The Bengals seem to have been in the business of picking up former first round cornerbacks all summer. Yet when one of the best cover cornerbacks becomes available in Asante Samuel, there's no noises about the Bengals attempting to trade for him. Why?It's not as though we don't have the draft picks, we do and a sixth round pick for Samuel is a no brainer.
Is it money? Well he was owed $21m through two years but he restructured his deal to make it $18.5 million over three years. That's very doable for a team that is so much under the cap, especially when we have a lot of expiring contracts at the end of the 2012-13 season.
Is it age? Samuel is 31,Terrance Newman is 33. Jason Allen and Pacman Jones are 28. Yes it would raise an already mature secondary's average age but at 31 you could certainly expect a couple of good seasons out of Samuel.
Yes the Bengals are holding back a lot of cash in the hope they can extend the youth core but with oodles of cash in the pot left and a league that has rapidly become a passing one, Samuel's worth goes beyond $6m I'm not expecting Leon Hall to be back to his best till the 2013-14 season, making at least exploring a deal for Samuel all the more sensible.
I appreciate that the Bengals do not want to pay excess cash for ageing players but Samuel would be a great signing in a need position and would give them even more flexibility in the draft.
The Bengals didn't drop the ball but they didn't carry it very securely either.