There you are at work, enjoying the bright life of a quality Monday. Some of you, like me, are lucky working for organizations taking all government holidays off. Today is such a day. But it's not like I'm drinking mojitos, laying on a hammock while scantily clan beauties feed me grapes... and chocolate covered raisins. I love chocolate covered raisins. I'm watching The Departed while doing laundry and brewing my first pot of coffee I've had in three days.
On to restricted free agents
The Bengals have until February 28 to make qualifying offers for restricted free agents that's expected to be announced during the scouting combine. The tenders are expected to be $1.47 million for a second-round pick, $2.017 million for a first-round pick and $2.562 million for a first and third round pick.
I have little reason to believe that the team won't offer something to each of their four restricted free agents.
Ryan Fitzgerald - The Bengals don't want to search for another backup quarterback that's been unfulfilled since Jon Kitna left. HOWEVER: The question the team has to answer is whether or not Jeff Rowe can run the offense if Carson Palmer goes down. Personally, I haven't seen it yet.
Tab Perry - Perry has shown that he can contribute on special teams with random, though sporadic, efforts on offense when Henry and Antonio Chatman couldn't play. I would project the team to offer Perry a tender mostly for depth reasons. HOWEVER: Durability. In the the past two season, Perry has played a total of four games out of a possible 32. In 2006, Perry suffered a hip injury late against Cleveland while the Bengals had the win sealed. He missed the rest of the season. In the same week against the same team in 2007, Perry suffered a hamstring injury missing several games. He never returned after issues with his injured hip reemerged placing him on IR soon after that.
Adam Kieft - My hopeful story during last season's training camp was the return of Adam Kieft. After being drafted in the fifth round, Kieft tore the ligaments in his left knee during the 2005 Mock Game in training camp. Four days later, Kieft was placed on Injured Reserve and lost for the season. That injury wasn't healed by 2006 and the team sat him for that season as well. A foot injury during the second game during 2007's training camp put Kieft on IR. The third year player has never played a regular season NFL game. Depending on negotiations with Stacy Andrews (or whether they'll tag him), the team may be forced to sign Kieft to a minimum one-year deal.
Jonathan Fanene - When Bryan Robinson was hurt in 2005, Fanene got his shot playing three games, starting one and recording three stops. Through his first three seasons, Fanene, like Tab Perry, complimented the depth. In 2007, he recorded his first sack against Miami. Like the above, I wouldn't expect the team to break the bank for Fanene. But I would expect a minimum qualifying offer.
A note on the weekend...
Don't forget: We're tracking the team's personnel changes here -- which is available under the heading Interest Stories.