This is my first post here. I usually avoid these places as they are a cesspool of ignorance but I've read at least a couple posts with some semblance of perspective. This may be my first and my last but I will keep it real...
If you are one of those who want to bash Mike Brown for years of inadequacy in the front office- go ahead... but please don't try to use the moves (or lack there of) this off-season as examples of his poor performance as general manager. The Bengals have been steady and wise in their first two signings and we should only anticipate more of the same from here to the draft. Reading this post "Unbelievably Unacceptable!" I was nauseated by the weak logic and overly emotional rationale. I know emotions make us the fans we are but that is ridiculous. Get a grip man!
The loss of our 5th and 6th defensive lineman should only be seen as a positive that we drafted well and developed good players, who left to find more playing time. We have Geno, Dunlap, MJ, and Peko so we don't need to over pay for depth. I agree that it was a strong point last year and we would do well to continue to have the DL rotating to keep guys fresh for pass rushing purposes but we can't expect guys to stay in a back-up role when they can go get a chance to play more snaps on another team, increasing their chances of compiling stats which is how they get paid.
As for the Bengals signings, the signing of Wharton is not a great signing... considering his 30 QB pressures allowed and 3 sacks allowed on a line that was blocking for a super-mobile QB in Cam Newton. But rumor has it he's a road grader which the Bengals have always preferred and I've yet to see anyone report the $$ on the deal so it may be a situation where you sign a guy for depth/draft protection if the guys they have their eyes on get swooped on in the draft, or they take too long to get acclimated to the NFL.
Jason Allen is a pretty good signing. He is a decent CB who has played well the last 2 seasons and we payed him 4 mil. /season for 2 years... a far cry from locking up a guy like Finnegan for 5 years at 10 mil. /season. We won't be hamstrung by a bad contract for a mediocre past-his-prime, on-the-down-slope, too-slow-to-cover DB. Allen will play out his contract and they'll probably be his best 2 years and then go get paid by someone who wants to pay for a past-his-prime etc etc etc.
As most of us agree, getting Reggie Nelson was a good pick-up and we should try to keep him. But if we don't, I can already see the fanpost berating Mike Brown as others come quickly to pile on in the comments section, including the guy who always writes 1000 words on why we should boycott Bengals games and not support our team. But the fact is that they will find someone else to fill the hole and with our DL playing well we should be able to protect our back-end and inflate some other free safety's stats.
I by no means support every move Mikey makes but we have some bright young stars and 2 first rounder picks this year... no need to go crazy in free agency for another team's leftovers. We haven't been consistently good in Mike Brown's tenure but it's not because we don't buy players in free agency... Plenty of teams have a "build through the draft" philosophy and its been proven to work. But we have drafted so poorly until the last couple years that it's impossible to build through the draft (ie. trading back with rams in late first round and they draft Steven Jackson while we get Chris Perry.) I have to say though, the front office is getting better at evaluating talent and if that continues we will be a consistent winner.
*I understand if we don't resign our young players we can't say we build through the draft, J-Joe still hurts and I think Mikey overplayed his hand in that negotiation. Please feel free to mock him and beat him up over that one... even if we did make the playoffs (he would have covered Andre Johnson alot better than Pacman.)