Free Agency Reaction: Cincinnati Bengals Finished At Running Back? Andre Caldwell Departs For Denver

+ Obviously the news of the day on Wednesday came when the Cincinnati Bengals and free agent running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis agreed to a three-year deal. This gives Cincinnati four running backs under contract for the 2012 season. Though that in itself is understandably resolved in regards with the overall roster, there seems to exist a reasonable chance that more moves could be on the way. More specifically, a running back selection on Friday (second or third round) during the 2012 NFL draft. Considering that running backs tend to slide out of the first round as it is, it would be a reasonable assumption.

But why go after a running back with four signed into next season? The reason is simple: Green-Ellis is the only running back signed beyond 2012. Draft a talented back and ease that prospect into the running back by committee system that Cincinnati is hell-bent on implementing this season.

Here's the kicker. If they go in this direction next month, then the Bengals would likely lose either Cedric Peerman or Brian Leonard, both of whom are fan favorites for their gusty resolve to get things done either during late-down situations or special teams. At the same time you select a prospect running back, because we all know that this team has enhanced foresight, then that player will likely be more talented and productive in the long-run compared to guys like Peerman and Leonard.

Either way it's an interesting thought.

+ After four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, mostly playing a slot-receiver role from 2009 and onward, Andre Caldwell signed a two-year contract with the Denver Broncos on Wednesday. If one remembers correctly, the 2008 NFL draft was used in part to rebuild the wide receiver position because wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh was expected to leave while Chad Ochocinco was in decline and demanding a trade out of the city. Though Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell, selected in the second and third rounds respectively, weren't the eventual "replacements" that we had hoped, they were still contributors (Simpson much later in his Bengals career).

In Caldwell's case, he posted 124 career receptions for 1,172 yards receiving and six touchdowns. His career-year in 2009 (51 receptions, 432 yards receiving and three touchdowns) was highlighted by two game-winning touchdown receptions against the team's division rivals (Steelers, Ravens).

Though personally I liked Caldwell, his departure isn't met with significant concern regarding the team's depth chart. First of all there really wasn't an expectation that he'd return and if he did, his playing time would have been limited anyway. But good luck to Caldwell's continuing career, playing with a future hall of fame quarterback in Denver.

+ Andrew Whitworth, Cincinnati's NFLPA representative, reacts to the harsh penalties leveled against the New Orleans Saints on Wednesday.

+ Rutgers wide receiver Mohamed Sanu is scheduled to visit with the Cincinnati Bengals.

+ The NFL Competition Committee has several proposals on tap.

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