Has this been a successful offseason for the Bengals?
It is tough to judge success of an offseason, during that same offseason. Having said that, I think the Bengals secured several positions of need leading up to the draft. During the tail end of last season, the Bengals needed some serious linebacker help. If there was a veteran option like A.J. Hawk at the time, we would have loved to see him on the field. The Bengals addressed that by adding him and improving depth. Michael Johnson had his best playing days with the Bengals and he is back with probably a hunger to improve on his poor showing from last season. Returning Clint Boling and adding back Pat Sims makes both sides of the line better. So yeah, I like what the Bengals have done.
Absolutely. Based off Marvin’s comments going into the offseason, I think a lot of Bengals fans were expecting more, but I think this offseason is exactly what Marvin was talking about. The Bengals added depth at some key positions (LB and DT) which hurt them last year. In 2014, the Bengals relied on guys to take that proverbial "next step" – Sean Porter, Tyler Eifert, Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Devon Still and Brandon Thompson come to mind. That didn't happen and the Bengals were burned as a result. The signings of guys like Sims and Hawk, while not sexy, give the Bengals depth and insurance and protect the team if injuries arise. This has been a different offseason in the sense that the Bengals aren't counting on guys to return from injuries, they are filling the roster with talent and I think you will see this in the draft where I expect a TE and multiple WRs to be drafted. Worst case scenario, everyone is healthy and you have great competition as a result.
It depends on one's definition of "success". The Bengals filled needs, especially on defense and that has to make any Bengals fan happy. However, the talent level is questionable with some of the pick-ups and quite a few of them are re-treads who are returning to the Queen City once again. I'd still have preferred a Nick Fairley pick-up along with Michael Johnson (despite what they say, they could have made that happen), but Pat Sims is a nice consolation prize. If the Bengals are able to extend some key players set to hit free agency next year (A.J. Green, Reggie Nelson, George Iloka, Andre Smith, Andrew Whitworth), then I'd personally be pretty pleased with their offseason.
The Bengals F.O. made some great moves overall. Getting Michael Johnson back for a great price and a comp pick? That's right up there with the Palmer trade for great moves. Getting him and Pat Sims back made sense as they played well for us. I'm hoping we get Burfict back this year without injuries. Ray Maualuga is a good signing. He played really well for us in 2014 so here's to him keeping up on that trend for '15. I'm a bit bummed about Tate returning, he's that friend's girlfriend that left him after a big fight and yet you see them together at a party and he's got that 'I know, I know, don't say it' look on his face when you make eye contact with him. Getting Boling signed is good and I like our statesmen elder backup Eric Winston inked for another year.
Yes, it has. The big two things were the re-signing of Clint Boling and the signing of Michael Johnson. The team did get a bit lucky with Johnson getting cut by the Bucs. If he hadn't been cut, the pass rush would still be a major issue going into the draft because all the other good DEs were signed by then, and their offer to Nick Fairley was reportedly much lower than what the Rams gave him. They also shored up their linebacker corps with the signing of A.J. Hawk, and the re-signing of Rey Maualuga and Emmanuel Lamur. And they made many smaller moves to improve their back-end depth and give them insurance in case the draft board doesn't fall appropriately. All in all, they put themselves in a great position to choose BPA throughout the draft. That's a successful offseason to me.
Michael Johnson's signing really saved the day, because they desperately needed a right defensive end, and it takes time to develop a rookie there. Getting Pat Sims back was a steal, but I have to agree with Anthony. They could have gotten Nick Fairley on the same kind of deal the Rams gave him without compromising the future of the team.