Bengals' starting middle linebacker Rey Maualuga, who enters next month as an unrestricted free agent, probably won't return to the Bengals in 2013. Based on production issues and a second-year player expected to move inside, Maualuga doesn't exactly have a place on the team anymore, according to NFL insider Adam Caplan:
While speculation continues in regard to the future of Cincinnati Bengals MLB Rey Maualuga, it’s likely that the team will pass on re-signing the fifth-year pro, a source with the knowledge of the situation said.
Maualuga played in a career-high 1025 snaps during the 2012 season, but struggled with game-to-game consistency. The former second-round pick out of the 2009 NFL Draft started all 16 regular season games for the first time in his career.
Vontaze Burfict, the undrafted rookie, is expected to move inside in 2013. Maualuga was an exciting second round pick back in 2009. But, things didn't really pan out during his inside transition. While Maualuga's tackle numbers appear good enough on the surface, his performances on the field haven't. He overruns plays, gets sealed off by linemen easily, misses tackles and is the worst coverage linebacker in the league according to Pro Football Focus.