Bengals Free Agency Preview

13 Mar

I’ve been asked Who will the Bengals sign? Or Who are you hoping they target? on Twitter. Those questions are hard to answer in 140 characters. So I put together this quick Free Agency preview.

If the Bengals have $51.5M in cap space as reported, let’s figure they have a $7-8M rookie pool, $3-4M injury fund and they’ve spent about $4M on exclusive free agents. That leaves $36.5M to spend on about 30 players. Let’s divide that up…

Of their own free agents, here’s what I expect:
GONE: Cedric Benson, Andre Caldwell, Jerome Simpson and Bo Scaife
CHANCE OF RETURNING:
Reggie Nelson, Anthony Collins, Bobbie Williams, Pat Sims, Adam Jones OR Kelly Jennings
EXPECTED TO RETURN (Price):
Nate Livings (1yr – $2M), Mike McGlynn (1yr – $1M), Dennis Roland (1yr – $1M), Donald Lee (1yr – $1.5M), Frostee Rucker (3yr – $10.5M), Jonathan Fanene (3yr -$9M), Manny Lawson (3yr – $9M), Brandon Johnson (2yr – $3M) TOTAL = $16.5 in 2012

That leaves $20M total to spend on 22 players. 8 Draft picks and 8 UDFAs. That leaves 6 free agent signings from other teams, unless Robert Geathers, Chris Crocker and Keith Rivers are released.

Here are the FA targets I could see the Bengals pursuing.

RUNNING BACK
1) Michael Bush – 4yr $18M
2) Mike Tolbert – 3yr $10M
3) Benjarvus Green-Ellis – 3yr $9M
4) Brandon Jacobs – 2yr $5M
5) Peyton Hillis – 2yr $6M
OTHERS TO CONSIDER AT RB
Kevin Smith, Ryan Grant, Justin Forsett, Joseph Addai, Tashard Choice

Wide Receiver
1) Pierre Garcon – 5yr $32M
2) Mario Manningham – 4yr $22M
3) Robert Meachem – 3yr $14M
4) Laurent Robinson – 3yr $14M
5) Josh Morgan – 3yr $12M
6) Eddie Royal – 3yr $10M
7) Early Doucet – 3yr $10M

OFFENSIVE LINE
1) Ben Grubbs – 5yr $35M
2) Geoff Schwartz (RFA) – 4yr $16M
3) Vernon Carey – 3yr $12M
4) Jason Brown – 3yr $12M
5) Chilo Racial – 3yr $9M
*6) Anthony Collins – 3yr $9M*
7) Barry Richardson – 3yr $9M
8) Mackenzy Bernadeau – 2yr $6M
9) Samson Satele – 3yr $10M
*10) Bobbie Williams – 1yr $3.5M*
11) Chris Kemoeatu – 2yr $6M
12) Adam Snyder – 2yr $6M

CORNER BACKS
1) Tracy Porter – 5yr $30M
2) Richard Marshall – 4yr $18M
3) Terrell Thomas – 3yr $15M
4) Jason Allen – 3yr $12M
5) Aaron Ross – 3yr $9M
6) William Gay – 3yr $9M
7) Chris Carr – 3yr $9M
8) Eric Wright – 2yr $6M
*9) Adam Jones – 2yr $6M*
*10) Kelly Jennings – 2yr $5M*

SAFETY
1) Dwight Lowery – 4yr $20M
*2) Reggie Nelson – 4yr $20M*
3) LaRon Landry – 2yr $8M
4) Jim Leonhard – 3yr $10M
5) O.J. Atagwe – 2yr $8M
6) Haruki Nakamura – 3yr $6M
7) Reggie Smith – 3yr $6M
8) Atari Bibby – 2yr $4M

DL & LB
1) Jeremy Mincey – DE – 4yr $28M
2) Curtis Lofton – ILB – 4yr $24M
3) Dan Connor – ILB – 3yr $10M
*4) Pat Sims – DT – 3yr $10M*
5) Jonathan Goff – ILB – 2yr $6M
6) Barrett Ruud – ILB – 2 yr $6M

So with $20M to spend, pick 5-7 players to spend it on. Hopefully the player wants to come to the Bengals also. There’s always two sides.

4 Different Scenarios

1) Reggie Nelson ($5M), William Gay ($3M), Mackenzie Bernadeau ($3M), Josh Morgan ($4M), Michael Bush ($4.5M) Total = $19.5M

2) Jeremy Mincey ($7M), Peyton Hillis ($3M), Early Doucet ($3.33M), Bobbie Williams ($3.5M), Kelly Jennings ($2M), Haruki Nakamura ($2M) Total = $21.33M

3) Terrell Thomas ($5M), Laron Landry ($4M), Samson Satele ($3.33M), Eddie Royal ($3.33M), Benjarvus Green-Ellis ($3M), Jonathan Goff ($3M) Total = $21.66M

4) Ben Grubbs ($7M), Robert Meachem ($4.5M), Brandon Jacobs ($2.5M), Pacman ($3M), Nakamura ($2M) Total = $20M

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