Day one. Over. Not sure what happened with the Cincinnati Bengals, read our review here. Day two starts on Wednesday and we figure the news will be as frequent today as it was Tuesday. Planned visits, maybe a re-signing of their own troop(s).
In regards to Andre Smith, the market is probably determining his value, which may continue throughout the week if Cincinnati is unable to seal Smith soon. Consider that we heard no mention of his name among other teams, in terms of interest.
Yet this is the process every year. Insane start to free agency, where Bengals fans wonder if Cincinnati will EVER SIGN SOMEONE! Things will calm down, the smoke rolls back and the fog clears. Once we hit that stage, the undefined second stage, more becomes clear for the players and teams. However if the Bengals are unable to sign Smith by the end of the week, it may introduce additional teams into negotiations, which drives Smith's cost.
+ Interesting note in the division: How quickly are Baltimore Ravens players departing, perhaps the result of Joe Flacco's monsterous contract last month. Paul Kruger left for the Cleveland Browns, signing a $41 million deal with $20 million guaranteed. Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe signed a five-year deal worth $34.75 million with the Miami Dolphins and it's unknown where safety Ed Reed ends up and Ray Lewis is retiring. Cary Williams? Anyone?
This follows wide receiver Anquan Boldin being traded to the San Francisco 49ers because Baltimore refused to pay Boldin his scheduled $6 million. And Boldin refused a paycut, which in our opinion, he earned after the postseason. They did however sign Chris Canty to a three-year deal worth $8 million and $2.8 million guaranteed.
Here's the thing about Baltimore: We can't write them off as long as Ozzie Newsome sits in the front office. Yet we can't help but think the implications of Joe Flacco's contract, especially for deals that extend beyond the 2013 season where his cap number starts to baloon.
+ Undoubtedly some are having an issue with the Bengals signing Robert Geathers to a three-year deal worth $9.5 million. That's fine. You're certainly welcome to an opinion but we suggest not getting so much caught up in the pass rushes. In fact on a personal observation, we've purposefully stopped calling Geathers a pass rusher. He's not. Yet he provides a lot to the defensive line in his own right.
"They don’t come much better than Rob. They don't make many like him. He's a hell of a player on the field and an even better person off the field," defensive tackle Domata Peko told Bengals.com. "It's good to keep this chemistry (on the line) going. We've got a good thing going and keep building on that and it starts with Rob. Rob is one of those guys that kind of keeps the group together. He keeps everyone going and he's been playing at a high level for a long time."
Jay Hayes, his coach on the defensive line, loves having Geathers back.
"He plays every down,"Hayes told Bengals.com. "He can go out there and be in charge of the group. The things he gives you when it comes to being a leader and the amount of plays he gives you, you can't always quantify it in numbers.
"The things he does well helps us rush the passer because we play the run so well," Hayes said. "If you don’t get the run stopped, you can't get into pass situations and rush the passer like we have the last couple of years. He's an excellent run player. He understands playing with technique and being the type of player that's very dependable and does the little things the right way. That's what he gives us and we're lucky to have it."
That being said, Hayes talks about starting from scratch; defending the run first.
“We will start from scratch with the basics and fundamentals and continue on from there,” Hayes told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “We have to be great run defenders and if we can stop the run we can get in a situation where we can effectively pass rush."