It's been widely-speculated that the Bengals will primarily focus on re-signing their own free agents instead of pursuing a lot of players from other teams that could be set to hit the open market. We'll see in the next couple of weeks if this is true when the free agency period kicks off on March 13th. One position that the Bengals could look outside of the organization to fill is defensive end.
The position group could be in a major state of transition for 2012. While the team has the talented youngsters in Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson, they have players like Frostee Rucker and Jonathan Fanene looking to hit the open market. With the Patriots reportedly showing interest in Fanene and the possibility of the team releasing Robert Geathers for salary cap reasons, it would make sense for the club to have multiple irons in the fire.
According to Carlos "Big C" Holmes of The Springfield News-Sun, one player that the Bengals could be be looking at as a guy to add whether or not the lose some or all of the above-mentioned names is Jaguars defensive lineman, Jeremy Mincey.
The 6-foot-3, 270-pound Mincey fits the mold of a Mike Zimmer-type player. He's versatile, quick off the edge,aggressive and productive. The pass-rusher recorded 57 total tackles and eight sacks for the 2011 season. The Bengals coaching staff had to take notice of Mincey’s performance in the matchup against Jacksonville. He registered five tackles, one sack and was disruptive.
If you watched the Bengals/Jaguars game last year, it was really thanks to Mincey's efforts that kept the game relatively close for three quarters. He's relatively young, productive, is versatile and has a good motor. He can kick inside on obvious passing downs as a rushing defensive tackle, much like Rucker and Fanene have done for most of their respective careers.
It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out over the course of free agency, but if they do pursue MIncey as Holmes suspects, he'd be a welcome addition to last year's seventh-ranked defense.