The Bengals stopped sitting on their hands and started making some moves in free agency with the acquisitions of Travelle Wharton and Jason Allen and the re-signing of Reggie Nelson. Like everyone else, I was disillusioned at first as other teams opened up the vaults for Robert Meachem, Carl Nicks, and Ben Grubbs, among others. But I think we can all agree that most of the big names were extremely overpaid.
So I’m actually considering the Bengals rather shrewd in what is quickly becoming a buyer’s market. And the team likely isn’t done yet. BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Michael Bush are visiting and the club has supposedly scheduled or had visits from former first-round pass rushers Jamal Anderson and Derrick Harvey. Joel Dreesen, who would be an intriguing backup behind Jermaine Gresham, was also believed to be in town.
While none of the aforementioned names carry any extensive sex appeal, they all can be considered upgrades over the people they have or could replace atop the roster. Furthermore, none of them have been signed for cash-heavy deals that will strain the salary cap.
The Bengals have upgraded their roster on a budget and because of that, should be able to extend the core of their emerging team (Gresham, Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, Dalton, Green) when the time comes.
There’s not a substantial sizzle or a huge splash, but the moves are probably better than you think.
So I’m giving the team a solid 7 on a scale of 10 for the early part of free agency.
What about you? What’s your rating?