The Bengals have a lot of work to do and not a ton of time to do it. Starting Tuesday at 4 p.m. EST, free agents can sign with any team in the league as the new league year officially begins. That means that tomorrow afternoon, it's possible for the Bengals to lose every free agent they want to re-sign. It won't happen that quickly, but it's possible.
With free agents like Andre Smith, Adam Jones, Thomas Howard, Terence Newman and others, the Bengals have plenty of guys that they need to re-sign for the 2013 season and beyond. The only big-named guy that they have already signed is defensive end, Wallace Gilberry, which is a good thing considering he was third on the team in sacks in 2012. The other deals they were able to strike were with special teamers Mike Nugent, Kevin Huber and Clark Harris.
If you're surprised that the team has struck deals with the special teamers first, don't be; it's exactly their style.
Other than Andre Smith, the Bengals' free agents are not going to draw a ton of attention from other teams. Letting players like Howard or Jones test the market before resigning them won't really hurt.
Addressing the special-teams players that need re-signed first, is the team's style. They can knock out the smaller contracts first before they head after the big fish, where they will be forced to spend a considerable amount of money. We also can't forget that guys like Nugent, Harris and Huber are instrumental when it comes to winning games.
Don't be impatient. The Bengals will go after their big fish soon and they'll be able to reel in most, if not all of them. Sometimes you have to fish for some Crappie before you go after the Great White.