When the news hit on Tuesday that the Eagles had released sack-master Jason Babin, the collective ears of the other 29 NFL fan bases perked up. From coast to coast, armchair GMs everywhere were completing their mental waiver claims and deciding who to cut to make room for him. To the Bengal contingent ready to bounce Wallace Gilberry or Robert Geathers to suit up Babin in orange and black, all I can say is this:
Don’t count on it.
I’m not saying that Babin couldn’t be a productive addition to the DL this year, despite his drop in production (30.5 sack in the last two years) and having ‘only’ 5.5 sacks this year. But just because the could make a move doesn’t mean that they should. Here is why they won’t.
The Bidding War. Babin will draw interest from a number of teams once he hits free agency, and that means a bidding war will ensue. He might not get quite as much as he was due from the Eagles, but he may not lose all that much cash or time once he finally does ink a deal with someone. The Bengals will be better off using those resources to take care of young talent they already have. Plus, they just don’t do bidding wars.
He’s 32. The Bengals don’t need to get older. Especially at DE. (Do the words ‘Levi Jones’ bring back memories of spending big money on a 30+ yo DE?)
Michael Johnson. Be honest. Babin isn’t going to knowingly sign on to team where he is going to be the backup. After a shaky start, Johnson has come on strong over the past two years. As a free agent this offseason, the Bengals won’t want to tie up the cash it would take to have both Babin and him. Especially not with Carlos Dunlap’s rookie contract running out after the end of next year.
Locker Room Cancer? I have no idea whether or not the rumors about Babin are true. But with all of the issues that this team has had over the years with problem children, how anxious are you really to take that chance?
In the end, Babin will make a nice pick up for some team. But I don’t see him playing in Cincinnati 8 times a year.