For our next round table, I was still with Jack Cassidy, Brennen Warner and Ryan Harper. This time we continued the discussion on free agency by looking at which players we might like to bring in from other teams and we also discussed the possibility of Peyton Manning leaving the Colts, a team the Bengals should be fairly familiar with.
Of the free agents that you know of, which would you like to see in stripes when the season starts?
And by realistic... no Arian Fosters cause it's not going to happen.
"The Ravens were less optimistic about their chances of retaining free agent LG Ben Grubbs than Ray Rice at Wednesday's press conference. Owner Steve Bisciotti and GM Ozzie Newsome "could make no guarantees" about Grubbs, saying they like him as a player but he's not necessarily a part of their future."
Ryan H. Ben Grubbs would be a huge addition to the front line. He would definitely help shore things up on our shaky offensive line . I know the contract of Tyvon Branch is set to expire. He would be an awesome addition to the secondary, but adding him could just be a dream of mine.
Jack C. I go receiver. From what I know, Colts Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon are free agents, and with the turmoil in Indianapolis, it seems very likely they will go elsewhere. There's also Mario Manningham, Brandon Lloyd, and Robert Meachem on the market. I understand that players like Wes Welker or other stars won't be signed by Cincinnati and that even this short list is a long shot, but I'd be thrilled if we addressed out problems at receiver through free agency. Also, I'm all in on signing Ben Grubbs.
Brennen W. I like Reggie Wayne a lot too. Jordan Shipley is the most experienced receiver signed to the team in 2012, so bringing in an aging, elite receiver that can mentor AJ Green is both realistic and helpful.
Jason G. All good choices but I'm still going to stick with running back. Bringing in a guy like Michael Bush, Ryan Grant, BenJarvus Green-Ellis or Jason Snelling, even if the Bengals draft a running back, could really help the offense. I think it's obvious that Benson's not coming back and I'm not sold that Scott is going to do much better either.
Jack C. Benjarvus Green-Ellis would be a great signing. He never fumbles!--something you'd never say about Benson.
Ryan H. I would prefer Michael Bush or BenJarvus Green-Ellis from the group of running backs you mentioned. Both would give the Bengals a legitimate running threat.
Brennen W. I'm actually not a fan of either BenJarvus Green-Ellis or Michael Bush. BJGE doesn't seem like a feature back to me, and Michael Bush really wore down as the season went on. On a side note, I'd take Laron Landry in a dream world. It's hard for me personally to try and be realistic with potential free agent signings, especially when we have so much cap room!
Jason G. One guy that might be available is Carlos Rodgers from the 49ers. The Niners may re-sign him but I've heard rumors that they may let him test the free agency waters and promote his backup.
It's sounding more and more like the closest NFL team to the Bengals geographically, the Indianapolis Colts, are going to be moving forward without Peyton Manning, who has single handedly made them one of the best teams in the league for the last decade and a half. I want to hear your thoughts on the subject.
Brennen W. First, let me vent a bit: Colts fans are so lucky. They had 10+ years of Superbowl-contender seasons, then they have one bad season, and then the best prospect since Peyton Manning himself drops into their lap. Anyway, to answer your question, Peyton does have a gigantic contract due if he stays in Indy, and no one really knows if he'll ever be able to play again. I'm sad that Peyton's career is possibly over, but I think it's fair if the Colts simply want to move in another direction.
Jack C. Peyton Manning very well may be the best quarterback who has ever played the game. From a professional standpoint, moving forward without Manning does make sense for the Colts, especially the more you hear about the potential of Andrew Luck and the extent of Manning's injury. With a rebuilding process about to start, Andrew Luck just makes more sense than 35 year old Peyton Manning. That being said, Manning has given his heart and soul to that organization for well over a decade. I do not remember the last time the Colts didn't have Peyton Manning and were relevant. I DO remember the Colts seemingly starting every season 9-0 since 2002, being an offensive juggernaut and winning a Super Bowl in that time as well. Moving forward without Manning makes sense, but it just seems wrong.
Ryan H. Well if it truly is the end of Peyton Manning in Indy then I'm a bit sad to see it happen. While I'm not a fan of the Colts, I do admire Manning for the way he plays the game and conducts himself on and off the field. He plays the game the way it should be played and he's been the face of that franchise for 15 years. It's hard to picture anyone else being under center other than Manning. I can't picture Manning suiting up for any other team as well. But at some point the journey has to come to an end, it's disappointing that it had to be this way, but I don't see the Colts keeping his contract around.
Jason G. I'll have to agree with Jack. From a business standpoint, and football is a business, moving on from Peyton, considering the severity of his injury, makes sense. However, considering what he's given them in his career, it does just seem wrong to me. I hope Manning's career isn't over. I hope that if he is done with the Colts, he can sign somewhere else and make another city very happy. We'll have to wait and see, though.