The Cincinnati Bengals have many free agents entering free agency this year, some unrestricted, restricted and exclusive-rights. We'll go through all of the free agents today and argue for the team to either re-sign them, ignore them or at the very least, we're listening. We went through our re-sign immediately list and the we're listening group.Now for our "time to move on" group.
LB Rey Maualuga. This is as much emotional stinging from the most recent lost, despite the fact that Rey Maualuga generated over 150 tackles this season. Yet he struggled early and was noticeably abused against the Houston Texans. He led the team with 18 missed tackles, which is double the player with the second-most number of tackles.
Fact is this team has youth and options. For example the team could move Vontaze Burfict inside, bring Thomas Howard back to play outside linebacker with Emmanuel Lamur or a new player through free agency or the 2013 NFL draft (we have two second round selections this year).
If you were to ask me what the team will probably do, they'll probably bring him back. But then we're not in the front office, in the scouting department or brainstorming with the coaches.
CB Nate Clements. The team clearly thought little of Nate Clements, declining his playing time from week 13-16 to single-digit snaps on defense. His transfer to safety didn't work out and this team is loaded with younger cornerbacks in Adam Jones and two injured players that could make their mark in Brandon Ghee and Shaun Prater.
As long as the team keeps Terence Newman to join Leon Hall, Dre Kirkpatrick, Adam Jones and the younger players that should have a shot in training camp, there just isn't enough room anymore for Clements.
Time to move on.
WR Brandon Tate. Seriously. Have you seen him on special teams?
RB Brian Leonard. Yes. A surprising one I'm sure. This is my personal preference, which may be in the minority. Leonard is fun to watch when he plays. Dude jumps over people. Beyond that there's nothing there, except for no-cut attacks into the point of attack with no escapability.
If you suggest special teams, I counter that Cedric Peerman has advanced into that role as the up back with supremely better coverages, downing the football.
He's done great things in Cincinnati at times, but this team needs to rebuild the position and Leonard doesn't greatly benefit the position anymore.