The Bengals seem to have taken Mike Brown’s flea-market mentality into free agency, but the team is not settling for damaged goods.
Some may argue otherwise, but let’s consider the consensus of the players they have acquired. None of them have been superstars and most of them have spent the early portions of their career as backups. But there’s no denying their talent. In the case of Jason Allen, Jamal Anderson, and Derrick Harvey, all are former first-round picks. Three other teams saw potential in those players on draft day, even if it has yet to be reached.
Then, there’s Benjarvis Green-Ellis, who will henceforth be named BJGE to save me some keystrokes. A few months ago he was playing an important role in the Super Bowl for the AFC’s best team.
Move on to Travelle Wharton. He’s perhaps the least exciting player to have been acquired. But he’s also replacing Nate Livings, who had become a bullseye for the angst of many fans.
Win. Win. Win.
Better yet, it doesn’t seem that the Bengals are finished. Recent reports have the team in talks with cornerback Terence Newman, a former top 5 pick with maybe a year or two left, and Amobi Okoye, yet another first-rounder who is still young and has some pass-rush ability.
In the end, the acquisitions of these inexpensive players makes perfect cents. The team has spent only a small portion of the salary cap (saving money for future signings or extensions) on players who have the measurables needed for success, but simply haven’t mastered them. Those guys will get another chance in Cincinnati.
Perhaps some of them will tank. But others may find a productive role or reach some undiscovered potential.
It’s simple math, really. When there’s little invested, there’s a greater margin for good returns.
Call it addition by addition.