As a freshman in high school, my brother would drive me and my best friend Bobby to and from school in his 1974 Monte Carlo. It had a 8 track deck for a stereo, a flaking faux leather roof cover, and what could only be described as a rust paint job. On occasion, when we were feeling froggy, we would make fun of the car and he would promptly kick us to the curb to walk the rest of the way. I am beginning to feel the same way about this team, as I know I need it but I can’t help but want to make fun of it. This has to be the worst offseason in NFL history. Knowing that Jonathan Joseph was the top priority for the offseason, the team did nothing to secure his rights. As I predicted in our latest Who Dey WeeklyPodcast, Joseph wasn’t resigned and now plays for the Houston Texans. In an even worse development, yesterday it was reported that in the yet to be released CBA, only the NFL, not individual teams like our Bengals, must meet the minimum spending requirements this season and next, that according to a report on ProFootballTalk.com. What that means to us is that Mike Brown isn’t yet required to spend the money that we all though he had to spend. Mike Brown, knowing that in 2013 he will have to spend big money, is taking the approach of a Dave Ramsey Envelope System by saving his pennies over the next two seasons. While this makes sense for Brown, it makes little sense for anyone else with an interest in the team: coaches, fans, vendors at PBS, etc. Retiring Palmer, trading Chad, cutting Antwan Odom, J-Jo leaving, and not pursuing anyone of note are all moves with the goal of keeping the cash spend down.
While many fans have already given up, such as SuperFan Nick Lachey, the rest of us try to scratch out a silver lining on the hood of this rusted out ’74 Monte Carlo of a team. While I do like the signing of Deuce Lutui of the Arizona Cardinals, most of the players worth pursuing are off of the table at this point. I will throw out a couple of names that I would like to see us sign, if only so I can complain about it later when we don’t.
~Update: Lutui failed his physical and then resigned with the Cardinals. Where was that doctor last offseason?
- Running Back
- Ahmad Bradshaw – Bradshaw has lots of tread on the tires, rushed for over 1200 yards and 8 TDs last season, and is only 25. He will want a nice sized paycheck, so it is very unlikely, but he is the top running back still available. ~Update: Bradshaw resigned with the Giants.
- Tim Hightower – listen to the podcast to hear me gush over the Cardinals TD machine. ~Update: Hightower was traded to the Redskins.
- Ced Benson – Bringing back Benson is not as attractive since he may be suspended for his arrest. ~Update: Benson signed a one year deal to return to the Bengals.
- Donte Whitner – Former Buckeye had 140 tackles in 2010.
- Michael Huff – Raiders first rounder had four sacks and three picks last season. ~Update: Huff resigned with the Raiders.
- Chinedum Ndukwe – Bengals UFA isn’t a big time playmaker, but he has been a solid fill-in at times.
- Other moves
- Lock up Leon Hall. Please! You can’t lose them both.
- Sign Amobi Okoye, who was reportedly released by the Texans. He started his freshman year at Louisville at 16, and even though he is a five year pro he is only 24. I love his energy and think Marvin can make him great. ~Update: Akoye has reportedly been signed by the Bears.
- Trade Palmer. Obviously we are blowing up the team for a youth movement, so as soon as a starter gets hurt on a contending team, try to unload him for draft picks.