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*UPDATED THREAD TITLE* Free Agency thread


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On Tuesday at 4 p.m., the 2012 NFL league year officially begins with free agency and with it what could be the most defining offseason in Bengals history.

After a surprising 9-7 record and playoff appearance in 2011, there is guarded optimism. With two first-round picks and the foundation of three solid drafts, the Bengals are in a draft position that most teams would envy. On the other hand, fans still remember 2006 and ’11, where the Bengals followed playoff appearances with disappointing sequels.

For that reason, not everyone has bought in. That is why what the front office does over the next couple months is even more important.

If you’re looking for the Bengals to make a huge splash in free agency, prepare to be disappointed.

“Tell me what aggressive free agency the Pittsburgh Steelers or Baltimore Ravens have had. Yet Pittsburgh has been in how many Super Bowls in the same time frame?” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said at the NFL scouting combine. “You win by developing your own players and not overpaying for a guy you’re not sure how he’s going to work out.”

[b]Cap room[/b]

The final cap number is not expected to be released until Monday. There have been some reports the projected cap number would be $120.4 million. According to an Enquirer analysis of NFL contract data, that would leave the Bengals approximately $31.2 million under the cap. They have carried over $15 million in unused space from last season, which increases the total to $46.2 million.

That does not take into account Chris Pressley’s contract, which he will sign on Monday, or the tenders for six exclusive rights and restricted free agents. Nor does that account for the roughly $7 to 8 million the team has to set aside for its eight draft picks or the $2 to $3 million teams set aside during the season to sign players off the street or practice squad to fill spots due to injuries.

Almost all the carred-over $15 million is expected to be used for contract extensions for those drafted in 2010 and ’11.

[b]Areas of need[/b]

Running back: If the Bengals use a backfield by committee, who will join Bernard Scott? With the Bengals wanting a back who can get those big gains but also be productive as a receiver, they could make a run at Louisville native Michael Bush, who had 1,395 yards from scrimmage last year in Oakland.

Wide receiver: You always want guys who can stretch the field, but once Jordan Shipley went down, the Bengals were lacking in a receiver who could make the tough catches in the red zone or who excelled on the short- to medium-routes. When it comes to veterans who would pair well with A.J. Green, New Orleans’ Robert Meachem and Indianapolis’ Pierre Garcon jump out.

Secondary: With Leon Hall coming back from an Achilles injury and a lack of proven depth, they could shore up that area. Saints cornerback Tracy Porter and Ravens safety Haruki Nakamura, a UC product, should be available.

[b]Signing priorities[/b]

They would all be on the defensive side of the ball – safety Reggie Nelson and defensive ends Frostee Rucker and Jonathan Fanene.

As of Saturday, there wasn’t much movement in respect to getting any of them under contract, but things will pick up on Monday.

Nelson could have a market value in the $5 to 5.5 million/per year range with a guarantee of $2-2.5 million per year. That is still lower than the $6.4 million than what the cost of a franchise tag for Nelson would have been this year, but it was still a gamble to tag kicker Mike Nugent instead of Nelson. If the Bengals stick to their pattern of four-year contracts, they are looking at $20-22 million with $8-10 million guaranteed.

Rucker and Fanene could each command $3-3.5 million per season and are coming off career years.

Finally healthy for the first time in his six seasons here, Rucker started 12 games at right end with 11 tackles for loss. Fanene had 6.5 sacks last season. Both also are valuable because they can play both end and guard.

[b]Testing the market[/b]

It is called free agency for a reason and the feeling from both sides have to be mutual. In the case of defensive tackle Pat Sims and offensive tackle Anthony Collins, they both want to test the market to see if they can get starting spots elsewhere.



(Click the link for the entire article)


http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20120310/SPT02/303100075/Big-free-agent-targets-already-Bengals
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Those numbers don't seem to add up and that's not a very encouraging article.

But if they can sign Bush, Garcon, Porter and Nakamura while also retaining Nelson, Rucker and Fanene, that wouldn't be too bad.
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[quote name='happyrid' timestamp='1331434062' post='1104256']Those numbers don't seem to add up and that's not a very encouraging article.

But if they can sign Bush, Garcon, Porter and Nakamura while also retaining Nelson, Rucker and Fanene, that wouldn't be too bad.[/quote]

Yeah, that wouldn't be hateful. Even if you only got three, any three, and kept ours, I'd be cool with that.
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[quote name='cincity' timestamp='1331437900' post='1104262']
I'm thinking Guard and DT as our 1st rounders

(null)
[/quote]

Definitely possible and I have mentioned DT as a dark horse possibility for 1st round. But I also think that if they can keep Fanene, they will just be looking for a backup space eater type DT to replace Sims and I think they can get that in the mid rounds. For example, a guy like Alameda Ta'amu or Josh Chapman could be around in the 3rd or 4th.

Assuming a Bush, Garcon (or Meachem) and Porter (or other #2 CB) in FA, I think you're right about OG being a 1st round target. You could use the 2nd 1st rounder either simply on BPA or look at trading down a bit (maybe to target Wilson/Miller/Martin at RB). Get your speedy RB to complement Bush, a space eating DT and maybe a LB in the 2nd-4th in some order.

Not a bad scenario at all.
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[quote name='SocalBengalEd' timestamp='1331439403' post='1104269']
Why does are cap number always shrink before free agency starts. We will soon be over the cap at this rate
[/quote]

Haha, it really is frustrating. They are already budgeting that $15 million for extensions to the 2011 draft picks 2 years from now? Crazy.

Especially since from what I have read, the salary cap is supposed to go way up in a year or two when the new TV contract kicks in.
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[quote name='happyrid' timestamp='1331439721' post='1104271']

Haha, it really is frustrating. They are already budgeting that $15 million for extensions to the 2011 draft picks 2 years from now? Crazy.

Especially since from what I have read, the salary cap is supposed to go way up in a year or two when the new TV contract kicks in.
[/quote]


I wouldn't put too much stock into "[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]According to an Enquirer analysis of NFL contract data" and what their opinions of what the Bengals will do are.[/font][/color] I don't care much for Mike Florio, but I'm willing to bet his cap numbers, as well as ESPN's, are far more accurate than what the Enquirer thinks.
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[quote name='happyrid' timestamp='1331439721' post='1104271']


Haha, it really is frustrating. They are already budgeting that $15 million for extensions to the 2011 draft picks 2 years from now? Crazy.

Especially since from what I have read, the salary cap is supposed to go way up in a year or two when the new TV contract kicks in.
[/quote]






Your right its really frustrating.
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This team showed last year, that it will pursue big name players at a position of need (Robert Gallery) and will go out and sign players that aren't commanding ransom and can still make some plays.

I fully expect us to do the same this year. They will sniff around Grubbs, maybe even give a feeler to Nicks, go on and check out some free agent receivers, will most certainly look at running backs, will check out defensive tackles, and have some safety's in.

I bet this team signs at least one good player. A couple of guys who can challenge for a starting spot, and try to be able to draft BPA strictly in the draft.
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[quote name='snarkster' timestamp='1331447665' post='1104281']I'd feel a lot better if they announced the signing of Nelson and Fanene and/or Rucker either Sunday or Monday.[/quote]

Or Tuesday by 4p.

Kinda interesting, typically FA starts at 12:01a, so starting late afternoon is odd. Not sure why that is.

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[quote name='texbengal' timestamp='1331449868' post='1104283']
Or Tuesday by 4p.

Kinda interesting, typically FA starts at 12:01a, so starting late afternoon is odd. Not sure why that is.
[/quote]


probably because the image of Rex Ryan standing outside of Bart Scott's house at midnight a few years ago isn't a great image for the league. :lol:

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[quote name='Le Tigre' timestamp='1331473623' post='1104292']
I'm not really liking the probability of having to replace Pat Sims. He is more valuable than many are giving him credit. The run defense really went to shit after he got hurt.
[/quote]


I'd prefer not to lose Sims either, but on the flipside Marvin has been raving about the depth of talent at DT in this year's draft.
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Overall I think this is good news. Bengals still have more cap room than almost every team this year and it does put an additional squeeze on the other teams. A lot of restructures just to get under the cap. Again, don't expect them nor want them to go crazy but target a few key positions for upgrades and sign our own.

The only problem I have with the article is when they start adding up this that and everything else - very Hobson-esque. Not how the Salary cap works in the offseason. Simple. Rule of 51. Only the top 51 salaries count toward the cap in the offseason. Then obviously it goes to 53 plus practice squad during the season.
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[quote name='Le Tigre' timestamp='1331474253' post='1104295']
But...this depth of talent would still take time to develop, no?

In the meantime....
[/quote]


correct, which the bengals can somewhat afford since their starters are in place.
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[quote name='Bengals1181' timestamp='1331475694' post='1104301']
if I understand what I read lastnight, while they'll have some dead money to deal with in later years, the colts are now [b]$82 million[/b] under the 2012 cap.
[/quote]

I could be wrong but I think you may have misread. The way I read it is that they have 38 mil in dead money this year, so essentially they only have a cap of 82 mil. 120-38 equals 82. So it's actually the opposite they can only spend 82 mil on players on their team this year instead of 120. They prob don't have much cap room even with all the cuts.
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[quote name='JBandJoeyV' timestamp='1331478057' post='1104306']
I could be wrong but I think you may have misread. The way I read it is that they have 38 mil in dead money this year, so essentially they only have a cap of 82 mil. 120-38 equals 82. So it's actually the opposite they can only spend 82 mil on players on their team this year instead of 120. They prob don't have much cap room even with all the cuts.
[/quote]


you are correct, my bad.
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[quote name='Le Tigre' timestamp='1331473623' post='1104292']
I'm not really liking the probability of having to replace Pat Sims. He is more valuable than many are giving him credit. The run defense really went to shit after he got hurt.
[/quote]
Yeah I got laughed at when I predicted a drop off in run defense after he went out with injury but unfortunately I was right. Pat is intent on starting somewhere and I really don't blame him he deserves it. I would love for the Bengals to keep him for the rotation, start him against teams with better run games, etc... But its looking grim
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[quote name='eva4ben-gal' timestamp='1331487238' post='1104316']
Yeah I got laughed at when I predicted a drop off in run defense after he went out with injury but unfortunately I was right. Pat is intent on starting somewhere and I really don't blame him he deserves it. I would love for the Bengals to keep him for the rotation, start him against teams with better run games, etc... But its looking grim
[/quote]


if we lose him, i'd like to see us draft josh chapman, who i think has maybe even a higher ceiling. he was the main cog in alabama's #1 rush defense last year that only allowed oponents 75 yds/game.
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I call BULLSHIT ....

Everybody else has the Bengals at about 60 million under.

[i][left]"Saints cornerback Tracy Porter and Ravens safety Haruki Nakamura, a UC product, should be available."[/left][/i]

[left]Well who the heck cares ....[/left][left]
[left]If that is the kind of players they are thinking about bring in don't even bother.[/left]

[left]If a team has even the slightest interest in WINNING and they have that kind of cap space they look for some upgrades.[/left]

[left]Not just to bring in some guys who are really nothing more than roster-fillers.[/left]
















[/left]
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