Well, much has been done by the Bengals in just a few days. Half of the draft picks are signed, including A.J. Green. Nice. They landed the highly-pursued Bruce Gradkowski. (Don’t let the sarcasm fool you. I think it was a good move.) They downgraded an offer from of two high picks for Chad 3 years ago into two late round picks. They frittered away the opportunity to re-sign JJoe. And Brian Leonard is now safely back in the fold.
But much remains to be done. Let’s take a quick look.
Running Back. Talks are on-going with Ced, which is good… if he doesn’t end up in jail. It would not hurt my feelings to hear that they are talking to someone else as well. PFT lists the top available RB’s in this order: Ahmad Bradshaw (let’s not kid ourselves here), Ronnie Brown (could make a nice tandem with Scott), Joseph Addai (a walking injury), Cedric Benson, Jason Snelling, and Ricky Williams (no thanks).
A fullback would be a good idea too. I may take some flak for this, but what about Le’Ron McClain? If signing Gradkowski was a good idea because he beat the Bengals twice, we could apply the same logic to McClain. I vividly remember a loss to the Ravens when he drained pretty much the entire 4th quarter with run after run.
Safety. Judging by the last two years, they best have 17 safeties on the roster, because they will going to need every one of them by December. Do they still make safeties who are good in coverage? I’ve forgotten what they look like. Oh, I read today that Madieu Williams is available. Or, since the front office is pretty good at scouting the Colts, they could nab Melvin Bullitt.
Offensive Line. This has to be a priority if there is any thought of starting Andy Dalton. The job will be tough enough on a rookie as it is, but it will be impossible to succeed if he is just trying to get back to the huddle with both arms still attached to his body. I noticed this comment from Joe Reedy on the topic:
This is one area that Marvin Lewis has said the team will address in free agency since the scouting combine in February. They still need to shore up guard with the top five UFAs still out there being — Harvey Dahl (Falcons), Justin Blalock (Falcons), Deuce Lutui (Cardinals), Alan Faneca (Cardinals) and Jason Spitz (Packers). They should re-sign Evan Mathis, but by his twitter feed Mathis is looking to join the conga line out of town. There have also been indications that the Bengals have talked to Stacy Andrews.
Wow, Stacy Andrews? That’s gotta suck for him to think about coming back here. But chasing Evan Mathis, a surprisingly good LG, out of town by sitting him so that he can be the backup center while the swinging door known as Nate Livings gets start after start is something that will stick in my craw for years to come.