November 27, 2014

Offseason Wish List: Cake?

With the right moves this offseason, the Bengals can have their cake and eat it too.

At this point in the offseason, virtually nothing has been settled. With the exception of a few contract extensions and some combine workouts, most everything is the same now as it was a few weeks ago.

So it makes sense to ask the question now while the slate is clean. What do you want this offseason? For now, the world is perfect, no players have left, and none have been signed for too much money. Plus, the Bengals still sit pretty with two-first round picks in April’s draft.

So what do you want them to do? Who should they target? Give me your offseason wish list.  Here’s mine:

1) Sign Ravens guard Ben Grubbs. Baltimore seems likely to place the franchise tag on running back Ray Rice, leaving Grubbs open for negotiations. Why not weaken an opponent and bolster your team with a productive player who is familiar with the AFC North? Seems like a no-brainer to me if his contract numbers are reasonable.

2) Sign Robert Meachem. Meachem may not be a big name, but he’s a young player who has been productive and is entering his prime. New Orleans has a lot of free agents to look after (including Drew Brees, Marques Colston, and Carl Nicks) so Cincy might able to sell Meachem on the single coverage frequently available opposite A.J. Green. With Jermaine Gresham, Jordan Shipley, and Andrew Hawkins working the middle of the field, Green and Meachem would be an exciting tandem on the outside.

3) Re-sign Reggie Nelson, Kelly Jennings, Jon Fanene, and Pat Sims. Sims should be fairly cheap, since he will be recovering from an injury, but he’s a good run-stuffer and a solid contributor at tackle. Fanene is versatile and productive and can provide some pass rush from multiple spots if needed. Jennings isn’t an ideal No. 2, but he improved, in my opinion, later in the season and can probably play steady, if not spectacular football until Leon Hall recovers. Nelson fills a similar role. He may not be the best player available at his position, but he’s better than what the Bengals have behind him for now. Both corner and safety could be addressed in the draft as well, but re-signing Jennings and Nelson gives the Bengals some depth heading into it, allowing the team to target the best player available.

4) Draft the best players available. If Trent Richardson is available at No. 17, you have to take him. I’d even be willing to trade some later picks (maybe a 4th?) to move up a few spots if need be. Richardson averaged over 5 yards a carry in the nation’s toughest conference and is getting compared to Adrian Peterson. If I can add that type of player to an offense that already has some solid pieces, I do it. If Richardson is gone, maybe a guard like Dave DeCastro or Cordy Glenn is the best option. Fine. Maybe it’s Alabama defensive backs Mark Barron or Dre Kirkpatrick that are the best options. That’s fine too. The only thing I don’t want are character risks or reaches for a specific position. Give me a high-character guy with some legitimate talent and he will make the team better. Forget positions and areas of need, if the Bengals get the best values at pick No. 17 and 21 that they can, this team is in spectacular shape for the years to come.

Think about it for a second. Before the draft even starts, the Bengals have Ben Grubbs at guard and Robert Meachem at wideout, and last year’s defense is virtually intact. It makes the draft wide open. And the newest players become icing on a well-made cake.

Sounds delicious.

So that’s my offseason wish list. What’s yours?.

Comments

  1. PorkChop says:

    Sounds good but I heard Simms wants to test the market for a starting role. I really feel we need a CB in rd 1 and another in a later round. If FA goes as your wish list goes then we should go all in for Richardson. Pass rusher in FA would be nice and with the situation in Huston; might be a awesome one going to FA and we got plenty of room under cap to bring him in. WhoDey!

  2. Travis says:

    With all the cap space we have i think we need to decide on which FA’s to go after and go hard. I like your idea bout getting Grubbs. You made all the right points on why we should. I like Meachem as well. There are so many FA WR (Garcon) that I’m confident we get a good one. If I’m right about this one Tracy Porter is another Saint that they might not be able to keep. He could fill a need real quick. Sign our guys back Like Fanene, Nelson, and I totally agree with you about Jennings. He stepped up last yr when his name was called. We tag Nugent. I differ a little on Simms. I like Rucker better there. As for the draft, and as we all know its going to depend on how FA goes, and if it goes down like we agree then you load up the D in the 1st Rd. At 17 we go CB and at 21 we go CB. come back in Rd 2 and get our RB. T.Rich is nice and if he’s there at 17 (which he won’t) you grab him without hesitation. But remember that there are at least 4 other RB’s in this yrs draft that I’m good with. My personal fav is D.Martin. He’s is #2 on my top 5 RB’s esp. cause of what we could get before him and where we can get him. So my list includes: Grubbs, Meachem or Garcon, maybe Tracy Porter, get our guys back I named, and load up the D in 1st Rd and get D.Martin in 2nd. After that we filling up on cake and winning AFC North. WHODEYALLDAY!!!

  3. Bill says:

    1. Make a statement to the NFL that the Bengals are serious about winning by signing a couple of good free agents: Carl Nicks or Ben Grubbs (probably Grubbs since Nicks will likely get tagged) at OG and serious threat as a #2 WR, like Meachem, Stevie Johnson, Wayne, or someone else on that level.

    2. Draft a productive RB and another guard for depth. If the comparisons to AP are legit, I’m OK with being a little aggressive to get Richardson. I’m OK with waiting on a guy like Martin too. But they have to improve the O-line at the same time. (The last thing I want is to see yet another high RB pick go down with a knee injury.) But with a better run blocking line and productive running game, this offense will improve significantly.

    3. Re-sign at least two of Fanene, Rucker and Sims. The D-line was the heart of the defense, and they have to keep that going. Re-sign Manny Lawson, Brandon Johnson and Reggie Nelson. I wasn’t thrilled with Jennings, but they need bodies with experience at CB so re-signing him and bringing in another decent CB (I’m not calling for great on this one) would be smart.

    4. With those moves — and it’s only 3 new guys — the draft is wide open to bring in solid character guys (and not ‘redemption’ candidates). I lean toward defense early since offense has gotten more of the high picks over the past few years, but a RB should be taken in the first two rounds.

    • Travis says:

      Sounds great Bill except one thing. NO Stevie Johnson!!!! I think I’d rather have Caldwell back. And I’m going to say it again I think D.Martin is the player to get.

      • Bill says:

        I stand corrected. I forgot about how he was a baby at times last year.

      • ItsSkylineTime says:

        Agreed on Martin, Bill, he’s the back I’d target. Perfect fit for this offense and what we need at that position right now. And the price is right, too, because he can be had in the second round.

  4. Eric says:

    I may get beat up for this, but I want to caution us not to overspend, and not to go too crazy for free agents. I want only free agents that are heading into their prime (not out of it), and are hungry to make a step up. I like Meachem in that regard, but maybe not Grubbs. The new salary restrictions on rookies has opened up an opportunity to build and maintain a great roster without being forced to let as many guys walk.

    Most importantly, the team must draft wisely. If they can hit homers in the first 2 rounds (3 players), they can really set up for the future adding those guys to AJ and Andy.

    and I hope by Trent Richardson being compared to AP that won’t include the injury issues Peterson has had.

  5. ItsSkylineTime says:

    1. Totally with you on Grubbs.

    2. With you on Meachem, too, he’s an underrated (and cheaper) choice that could be a nice fit with the other weapons.

    3. With you on Sims and Nelson, for sure. Any of the others I wouldn’t go crazy to keep, they’re just replacement level guys.

    4. Absolutely with you on the draft. Gotta take Richardson if he’s there (although I would not move up). Next priority is DeCastro or Glenn ( can you imagine a Whitworth, DeCastro, Cook, Grubbs, Smith line?).

    5. The tough pick will be 21 if Richardson was gone and they go guard at No. 17. It’s too early for an RB or any of the remaining corners and if they sign a Meachem, they wouldn’t need the ND WR or Hill, the flyer from Ga Tech) at that spot. I might even suggest trading down at that point to pick up another No. 2, then going RB later in Round 1 (best available) and going CB/DL with the two second round picks.

    • Bill says:

      Re #4: If many of us could have had our way, we would be working with a line of Whitworth-Mathis-Cook-Smith-Collins. And we wouldn’t need to be talking about Grubbs. But Paul Alexander made it very clear a year ago what he thought of our opinions.

      • ItsSkylineTime says:

        Sad, but true, Bill. Playing most of this past season with Livings and McGlynn/Boling at guard (while making no use of Collins) was ridiculous, and it didn’t have to be that way. That said, I think a Whit, DeCastro/Glenn, Cook, Grubbs, Smith lineup is even better, albeit more expensive. Luckily, they’re so far under the cap they could easily afford to roll that group out there.

      • Eric says:

        +1

  6. Nate says:

    This draft is so deep at defensive tackle, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bengals went there at 21. Peko isn’t getting any younger and Sims could be leaving. Given Rey Maualuga’s situation, linebacker wouldn’t be terrible either. Depending on how free agency plays out, the Bengals could be looking at a number of positions in the draft.

  7. Vince says:

    I have heard some talk of adding Michael Bush from the Raiders. It makes sense for him to come here, he’s from Louisville and would be playing with his former HC, Hue Jackson. This could be a great addition and reach out and get a reliable WR, Meachem or Garcon. Grubbs would be nice, but I don’t know how realistic that would be, especially if we might have opportunities to get a gaurd in DeCastro or Glenn in the draft.

    It would be a dream team to see the Bengals add Grubbs plus DeCastro/Glenn, but come on now, do you really see Mike Brown spending the money to add Grubbs? Makes perfect sense to me and the rest of Bengal nation, but c’mon how many clear cut decisions has Mike missed on in the past? I don’t see him pulling the trigger on Grubbs.