September 22, 2014

Roster Reaction: Free for BPA

Perhaps I’m the only one who has baby bottles all over the house and understands the wordplay in the headline. But I digress.

Just as in many years before, the Bengals did not bring in a big name during free agency. Their roster moves couldn’t really be considered a splash, providing little more than minor water displacement. However, the team upgraded almost every position on the roster. Travelle Wharton is an upgrade over Nate Livings. BJGE (Benjarvis Green-Ellis) is  a younger, more reliable player than Cedric Benson, even if he’s slightly less explosive. Jason Allen is an upgrade over Kelly Jennings, and he can possibly play safety as well, strengthening that position too. Reggie Kelly and Pat Sims were re-signed.

And then we get to the players I’m most excited about, Jamal Anderson and Derrick Harvey. Yes, I’m fully aware that both players have underperformed and underwhelmed during their brief NFL careers. But let’s not forget that both had enough natural ability to become first-round picks. And let’s also not forget that we have a fire-breathing defensive coordinator who has already revived a few careers and turned lesser players into legitimate contributors. (Remember the street free agent secondary we had two years ago?).

I’m convinced that Zimmer and company can find some magic with one of the players if not both. And both guys are younger, cheaper, and perhaps better pass rushers than Jon Fanene and Frostee Rucker, the guys they will replace. Paying big money for backups would have been reckless considering the number of Bengals who will become free agents in the next few years. Thus, the team made some prudent moves.

In the end, the Bengals put themselves in a perfect situation for next month’s draft. They have no glaring needs. If the season started tomorrow, the players they already have would make them legitimate competitors in the AFC North. But soon, they can add to their roster a wealth of draft picks, including two in the first round. And at each spot, they can ignore needs and simply take the best player available (BPA).

They made shrewd moves in free agency.

And so in the draft, they’re free for BPA.

Comments

  1. Nate says:

    Let the recod show I published this before Marvin started gushing about the free agent class. I’m not always right, but when I am, I have to let it be known. Now I’ll go back to deciphering the difference between my butt and a hole in the ground.

  2. Antoniomagon says:

    Not so free for BPA. We still need some replacements:

    OG -> Bobbie Williams
    WR -> Simpson + Caldwell
    CB -> Clements (32 and last contract year)
    SF -> Crocker (32 and last contract year)
    OLB -> Howard & Rivers (last contract year)
    OT -> Smith & (probably) Collins (last contract year)
    MLB -> Maualuga (last contract year)
    DE -> Geathers & M.Johnson (last contract year)

    Well, you can say BPA because we need people in almost all positions

  3. Nate says:

    I agree that we need a lot of reinforcements, but many of them should
    come from our own roster. Boling or Hudson should be able to replace Williams. Mays can take over for Crocker. Harvey and Anderson can be insurance for Geather and Johnson and there are a few others at LB and DB who shoul step up. But as you pointed out, we need depth just about everywhere, so the team can take whoever the best player is at each spot.

  4. Antoniomagon says:

    I wish you’ll be right but I’m afraid the replacements are Boling X McGlynn, Mays X Wilson, Anderson+Harvey X Rucker+Fanene. We still need another great draft to be a competitive team because we’ll lose some starters for 2012 and beyond. We have to think a lot every pick and don’t make mistakes with talented but red flagged players.

    Hopefully, we can use the remaining salary cap to extend the contracts of Atkins, Johnson, Dunlap, Smith, Huber … and don’t waste a high pick in these positions.

    P.S.: congratulations for the web from Spain

  5. Nate says:

    I’m with you. Early reports say the Bengals have only spent about 20 million and that should give them about 30 million or so left over. They should use that to extend Geno and Dunlap and maybe a few others.