Can something so expected really become either a letdown or a pleasant surprise? It's hard to imagine, but when it has to do with the Bengals and their fan base, anything goes.
Such was and is the case with the Thursday news that the club re-signed veteran linebacker, Rey Maualuga. For the past few weeks, Bengals beat writers have told us that he was an offseason priority, we mentioned his return in the team free agency blueprint piece and have mentioned it on the Inside The Jungle podcast. If you didn't think it was going to happen, maybe you've been living under a rock.
Almost as expected as the signing itself, the court of public opinion has had mixed reviews. On the positive side, Maualuga is familiar with the defense, is a physical presence, and brings stability to a corps facing depletion this offseason. Let's also not forget the boost in the run defense last season when he returned from injury.
On the other hand, Maualuga has only played a full 16 games twice in six seasons, is viewed as a two-down linebacker and has a reputation for missing tackles in spurts. There are also early indications that Maualuga's 2015 salary cap hit could be $5 million, which isn't ideal for a team looking to make "big changes" this offseason toward team improvement.
On any given day when we at Cincy Jungle cover news for this site, we incessantly scan Twitter for updates. The reactions of media talking heads, CJ contributors and fans is all over the spectrum. We enjoyed it, so we thought you would as well.
CJ Contributors And Other Media:
Maualuga's re-signing was important, particularly with there being some uncertainty with Vontaze Burfict's return from microfracture surgery— Coley Harvey (@ColeyHarvey) March 5, 2015
This was a no-brainer with Vontaze Burfict's status in question recovering from micro-fracture surgery. No need to let RM hit the market.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) March 5, 2015
Maualuga coming off his best season. Gives them a presence vs. the run few backers possess.— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) March 5, 2015
Big gap in run stuffing ability in LB room after Rey Maualuga and Burfict. Waiting to see annual $, but necessary deal.— Brennen Warner (@JustBeWarned) March 5, 2015
I can expect the Bengals to re-sign Maualuga and I can still be angry when it happens.— Joe G (@JoeGoodberry) March 5, 2015
That said... how many times are the Bengals going to re-sign the same players hoping for different results?— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) March 5, 2015
As a run stopper, Maualuga had a tackle efficiency average of 5.9 (PFF number), which ranks 65th-best among 70 qualified inside linebackers.— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) March 5, 2015
v. the pass: Maualuga secured a cover snap/reception ratio of 7.2 in the NFL, which also ranked 56th-best among 57 qualified linebackers— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) March 5, 2015
Good to see those "changes" taking place that Marv spoke about all offseason for #Bengals— Anthony Cosenza (@CJAnthonyCUI) March 5, 2015
Nice to have Rey Maualuga signed for 3 more years after the year he had. Hope he continues to produce in role situations— Cincinnati_ (@ESPNCincinnati_) March 5, 2015
3 years? I don't understand 3 years for an already old and slow LB.— Jake Liscow (@Jake_NFL) March 5, 2015
Lol. People are going to be so mad. I don't mind it. RT @GeoffHobsonCin: sounds like Rey Maualuga back in the fold at MLB— Jason Gardner (@retrojay23) March 5, 2015
@CJAnthonyCUI a 5m cap hit first year? Are you kidding me?!?!— Brett Bradford (@brettbradfordsr) March 5, 2015
For as much as we hate on the player, why don't we hate on the coaches who took 3 years to see the problem and adjust.— Ryan Patrick (@RoyleRedlegs) March 5, 2015
I DON'T EVEN HATE REY I JUST HATE THIS TEAM BEING SO HAPPY TO NEVER IMPROVE.— Joe (@JoeskiBroski) March 5, 2015
Domata Peko (@DomataPeko) March 5, 2015