2013 NFL Free Agency: Pat Sims Signs With Oakland Raiders

Jared Wickerham

The Bengals lost their third free agent on Wednesday with the departure of a big defensive tackle. It's been a rough start to free agency for Cincinnati.

Earlier on Wednesday, it was reported that former Bengals defensive tackle Pat Sims was visiting the Oakland Raiders after not gaining much interest from Cincinnati. Emphasis on the word "former". According to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun, Sims has signed a contract with Oakland, per his agent.

The Sims departure is the third Bengal to leave in free agency on Wednesday alone, with Bruce Gradkowski bolting for the Steelers and Manny Lawson joining the Bills before that. The Bengals have already invested roughly $17 million on the defensive line this offseason with long-term deals to Robert Geathers and Wallace Gilberry, as well as the franchise tag designation to Michael Johnson.

Cincinnati invested two high picks at the defensive tackle position last year with a second round pick used on Devon Still and a third round pick used on Brandon Thompson. It's likely that the team found Sims expendable in 2013 because of those two youngsters waiting in the wings.

While it's nice that the team has a nice contingency plan for Sims' departure, it's important to note that he was a key rotational player in the running game. It was obvious that the team got a nice lift on defense when Sims returned to the lineup after his stint on the 2012 PUP List.

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