ESPN NFL Insider and former Colts GM Bill Polian put out his breakdown of everyone slated to hit NFL free agency next week.
Well, he may have forgotten a name or two, including Clint Boling. The Bengals guard was not on his list, despite the fact that Boling is easily one of the best offensive lineman to hit the market.
Oh well. Here's how he ranked the rest of the Bengals' free agents based on what tier they fall in, including several guys who were in the 'C' tier:
Players graded in the C range are defined as those whose durability, talent and production allow them to contribute to winning as a role player or a backup. Players who are graded below the C line do not appear on this list and are defined as those who fill specific backup roles on a roster and are not considered long-term players.
Jermaine Gresham, TE, Cincinnati Bengals
Rey Maualuga, ILB, Cincinnati Bengals
Taylor Mays, S, Cincinnati Bengals
Mike Nugent, K, Cincinnati Bengals
Dane Sanzenbacher, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Brandon Tate, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
As for the 'special veterans' tier, Terence Newman was the only Bengal on that list:
These guys aren't going to get big deals based on their age, but deserve special mention as players who were exceptionally productive during their careers. Some could potentially pay off in one-year deals with the right team.
It's safe to say Polian doesn't think too highly of the Bengals' free agents this year. Maybe that's a good thing, considering Newman, Gresham and Tate aren't expected to be brought back for the 2015 season.
As far as the best free agent on his list who I could see Cincinnati going after, that would be defensive tackle Terrance Knighton of the Denver Broncos, who made the 'A-minus' tier:
He has outstanding size, quickness, agility, balance and strength, and he's a very tough player. He is excellent against the run, and is better as a pass-rusher than people think.
Our own Scott Bantel did a nice breakdown of how Knighton would be a huge upgrade for the Bengals' defensive line.