The free agent market will begin to take shape this weekend as teams make and announce their decisions on who to pull off of the market with their franchise tag.
The Bengals have some candidates for the franchise tag. I know I’m going to be in the minority on this one, but I think the Bengals should use their tag on… Cedric Benson.
*evil laugh* Hahaha! I’m just screwing with you! I don’t want Cedric any more than you do.
But take a minute and tell us all who you think the Bengals should use the franchise tag on. I’ve included the salary that each guy would be owed by being tagged.
Mike Nugent ($2.1M): I know, tagging a kicker sounds nuts. But Nugent is darn good. Would you rather lose him and go back to Shayne Graham?
Manny Lawson ($8.8M): The LB corps was not the disaster it has been at times in the recent past. Lawson had something to do with that.
Anthony Collins ($9.6M): That’s a ton of money for a guy that the Bengals keep buried as a backup. But are you ready to put your faith in Dennis Roland if Andre Smith breaks his foot (again)?
Brandon Johnson ($8.8M): Brandon has been a productive player for as long as he has been with the Bengals, even if he has not bagged a starting gig.
Frostee Rucker ($10.6M): Rucker is not flashy, but he was a solid piece of the D-line last year.
Jonathan Fanene ($7.9M): Fanene finally had the big season we’d been waiting for.
Kelly Jennings ($10.6M): The CBs need all the depth they can get right now.
Nate Livings ($9.4M): Again, just a joke.
Nobody ($0): No one is worth the cap hit.
The last thing I want is to see the defensive line broken up. The were the heart of the team in 2011, and the will need a strong line while they re-tool the secondary. But the Bengals ought to be able to strike a deal with Rucker, and I’m OK with letting go of one of either Fanene or Sims.
It’s a ton of money, but if I’m tagging someone, it’s Collins. He is almost a lock to walk, and they need the depth on the offensive line. Protecting Dalton has to be a big priority.
That’s my take. Feel free to agree (or disagree, if you dare) below.