According to his twitter account, veteran safety Ken Hamlin is on his way to Cincinnati to visit with the Bengals. Hamlin started his career in Seattle, playing for the Seahawks for four season and then left for Dallas, spending three seasons as a Cowboy where he had six interceptions and 19 passes defensed. He was released from Dallas on April 2, in the wake of a disappointing 2009 season where he played 12 games with no picks and only two passes defensed.
Calvin Watkins, of ESPNDallas.com wrote:
Hamlin signed a one-year contract in 2007 after spending four seasons in Seattle. Hamlin earned his first Pro Bowl berth that year, compiling career highs in tackles (102) and interceptions (five). The Cowboys rewarded Hamlin with a six-year, $39 million contract.
But Hamlin's numbers declined in 2008, when he had 92 tackles and just one interception. Last season, he missed four games with a high ankle sprain and was replaced by Alan Ball. At the time, coach Wade Phillips praised Ball's work for getting the secondary in place and for making plays.
Hamlin returned for the final three games of the regular season and had 15 tackles and one pass breakup. Phillips said Hamlin was playing better toward the end of the season.
Even though nothing is official, the potential signing of Hamlin could be huge for the Bengals who are in need of depth at the safety position. Hamlin could especially make an impact on the Bengals secondary due to the fact that he is a good coverage safety. The Bengals could use a safety of Hamlins caliber to help cover deep threats and add some depth to a position that was depleted by injuries last season.
According to Watkins, Jerry Jones mentioned Hamlins contributions to the Cowboys defense:
"He is a smart player who was valuable to us in playing the role of the quarterback in the secondary," Jones said about Hamlin in the statement. "We appreciate what he brought to this team -- and this defense -- as a solid player and a competitor."
Todd Archer, from the Dallas Morning News said:
"His value was more as a quarterback presence in the secondary than a playmaker the last two seasons."
Even if Hamlin is "past his prime" he could be of some value to the Bengals. If the price is right and his presence is any sort of distraction for opposing quarterbacks when he's on the field then he would be worth it, right? I personally think that Hamlin has at least a couple good years left in him and it would be nice if he proves it while wearing stripes.
Hamlin has been tweeting Chad Ochocinco today, asking him where all the good spots to eat are in Cincinnati so if you're out and about downtown, you may run into a future Bengal.