So, we've finally gotten to that wonderful portion of free agency where the front office takes their collective thumbs out of their asses and do stuff. I'd like to go ahead and get this out of the way; I've drank a few beers because I'm in a really good mood right now.
I believe all of this was set in motion some time ago by the stalled negotiations with Andre Smith. I'm just going to go ahead and throw my two cents in on Mr. Moobs. We all know that he is talented, I will not dispute that. But I think we are all terrified of his work ethic (or lack thereof) and his weight problems. In order for him to come back, I believe that the only way that is possible is for an incentive-laden contract. If he get's a lot of guaranteed money, he will be buying stock in Skyline Chili. Andre wants more than the market is willing to pay, and the Bengals FO is fully aware of that. While they want him back, they're smart enough to see the things that we all see with him. This is not Jonathan Joseph v2.0. While we drafted and developed him, contracts are based on potential. Moobs' potential is to get fat and lazy more than likely. History tends to repeat itself. With all of that said, I believe the Bengals have decided that it is time to move on.
If they Bengals are moving on, some of their more glaring holes may need to be addressed through free agency instead of the draft. I think we can all agree that the current needs are a strong safety, a linebacker of some sort, a speedy running back, a right tackle in Andre's absence, and perhaps a wide receiver. I'm of the opinion that Sanu can get the job done. However, I have no problem with adding playmakers as long as other holes are filled.
Enter Karlos Dansby and Kerry Rhodes. Two established veterans that have good track records and are very talented. Both offer significant upgrades over our current roster. Both aren't exactly spring chickens either, so their prices won't be extraordinarily high. If these two guys are signed, that eliminates our top two needs that we all previously assumed would be filled through the draft. Obviously, these guys need money. While we have a lot of cap room, $10 mill is being rolled over. I believe the FO has an internal number that they want to stay under in order to have enough to begin negotiations with others next year. That's where Jason Allen comes into play. Take his $4 million off the books and there's a pretty good start to signing Dansby and Rhodes.
Assuming these guys sign, that leaves our draft needs at running back, right tackle, and wide receiver. We've got Anthony Collins still, who is a serviceable right tackle. Although he's more than likely not a long term option, he can hold his own just fine in the mean time while a new tackle is developed. We've still got Sanu and Jones at WR. That leaves running back, which I think will be addressed in the second round. That allows us to go after the best player available in the draft.
In short, as far as Dansby and Rhodes are concerned...
Do it! Do it! Do it! (via rawkdrumr22)