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ESPN NFL Free Agency Grades

Re-signing Clint Boling and getting Michael Johnson back helped pave the way for a solid Bengals offseason.

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The Bengals haven't had an eye-popping free agency period, but they've been quietly efficient with the work they've done.

Mike Brown and company typically wait until the second and third weeks of free agency before they're real active. However, with several key guys needing to be re-signed to go with Michael Johnson becoming available, it was a pretty active first week.

ESPN's Mike Sando handed out grades for all 32 teams' free agency activity to this point, and the Bengals got a solid 'B.'

Cincinnati Bengals

Grade: B

Key re-signings/additions: ILB A.J. Hawk, DE Michael Johnson, DB Brandon Ghee

Key subtractions: TE Alex Smith, WR Brandon Tate, RB Cedric Peerman, WR Dane Sanzenbacher, OLB Emmanuel Lamur, WR Greg Little, QB Jason Campbell, TE Jermaine Gresham, OT Marshall Newhouse, G Mike Pollak, DE Robert Geathers, S Taylor Mays, CB Terence Newman

Bringing back Johnson while gaining a third-round compensatory pick for his 2014 departure to Tampa Bay stands out as one of the more impressive maneuvers in free agency. Letting Johnson leave for huge money last offseason showed admirable restraint. Bringing him back showed the team felt as though he could succeed in their scheme.

"They have been a draft-and-develop team for several years now and that is why they have this roster," Yates said. "The Johnson maneuver worked out as well as it could have. They would be wise to take care of some extensions on the horizon, specifically for A.J. Green. But for a team that has been pretty consistent in its approach, I applaud them. They will benefit from the investments they have made in guys like Tyler Eifert. I have a hard time arguing with the Bengals' moves even though they paid more than I expected to keep Rey Maualuga."