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News » Cincinnati Bengals Strategy and Personnel 2009-03-06


Cincinnati Bengals Strategy and Personnel 2009-03-06


Cincinnati Bengals Strategy and Personnel 2009-03-06
TEAM NEEDS/OFFSEASON STRATEGY


Last year the defense was a priority in the offseason. This year the Bengals are devoting almost all of their energies toward rebuilding an offense that finished last in the league for the first time in franchise history.

The Bengals have accomplished most of their aims by addressing running back and a proven second wide receiver. But now the team has to refocus on the offensive line, which has already lost one starter to free agency and possibly two. The only positions set on the line right now are guards Andrew Whitworth and Bobbie Williams.

With the re-signing of safety Chris Crocker, the defense accomplished one of its major goals in free agency, but coordinator Mike Zimmer would still like to find a pass rusher or two.

TEAM NEEDS

1. Offensive tackle: Stacy Andrews departed for the Eagles and Levi Jones is injury prone. With the Bengals having the sixth pick in the draft, highly rated prospects Eugene Monroe of Virginia and Ole Miss' Michael Oher could be available.

2. Center: Three-year starter Eric Ghiaciuc is a likely departure in free agency, and the Bengals' backups are unproven. An extremely intriguing pick in the second round would be Louisville's Eric Wood, a Cincinnati native. Wood, along with Oregon's Max Unger and Cal's Alex Mack, are the top center prospects available in the draft.

3. Defensive line: The Bengals had only 17 sacks last season and were inconsistent in pressuring the quarterback. John Thornton, who was one of the leaders, is expected to depart in free agency.

MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.

FRANCHISE PLAYER: PK Shayne Graham: Tendered at $2.483M.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--CB Jamar Fletcher signed with the Bengals after Week 3 and made two starts. He is best suited as a nickel corner and is not a high priority to re-sign.

--C Eric Ghiaciuc started all 16 games for the first time in his career. He is a good pass blocker but has been overmatched against nose tackles in the AFC North. He is not expected to return.

--DT John Thornton has been one of the emotional leaders of the defense during his six-year stay with the club. The team is looking at the possibility of bringing him back in a reserve role.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered)

--S John Busing (not tendered as RFA) saw most of his action on special teams and limited action in the secondary.

--WR Glenn Holt (not tendered as RFA) was the Bengals' top kick returner for most of the season and was the fourth receiver on multiple sets.

--LB Corey Mays (not tendered as RFA) played primarily on special teams but made an impact on defense in the Week 15 game against Washington with a forced fumble and fumble recovery.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--LB Rashad Jeanty (tendered at $1.545M with second-round pick as compensation) made 15 starts and was fourth on the team in tackles and second on special teams. He is a disruptive pass rusher and good tackler.

--LB Brandon Johnson (tendered at $1.545M with second-round pick as compensation) started the last nine games after rookie Keith Rivers was injured and was second on the team in tackles. He is very quick and an effective pass rusher.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

--WR Laveranues Coles: UFA Jets; $28M/4 yrs, guarantees unknown.

--QB J.T. O'Sullivan: UFA 49ers; terms unknown.

--P Ryan Plackemeier (waivers Redskins).

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

--RB Cedric Benson: UFA; $7M/2 yrs, guarantees unknown.

--LB/DE Darryl Blackstock: Potential UFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

--FB/TE Daniel Coats: Potential ERFA; terms unknown.

--S Chris Crocker: UFA; $10M/4 yrs, $3.5M SB.

--RB DeDe Dorsey (not tendered as RFA); terms unknown.

--DT Orien Harris: ERFA; terms.

PLAYERS LOST

--OT Stacy Andrews: UFA Eagles, $40.98M/6 yrs, guarantees unknown.

--QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: UFA Bills; $6.9M/3 yrs, guarantees unknown.

--WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh: UFA Seahawks; $40M/5 yrs, $15M guaranteed.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 6, 2009

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