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Chronicle: Knowing the system and drafting wide receivers

We make fun of the argument that the Bengals re-sign players because they "know the system", largely in response to re-signing Josh Johnson. There are some draft changes in the slotting system and we re-cast Star Wars with only Bengals players.

The system... you "jack in" and information is instantly downloaded into your brain, igniting a transformation from "everyday man Thomas Quaid" into a lethal agent who fights tyrannical oppression against the weakest of humanity. The system. It's what stagnates growth, prevents freedoms of any kind, controlled by machines, the wealthy, Roger Goodell, all of whom appear far more sinister for dramatic reasons.

The system... It's the talking point that reasons why the Bengals are re-signing players like Josh Johnson, who will "compete" against AJ McCarron to become the Bengals' primary backup quarterback behind Andy Dalton. Seriously... if McCarron can't beat out Johnson, then we should reexamine this team's drafts, which appear to have improved since 2012.

Let me try this again. The Bengals signed Johnson because "he knows the system" and the team needs someone to compete against McCarron. McCarron (who has never thrown an NFL pass and didn't know the system this time last year) will compete against Johnson, who hasn't thrown a regular season pass since 2011 and knew Jay Gruden's system, which Hue Jackson continued using with his own "mix tape." Oh, the Bengals aren't the one's saying this: It's a convenient talking point among those attempting to explain the signing.

With this reasoning, the Bengals' roster will eventually deplete with retirement and free agency... leading to the team being unable to field a roster because rookies and free agents don't know the system -- therefore the Bengals won't sign/draft them. Oh, it's only meant for this particular case? OK then. The system... so complicated that rookies and free agents consult with Will Hunting, just to have the terminology translated into something more understandable. If only most teams didn't run a variation of the west coast offense.

It's the same logic with Brandon Tate, but to a lesser degree. They're camp bodies, unexpected to make the 53-man roster -- at least that's the impression in April. Yet if you look at Cincinnati's roster right now, A.J. Green, Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu are locks. James Wright should be, provided that his knee is healthy. That leaves two spots with Tevin Reese, Cobi Hamilton, and Eric Ward... you mean to tell me that Tate doesn't make the roster with those players?

Cincinnati is expected to draft a wide receiver in the first three rounds (unless they don't know the system), and that makes sense -- along with the laughable depth at wide receiver (and the concerning lack of durability). Green, Sanu and Jones are entering free agency next year as unrestricted free agents. The franchise tag could be an option for Green.


The NFL Management Council announced several changes with compensatory picks during the league's annual meeting in Arizona last month. Carolina, originally with a sixth-round compensatory pick (213 overall), was modified into a fifth-round pick (174 overall). This impacted Cincinnati's draft order, moving from No. 196 overall to No. 197. What does this mean? Absolutely nothing.

The NFL also changed Denver's sixth-round compensatory pick (No. 208 overall) to a seventh (No. 250) and upgraded Pittsburgh from a seventh (No. 252 overall) to a sixth (No. 212 overall).

As for the Bengals, they are picking at No. 21, 53, 85, 99, 120, 135, 157, 197, and 238.