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James Harrison Signing: Implications For Aaron Maybin

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The Bengals have agreed to terms on a two-year deal with free agent linebacker James Harrison. What does this mean for Aaron Maybin?

Nick Laham

Now that the Bengals have signed free agent linebacker and former Steeler James Harrison, their linebackers seem to be set, at least up to the draft. If the season were to start today, Rey Maualuga would be at MIKE, Vontaze Burfict would be at WILL and Harrison would be at SAM. There's really no other way to do it.

What does this all mean for Aaron Maybin, though? The Bengals signed Maybin before free agency began to possibly compete for a job at the SAM position. The former first-round pick was signed in late January. Up to this point, it was assumed the Bengals would use an early round draft pick on a linebacker like Alec Ogletree or Arthur Brown and Maybin would be a backup.

That may not be the case anymore, though. Harrison will likely start at SAM when the season rolls around and the Bengals may still use an early-round pick on a linebacker for depth and for the future of the position as both Maualuga and Harrison will be free agents again after 2014 as of now. If that happens, it's likely the Bengals won't keep Maybin around.

Maybin's contract is for only one-year and $715,000, though, so the Bengals could decide to keep him around since they won't have to pay him much. In the end, though, when the Bengals are making their final cuts, unless Maybin shows that he can contribute more than he has with the Bills or Jets, he may find himself looking for a new team before the season starts.

Either way, the Bengals have more depth at the linebacker position right now than they have in a while right now. After the draft, there's a good chance that they'll have even more depth. The more depth they have, though, the more likely Maybin has to look for a new team.