How awesome is this picture?
The Bengals have had an interesting free agency period, to say the least. They've had well over a dozen outside open-market players visit them and they've only signed five players since March 6th--two of their own. It appears as if they might cool down on adding any other outside free agents and their focus will be turning to re-signing some of their own free agents. After all, they did proclaim that as the main cog in their offseason plan.
According to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com, the Bengals have begun ramping up their negotiations with two key players on both sides of the ball.
With Adam Jones re-signing with the club on a one-year contract earlier on Thursday, the club has turned it's focus to two other rotational players in Pat Sims and Anthony Collins.
Sims and Collins, drafted in the third and fourth rounds of the 2008 draft, respectively, have responded well in various roles on their lines. Sims is a run stuffer that would provide ballast for a line rotation that lost a pair of end/tackles in Jon Fanene and Frostee Rucker, and Collins has started at both right and left tackle.
Collins is a former pick out of the University of Kansas who has been a spot starter for the Bengals at both tackle positions. A lot of fans have been clamoring for Collins to be granted a starting spot on the line, whether it be at guard or tackle. Most of us associated with the Bengals figured that Collins would seek and find a starting position with another squad this offseason. Fortunately for Bengals fans, the market has seemingly been soft on Collins and the team is currently working on deal for him to continue to back up numerous spots on the line.
Sims, though a rotational player on the defensive line, is and was a key component to the team's success on defense. He is stout against the run and the team sorely missed him after his season-ending ankle injury as they made their playoff run last year. It was believed that Sims was looking for a big contract this offseason, but his injury and the widespread belief that he is a two-down tackle has limited his marketability to other clubs. He would be a most welcomed re-addition to the club and would free up this year's draft, if re-signed.
Though nothing is imminent with these two players, it looks promising for the team to retain them and that should be welcomed news to Bengals fans.