+ So we're still working on the catchy morning tag-line that we use to welcome the morning dawn with a cup of coffee to recap the day that was, present what we expect that day (not like there's a lot of that in the offseason). There were some good ones in Wednesday morning's post. We'll present some of the better ones in a moment, first a quick run-down:
+ It's the annual "Andy Dalton debate", where experts spend countless tweets exploring solutions for Cincinnati's quarterback situation. On Wednesday it was Bill Williamson with ESPN and Scouts, Inc.
Surrender a second-round selection (the Bengals have two) in exchange for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, tweeting "I think we now know what Dalton is... not good enough."
Curious case out of left field but we have to wonder how supportive some Bengals fans are with that idea -- especially factoring his (lack of) production during bigger games against the division and during the postseason. Not that we know that much about Foles.
However what we also know is that the Cincinnati Bengals aren't going to spend a minute debating the merits of challenging Dalton as the team's starting quarterback entering his third year, but there will be discussions on backup solutions.
Bruce Gradkowski enters free agency as a free agent and there's a belief that the Bengals could go with a younger solution as Dalton's backup. Yet even if that does happen, the Bengals still want a veteran that can come in and perform immediately if Dalton suffers a sustained injury. Rookie quarterbacks are a little fuzzy to project in that regard, first and second quarterbacks notwithstanding.
A younger quarterback would be groomed to be the team's backup solution (probably on the practice squad) and maybe one day to challenge Dalton as the starter. If Alex Smith isn't safe, why should Dalton feel comfortable?
+ Andre Perrotta argued that the Bengals should terminate the contracts for guard Travelle Wharton, cornerback Jason Allen and defensive Jamaal Anderson, all of whom either suffered major injuries in 2012 or simply weren't given any playing time for one reason or another (aka, having better players above him on the depth chart).
If our topic were to discuss the necessity of salary cap casualties, those are the three names we'd offer (and did several weeks ago). Now if you compare their salaries to the rehabilitation of their injuries, it makes sense. How do we know that Wharton will be fully recovered? Or Anderson? Allen stays only because the Bengals rarely release players if it significantly impacts their depth chart with pending free agents (Adam Jones, Terence Newman, Nate Clements). One person said wait until May, but then it wouldn't save as much due to the roster bonuses that may apply then.
We get the depth chart argument, but it's a reasonable question to ask if they're even the same player that the team is paying if their not fully rehabilitated into pre-injury form. It's an unknown. A variable that must be answered into a constant.
And if the question persists, then recoup some of that money and give it to Michael Johnson or Andre Smith. Those are two issues that won't go away and the amount of money available still has to apply to players like Adam Jones, Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap and eventually A.J. Green. It'll add up quickly.
+ Speaking of Michael Johnson, the Bengals and the soon-to-be free agent defensive end haven't made much progress in negotiations, according to Albert Breer with the NFL Network. There's still time but the leading candidate to be tagged will likely be Johnson. However as Joe Reedy with the Cincinnati Enquirer noted, there wasn't much progress with safety Reggie Nelson until free agency was over four days old.
+ Now some of the more catchy morning catch-phrases offered from Wednesday's post:
Bengals Breakfast Breakdown
Here's one of the problems we face. We have a maximum number of characters allowed for our promos (the name of the article on the front page), so we have to leave some room for what the topics actually are. Keep them coming. I'm thinking we'll present most of your suggestions for a vote later this week and you guys can name the damned thing.