When the NFL offseason here, now is the time when having a great front office really comes into play. Now is the time when big contracts are given out to players, while others are having their contracts ripped up in order to save money.
Now is also the time when potential NFL draftees are carefully evaluated and ranked on a board of all of this year's prospects. Many NFL teams have one man who carefully overseas all of this, and may even have a hands-on approach in doing these and many other various tasks.
That's the general manager, and while the Bengals don't have a clearly defined one, Roto World ranked their No. 7 out of 32 NFL teams:
It's not entirely clear who has final say in Cincinnati. What is clear is that the Bengals have turned into one of the NFL's most quietly consistent drafters, and found one of the league's best young defenders (Vontaze Burfict) on the 2012 undrafted scrap heap.
The Bengals have a deep, young roster, and seen their win total go up each of the past three seasons. The problem is that they haven't answered the big question: Which quarterback can take this team to the promised land? Unless Brown and Lewis hit home run after home run in this year's draft and free agency, it's unlikely to be Andy Dalton.
But even getting to the point where the quarterback is the last piece of the puzzle is an accomplishment in the modern NFL, and a testament to the talent the Bengals have slowly stockpiled.
Marvin Lewis has clearly taken the GM role more in recent years than that of Mike Brown, who still technically holds that title. Whatever understanding they may have, it's worked well during a franchise-best three-straight playoff appearances.