No, even though I am a big fan of Drew Brees (Boiler Up!), I am not lobbying for the Bengals to try to sign him. Even if it takes putting the franchise tag on Brees next Monday, New Orleans will not let him get away. But WhoDey fans should be hoping that contract talks between Brees and WhoDat stay at a stalemate, forcing the Saints to use the franchise tag on him. Why?
Besides Brees, the Saints have two other key unrestricted free agents to deal with: WR Marques Colston and OG Carl Nicks. Both are great players at positions of need for the Bengals. So the more money that Brees takes from the Saints’ remaining cap, the harder it will be for them to sign one of both of these guys. With the cap space available to the Bengals, they can make it very difficult for the Saints to sign them… if they choose to.
Carl Nicks is the top FA guard available not named Evan Mathis, and he would be a sorely needed, powerful upgrade in the running game. Poaching both Nicks and Robert Meachem from the Saints would be a huge free agency win for the Bengals.
Landing Colston would give the Bengals a second enormous receiving threat to pair with A.J. Green. His 1143 yds receiving in 2011, combined with Green’s 1057 yds, would create a serious matchup problem for every defense that had to face the Bengals.
The problem, then, becomes that the Bengals would have to divert from their typical strategy of laying low in free agency if they want to get either of these guys. Both will command significant money. But with the Bengals poised to become a serious force in the AFC North with with an aggressive move like this in free agency and a solid draft in April, now is the time to be daring. Make it happen, Mike Brown.