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Bengals Early Bird Special

Good morning everyone! I hope you all had a decent weekend that wasn't filled with work. Let's get the week rolling on a positive note, granted it's Monday. And for the most part Mondays suck.

Is this lockout ever going to end? Well it would appear as if there is an end in sight. The players and NFL owners might not be close, but the end is a more plausible thought now instead of a figment to everyone's imagination like it has been the previous two months. Hopefully sometime in July we'll begin to witness player transactions and coaches holding team workouts and meetings.

Now once the lockout is officially lifted, and by officially I mean for more than one business week the Bengals will be able to begin negotiating with their free agents and any other free agent they desire.

The Bengals have two key players that are going to hit the open market in running back Cedric Benson and cornerback Johnathan Joseph. Both have obvious value to the team, but in my opinion Joseph has more value to the team in comparison to Benson.

Hopefully the Bengals turn their attention to resigning Johnathan Joseph to a long-term contract and not a two-year deal. Let's face it, Joseph is one of the top available cornerbacks set to hit the open market and the Bengals need to retain him considering they don't have a viable replacement on their current roster and the fact that they have glaring holes at safety. If they let Joesph go then who do they replace him with? Adam Jones? Personally I'm not entirely sold on him or anyone else who plays cornerback on this roster.

But why Joseph over Benson? Well it's simple. Benson is 28 and nearing the end of his career. Not many running backs play into their mid-30's. For the most part their careers are over when they reach 30. Well maybe not entirely over, but their days as a starting running back and rushing for 1,000 or more yards are pretty much gone. And I already believe Benson has peaked for his career with his performance during the 2009 season. Benson has only rushed for more than 1,000 yards two times during his six-year career. And last season he fumbled the pigskin seven times.

Benson has never been an outstanding or "game-changing" type of player. He is simply a "dime-a-dozen" talent and it should be in the best interest of the Bengals to replace him. The Bengals could let Bernard Scott be the main weapon for the running game for a season. Save the money that would be used on Benson and use it towards retaining Joseph.

In a perfect world the Bengals would bring back both Joseph and Benson. Let's face it, if the world was perfect then I would be able carry a light saber with me, own a landspeeder, and grow a mustache for once in my life. But life is far from perfect and only one of the them will be returning to Cincinnati next season.

Here is what you may have missed or overlooked from the weekend.

  • Dontay Moch's former defensive coordinator believes he is capable of making the transition to outside linebacker. Hopefully his performance from his last three seasons at Nevada will transfer to success in the NFL.
  • Ben-GALS cheerleader Sarah Jones told her story on ABC's 20/20. I feel sorry for her that she's in a situation like this. Hopefully her reputation will return to what it once was, but only time will tell.
  • Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco is doing his homework by studying rookie quarterback Andy Dalton. Well, hopefully this is a sign that Ochocinco is returning to reality.
  • Former Bengals wide reciever Terrell Owens had surgery to repair a torn ACL.
  • Chad Ochocinco is going to wrestle alligators. That's not a typo. I promise. I was just as confused as you are when I read that. Isn't he a football player last time I checked and not Steve Irwin.
  • A poll was conducted in order to help determine the best Bengals player of all-time to wear the number 59, 58, 53, and 52. Cast your votes! We also revealed the best Bengals of all-time to wear numbers 41-50.
  • Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden intends to take "baby steps"with the team. That's probably good idea considering it is still unknown as to how much preparation teams willl have before the season starts, whenever that is.
  • College rivalries live on for former players. Rivalries live on in everyone involved in sports from the front office, to the coaching staff, to the players, and even the fans.
  • According to ESPN's John Clayton, the Bengals could be negatively affected by a new salary plan.
  • The Bengals are holding a job fair despite the lockout. Hey a job is a job, right?
  • The Bengals and NFL Grassroots program granted $200,000 to Woodward High School for a new football field.
  • Jason La Confora believes that Bruce Gradkowski to the Bengals could make sense. I can see why it would make sense from a financial standpoint, but he isn't my first choice for a veteran quarterback for the Bengals.
  • Recently drafted Bengals wide reciever Ryan Whalen could potentially cut into Andre Caldwell's playing time. It's time for Caldwell to prove his value to the team if he wants to have a future here. I think he has been too inconsistent over his career. Hopefully he can piece it together this season.