It’s becoming a matter of when, not if the Cincinnati Bengals re-sign Russell Bodine. The latest comments from Marvin Lewis indicate as much.
In an interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer, Lewis opened up about re-signing Bodine and how it’s something the Bengals will work hard to get done.
“We want to do everything in our power to get Russell back,” Lewis said. “Russell’s been, physically, mentally a tough football player for us. He was installed there as a rookie and he’s done nothing but continue to grow and get better and frankly grow into a guy you can count on to help lead the football team. I feel really good about him. So hopefully we’ll be able to get that done. I’d like to get that done. He’d like to get that done, from what he says.”
The Bengals are notorious for
being afraid of change sticking with familiarity over potential upgrades, so this is the least surprising news you’ll see this offseason.
Bodine has been a full-time starter since his rookie season in 2014, so the Bengals know what they have in him, even if he’s a below-average starter. What the Bengals don’t know, and frankly are afraid to find out, is if they can get a better player in free agency or the draft.
In theory, they could let Bodine walk and try to find an upgrade elsewhere, but there’s no certainty they’ll find that, though it really wouldn’t be hard to do since Bodine has annually ranked among Pro Football Focus’ worst centers.
The Bengals strongly value things like tenure and durability. Bodine has started every game since his rookie year, rarely missed a snap and has been here for four years now, so they’ll look to keep him for the foreseeable future.
New offensive line coach Frank Pollack has also praised Bodine publicly. Hopefully, Bodine will do better in Pollack’s blocking schemes in comparison to that of Paul Alexander, who always was a strong defender of Bodine, despite seemingly never getting any real improvement from the embattled center.