"What are your thoughts on Pat Sims coming back?"
- Jon C.
I'm game... at least for the exploratory discussion.
Originally drafted by the Bengals in the third-round of the 2008 NFL draft, Pat Sims is a wily veteran entering his seventh season in the NFL -- his two most recent seasons spent in Oakland. Pro Football Focus wasn't entirely impressed with him, scoring his production with an overall grade of -3.4; they dinged his pass rush (-2.3) and penalty (-1.7), though he did command a neutral score of 0.1 against the run. This comes after a season (2013) in which Sims was viewed as a top-15 run defender (+4.6) and a top-20 overall defensive tackle.
If we compare Sims' PFF numbers against Domata Peko's (a nose tackle and a one-technique), then Sims is the better run defender. If you're applying the seeing-eye test, Sims tends to be more disruptive, but if we're applying Cincinnati's perspective, valuing leadership and character above all else, then Peko is their guy... he's always been their guy.
Perhaps there's a chance for Sims to return... but it won't be with Brandon Thompson and Domata Peko. It doesn't make sense to have three one-technique/nose tackles on this roster, which already includes Devon Still and an army of defensive ends who rush the defender on passing downs from the three. In addition to that, if you're really contemplating this team's roster needs, defensive tackle is a favorable position for the team to address during this year's NFL draft -- specifically, a pass rusher.
The Bengals drafted Sims in 2008 and then, after his four-year rookie contract expired, Cincinnati re-signed him to a one-year deal in 2012 (he was receiving minimal interest in free agency). Cincinnati used their second and third round draft picks in the 2012 NFL draft to select Devon Still and Brandon Thompson respectively, nudging Sims out the door by 2013. During his two seasons in Oakland, Sims signed two one-year deals -- $1.75 million in 2013 and $1.45 million in 2014.
Pat Sims coming back? I wouldn't mind. I just don't think it'll happen.