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Are Bengals Heading Toward Captain Turnover?

The Bengals love stability within the ranks, but some of their captains could be on the way out over the next two years.

The Bengals could find themselves in heavy captain turnover in 2016 and 2017 if they don't re-sign all of their own free agents this offseason and next.

The Bengals vote on team captains on a yearly basis, but they tend to vote for the same rock-solid guys.

Cincinnati players who were voted team captains for 2015 were quarterback Andy Dalton and offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth on offense, defensive tackle Domata Peko and safety Reggie Nelson on defense, and running back Cedric Peerman on special teams.

Nelson, the NFL's interceptions co-leader with eight and a 2015 Pro Bowl choice, is due to become a free agent in March. He has the Bengals' longest starting streak with 47 starts in a row.

Contracts for Whitworth, Peko and Peerman are due to expire following the conclusion of the 2016 season.

Whitworth, the longest-serving of the annually elected captains, and Peerman also earned Pro Bowl selections.

Whitworth, who rarely yields a sack at left tackle, and Peko, who leads the team with 102 consecutive games played, are longtime team fixtures with over 20 years combined experience for the Bengals.

Peerman is Cincinnati's perennial leader in special teams tackles, and literally one of the team's spiritual leaders as a low-key ordained minister.

Dalton, a two-time Pro Bowler and the 2015 AFC passing leader, signed a six-year, $115 million deal with the Bengals in 2014. He could be a Bengals captain for years.


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