview to that plan, but we shouldn't expect to be. Only two days have passed since the start of free agency and then we have the draft next month. Fanene and Rucker were productive players when they played, but they're far from irreplaceable. Losing both players was hardly a "kill shot".