Much speculation, compounded by comments from Mike Zimmer last month and wide-spread speculation, hinted that the Cincinnati Bengals would be open to bringing Rey Maualuga back, but not as the team's starting middle linebacker. It was a reasonable idea to move Maualuga back to a position where he was the most successful (compared to his transition inside); an idea many fans were open to.
Not so fast (sorry for the Lee Corso cliche, just seemed appropriate).
Cincinnati signed Maualuga to a two-year deal worth $6.5 million with a $2.5 million signing bonus on Monday. When asked if Maualuga would make the move to SAM, head coach Marvin Lewis quashed the speculation.
Lewis on if Maualuga would move to SAM: "I don't anticipate any change. I think things will be good the way they are."— Joe Reedy (@joereedy) March 18, 2013
Those comments suggests that Maualuga remains in the middle with Vontaze Burfict stations himself at WILL, where he played last season. But then it's not like Lewis says one thing and ends up doing another later. Not. At. All.
So you don't wreck my website, just file it under "typical ambiguous comments that Lewis says this time of year".
Maualuga for his part is open to playing SAM, but prefers MIKE.
More Maualuga: Coach said might keep him in the middle. I would love to stay at MIKE but if it helps the team I'll play SAM— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) March 18, 2013
More Maualuga: "I felt like I want to come back and reidentify myself and make things better."— Joe Reedy (@joereedy) March 18, 2013
"I feel like I needed to come back because I have unfinished business," Maualuga says. "Hopefully I can erase all doubters."— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) March 18, 2013