Not much happened for the Cincinnati Bengals on the fourth day of free agency, but at least we know a little more than we did before.
Thomas Howard's visit with the Miami Dolphins has come and gone without a deal, though that doesn't necessarily mean nothing can happen. Generally speaking most deals either happen without a visit or before the free agent leaves. There's no known teams expressing interest and we're not sure how much interest Cincinnati has bringing Howard back.
"With four backers heading into free agency (Lawson signed with Buffalo earlier in the week while Skuta went the 49ers and WILL backer Thomas Howard visited Miami), the plan appeared to draft an outside backer fairly early as well pursue a veteran backup in free agency," writes Geoff Hobson with Bengals.com. "With up to possibly 10 draft picks, they could also draft another one late."
While Howard remains unsigned with limited league interest, the Bengals can relax and maybe even put off signing Howard until after the NFL draft. Along with having reduced costs, the additional time allows for added rehabilitation to prove that his knee is worth an investment.
+ Defensive end Michael Johnson become only the third player that received a franchise tag to sign his one-year tender on Friday. Johnson is due $11.175 million in 2013, all of it guaranteed.
Happy to be back with the @bengals for another year. Working to be even better next season!— Michael Johnson (@MJ9TRE) March 15, 2013
+ Apparently the meeting between the Cincinnati Bengals and return specialist Ted Ginn Jr. went well enough that the sides are expected to chat.
+ There's a feeling that the Cincinnati Bengals could be moving on Adam Jones soon, now that there's a momentary waiting period on Ben Dogra, who represents Andre Smith and Terence Newman, but also offensive tackle Jake Long.
+ Talks are picking up between Cincinnati and Rey Maualuga for an eventual return. The belief is for SAM linebacker, not MIKE.
+ Mike Goodson, who visited with the Bengals on Wednesday, signed a three-year deal with the New York Jets on Friday.
+ Former Bears and Steelers tight end Matt Spaeth visited Cincinnati on Friday. According to reports, a deal doesn't appear imminent.
+ Bengals wide receiver Andrew Hawkins suggests running back LaRod Stephens-Howling. Brian Leonard goes, "dude". Hawkins amended:
just so to be clear. My suggestion was IF Brian Leonard elects to move on.. Hes my # 1 choice. @brian40leonard— Andrew Hawkins(@YoungBabyHawk) March 16, 2013
+ Safety Reggie Nelson earned a $1 million roster bonus on Friday.
+ Backup linebacker and special teams player Dan Skuta signed a two-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers.