A lot of CJ posters have pointed out the fact that Geathers and Peko's 2012 salaries outweighed their production. As we all know, Geathers is a UFA this year, while Peko still has two years left on the contract he signed and Mike Brown has traditionally been loathe to cut players under contract.
However, the Bengals D-line is loaded (assuming they bring back Gilberry and Sims) with two 2nd year DTs who were barely able to get on the field and if Geathers and Peko were to leave would still be left with the following core group: LDE M. Johnson, W. Gilberry, DT (run stoppers) P. Sims, B. Thompson DT (passing situations) G. Atkins, D. Still RDE C. Dunlap, draft pick?. Since both MJ and Gilberry are well-rounded ends who can play both the run and rush the passer, they are ideally suited for the left side. Traditionally the RDE is a lighter, faster end who specializes in rushing the passer. A speed rusher in the mold of an Ansah or Mingo would be a better fit to back up Dunlap than Geathers.
Cutting Peko frees up $4.1 Million against the cap this year ($3.9 Mil base salary + $200K in incentives) and $3.925 Million next year ($3.725 Mil base salary + $200K in incentives) with only the $1 MIl pro-rated signing bonus for 2013 as dead money (see http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/cincinnati-bengals/domata-peko/). Geathers, who counted an absurd $6.2 Mil against the cap last year, could certainly be signed for much less due to his age. It's difficult to estimate exactly how much it would take to sign him but we can estimate he'll command a contract similar to the one Rucker received from the Browns (around $3-4 Mil/year) as a good run-stopping DE who'll be 31 when the season starts. So cumulatively, let's say we're looking at a cap hit for both players of around $7-8 Mil this year, if both are retained.
Rather than make a bold assertion about what should be done with these players, my purpose in writing this is simply to point out what that $7-8 Mil in cap space could be used for should the Bengals decide to part ways with these two veteran players.
What does $7-8 Million in cap space buy? Here are a few possibilities:
A new RT via free agency. Possiblities:
RT Eric Winston
RT/LT Sebastian Vollmer (may be more like $9-10 Mil/year)
RT/LT Jake Long (probably more like $9 Mil/year)
A new starting SS and a ST ace/ backup WR. Possibilities:
SS Glover Quin (probably around $5 Mil/year)
SS William Moore (probably around $5-6 Mil/year)
SS Louis Delmas (probably around $4 Mil/year due to injury history)
KR/WR Josh Cribbs (supposedly around $2 Mil/year)
A new starting OLB or ILB. Possibilities:
OLB/RDE Paul Kruger (probably around $8 Mil/year)
ILB Dannell Ellerbe (probably around $8 Mil/year)
OLB Daryl Smith (probably around $4-6 Mil/year)
So let the discussion begin. Is it worth it to allow Geathers leave via FA and cutting Peko? If the Bengals are able to re-sign Gilberry and Sims, do you think the remaining D-line is solid enough to part company with these two aging vets in order to bolster other areas of need?