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Are The Bengals Playing A High-Risk Game With Reggie Nelson?

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There's a certain part of us that's never truly believed Cincinnati's perceived disregard with Reggie Nelson, allowing the team's best safety in 2011 to leave for the open market and move on with Taylor Mays and Robert Sands. Sure. We can make quick and emotional conclusions when they've generated minimal effort for an extension, or franchise their place-kicker over their starting safety. Who hasn't reached that conclusion? Though since we're grunts not purview to the General's plans, we can only assume so much. For instance we can assume that Cincinnati is playing coy, as strategists, rather than cash-starved megalomaniacs that some believe.

Last week we hinted that the Bengals might be interested in bringing Nelson back, but rather than capitulating to whatever inflated value that Nelson and his representatives have assigned him, the Bengals simply said, "go ahead. Test the market." And during that time only one team (Jets) was known to have reported interest, with a never-fail-to-appear "mystery" teams showing up, likely generated by agents to further inflate the demand and therefore increase the value.

The Bengals watched, observed and now that the New York Jets have offered Nelson a contract, the free safety isn't so quick to sign. Waiting on a deal from the Cincinnati Bengals? Or maybe this mystery team, largely believed to be the Miami Dolphins, is making a run. In a more delusional mind, maybe this is the Bengals reaction after discovering what Nelson's market truly is after a single contract offer from the Jets. They're offering how much? Let's add another year, or perhaps added guaranteed money.

Either way we'll find out tomorrow. Did the Bengals learn their lesson with Johnathan Joseph, playing a game of high-risk, waiting until the offer is made before swinging down and making a better one -- like what Houston did to Cincinnati? Or is this the Bengals of old, realizing all of the sudden that their out of toilet paper at three in the morning?