Pro Football Talk went over a review of winners and losers from free agency, and they had the Bengals ranked as the last team of 5 in the loser category. Now, this is a pretty liberal rating, as they have given the Redskins a winner/loser ranking, and it was posted prior to Manning's signing, making the 9ers and Titans look pretty foolish at the moment.
Now when I first read the title, I expected the Bengals to be on the winner's side seeing as how they played things pretty even handedly, which landed the Packers in the winners column for doing nothing. However, despite minor praise for the key signings at reasonable prices that they did make, the criticism is that to bring the fan base back on board the management had to at least make it look like they were at least chasing a marquee free agent. I personally can agree with that statement as going in it seemed like they could have really made some noise, though watching Carl Nicks walk in and out of the building and then signing with another team would have probably made my blood boil. Everyone who knew any inside information about the Bengals was shouting not to expect major signings, but there was just too much momentum coupled with too many resources to heed those warnings. At this point, those on a Bengals blog in March might appreciate the moves (though many still don't), but when it comes to getting other people on board they did little if nothing.
At this point I am happy with what free agency has brought about, but still feeling like something is lacking. The Bengals have to have a boatload of cap room still, and there are still some players left. Moreover, in my opinion they are still worse off than when they went in. Going in to free agency I felt as though it should support the draft, specifically the first 3 rounds which are the spots that should provide immediate impact. To me, those first 3 rounds of the draft should net a RB, #2 wideout, OG and CB. Free agency has provided depth, but we're worse than we started off and the D-line now needs a fix.
When I think about it, the Bengals have stuck to their main objectives in re-signing Reggie (even though I was all for Otagwe and having gone to school at WVU I love Sands) and waiting for the market to soften before indulging. Both of those things have happened, and there have been some depth signings. But at this point it would be nice if a couple of somewhat bigger moves were made. But I'm curious as to what people on this site think?