While at the annual league meetings, Bengals owner Mike Brown, as well as team executives Troy and Katie Blackburn, discussed the team's free agency strategy with the press. Many fans had grown impatience considering the Bengals had the most money to spend in the league and were one of the more inactive teams, only re-signing a few of their own players.
The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy reported on Friday that Brown believes growing in the best way possible doesn't necessarily mean throwing the most money around.
"I think what we're trying to do is grow in the best way possible. That isn't necessarily going out and proving you can spend more money than you should. Most of these deals in all probability, at least that's how it's been in the past, prove out to have lot of misjudgments. But we are planning to spend our cap money and we're hoping and we're intending to spend it on our own people. There is no single silver bullet. We're shooting a lot of small shots. That doesn't mean that it isn't going to cost the same amount of money. And it doesn't mean we aren't going to have the best team possible."
"Maybe there isn't as much pizazz in what we're doing as some wish. But I do think it's the best course for our football team both in the short run and the long run."
The Bengals have re-signed punter Kevin Huber, long snapper Clark Harris, kicker Mike Nugent, cornerback Adam Jones, linebacker Rey Maualuga, defensive ends Wallace Gilberry and Robert Geathers, running back Cedric Peerman and they used the franchise tag on defensive end Michael Johnson. Really, the only three free agents left that Bengals fans want to see re-signed are Andre Smith, Terence Newman and Thomas Howard.
The Bengals don't have nearly as many holes coming into the 2013 season as many other teams do, which is something the Bengals' front office is thankful for.
"I think we're fortunate we're in the position where we don't have some glaring hole where we feel we have to go out and sign some free agent...There is always the perception that these guys save your team somehow," said Executive Vice President Katie Blackburn.
Brown even commented on the team's lack of an indoor practice facility, which the front office has come under fire for over the last few years. However, Brown said that the only time they need an indoor facility is at the very end of the year and when they need one, they use the University of Cincinnati's.
"In Cincinnati, the way our schedule works is you need an indoor facility perhaps at the end of the year. For most of the year, you don't. Fortunately for us when we get to the point when we need it is when it tends to be after their season. So it meshes. It was a nice thing for them (UC) to help us out this year. I'd like to continue that relationship."
The Bengals' front office can't really be the laughing stock of the National Football League anymore as they have made appearances in the playoffs in three of the last four years and have produced one of the better and younger football teams in the league. While they do have more money to spend than most other teams do, they feel that they're better off building in the draft.
That's what better teams do.
I think it's time we trust them a little more than we have in the past.