Once NFL free agency officially opened on Tuesday, the first player Cincinnati brought in for a visit was defensive tackle Nick Fairley.
After an up-and-down career in Detroit that was featured more lows than highs, the best Fairley was able to get on the open market was a one-year, $5 million deal from St. Louis. It seemed like an offer the Bengals could have made, regardless of their pursuit of Michael Johnson, but that turned out to not be the case.
Geoff Hobson now reports "the Bengals were nowhere near the one-year $5 million deal the Rams gave him (Fairley)." Reading that line probably infuriated fans of the franchise that claimed, "change is coming." While that change may or may not be coming, the Bengals were smart to not offer Fairley that kind of deal.
Marvin Lewis insists that change is coming
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis has preached the gospel of change this offseason and expanded that perspective in Indianapolis on Thursday.
Even though they need help on their defensive line. Fairley wasn't going to be the difference this year, and even if Fairley had a great 2015 season, he would just join an already loaded Bengals free agent class in 2016.
To recap, George Iloka, Reggie Nelson, Leon Hall, Dre Kirkpatrick, Vincent Rey, Adam Jones, Andrew Whitworth, Andre Smith, Emmanuel Lamur, Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Kevin Zeitler and A.J. Green are all set to be free agents next year. Do you really want to add Fairley to that list?
All the does is ensure you either lose one of those guys, or allow Fairley to get a big payday elsewhere after a one-year stay in Cincinnati. Signing Fairley to any kind of one-year deal was going to end in a lose-lose situation next year for Cincinnati, which explains why whatever they were offering him wasn't going to be much.
Believe me when I say I want to see the Bengals spend some money in free agency and pull in some quality players, but I also don't want to see them spend money just for the sake of spending money.
Now, if they lose out on Johnson and then don't allocate that money to bringing in other free agents, then we can start becoming infuriated...again.