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Marvin Lewis optimistic but can’t predict if Andrew Whitworth remains with Bengals

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Lewis says he’s optimistic Whitworth will remain in Cincinnati. But everything else he said fails to back that up.

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While many Bengals fans acknowledge the team is unlikely to re-sign right guard Kevin Zeitler when he hits the free agent market next week, the hope is that Cincinnati will re-sign long-time left tackle Andrew Whitworth.

Unfortunately, the team is expecting Whitworth to hit the open market and see what types of offers he can attract from other teams around the league. Still, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said he remains optimistic that the Bengals will be able to re-sign Whitworth, even if it’s after the start of free agency.

“I can't predict what happens,” Lewis said via the Cincinnati Enquirer. “We're optimistic. Hopefully things fall into place, which enables us to move sights and direction in other ways.”

That sounds...cryptic. Even though Lewis says he’s optimistic, that doesn’t come across like the most optimistic commentary. And neither does this following quote, which was told to ESPN.

"We have no way we can control that," Lewis said of what happens in free agency. "That’s up to the player and his representative and how things work. You can’t control it. That’s the way it is. You have to go on parallel paths as well and be prepared and that’s the way it works."

While that’s true, it’s not all that reassuring, to me at least. But, I still believe the Bengals will re-sign Whitworth. He’s just far too important to let get away.