The great free agency debate. Do you go out and pay your way to a winning season, or do you sit back and laugh at the fools that overspend in the opening of the league year? As Bengals fans we are used to the latter.
Our guys, Josh and Jason will be on top of every story, but as a Bengals fan, here is what you can expect when the league year officially opens at 4:00 p.m. today.
The Cleveland Browns will sign a big name free agent.
They may have to drastically over pay for said player, but fans will rejoice that this is finally their year. The Browns are always one piece away from putting it all together, the fans fail to realize the Browns are a 50 piece puzzle with only 38 pieces in the box. They are never putting it together.
Teams will become paper favorites in the next few days.
Take last years' Tampa Bay Buccaneers; after ripping Anthony Collins and Michael Johnson away from the grip of many Bengals fans, the Buccaneers all of the sudden were going to be in the running for the Super Bowl. Don't believe me? Peter King of MMQB fame picked the Bucc's as the team that missed the playoffs the season before and has the best shot at the Super Bowl. Another MMQB writer, Robert Klemko, raved that Josh McCown would look like the best free agent signing and a steal for Tampa Bay at $10 Million. Josh McCown is no longer with the team and the Buccaneers finished at 2-14.
The Browns last offseason made many Bengals fans take notice (you know who you are) when they gobbled up many top free agents and then drafted some short kid to play QB. You were sure they were doing all the right things to field a winning team. The Browns once again failed to make the post season. It reminded me a little of when Art Model gave every penny he had to sign Andre Rison. This left the team so cash strapped for a player that underwhelmed, they eventually moved to Baltimore.
But, how does this set the expectations for this season?
There are a few constants that you will need to remember as free agency starts:
1. The Bengals don't have much luck when they strike fast in free agency. Think back to some of the bigger names the Bengals brought in and how they helped the team. Here, I'll help you:
- Antonio Bryant
- Lavurneus Coles
- Ben Utecht
- Sam Adams
- Jason Allen
- Terrell Owens
2. The Bengals rarely make a move on the first day. You know it, I know you do, but you will still comment at some point here about the cheapness of Mike Brown and how he doesn't care about winning. You can't help yourself and we all understand it.
3. Other teams will emerge in a flurry of activity (like Cleveland and Tampa Bay above). These are probably not teams that are going to be playing extra games at the end of next season.
4. The biggest signings the Bengals could make may be guys already on the team. Sometimes, keeping your own is really the smart play.
So who will make the splash today?
The Oakland Raiders are going to be active. They have a rumor floating around regarding almost every big name out in free agency. They could sign them all and I don't like their chances any more this season than I did last season.
The Philadelphia Eagles will also be fairly active. However, there is some trouble brewing around that team. Rumor has it Frank Gore already pulled out of his agreement with them.
One thing for sure, it won't be the Bengals making big-name moves. So sit back, have a beer and keep refreshing CincyJungle for all the latest news about other teams (and some rumors about your favorite team).