Bengals and Adams a Perfect Match?

Don't look now, but the fiscally responsible Bengals want to spend some cash. According to ESPN, the Bengals have a renewed interest in signing Sam Adams to a multi-year deal. The Bengals will meet with Adams on Monday and Tuesday, in hopes of trying to reach an agreement. The Raiders, Broncos and Ravens are still contenders for Adams' services. However, the Bengals have more than $5 million in cap space to spend, which will make it tough for the other three teams to compete. Or will it?

Although the Bengals have the money to spend, the question is if they are willing to spend it. The fact is, even before saving $3 million from releasing Darnay Scott on Tuesday, the Bengals had more than enough money to sign Adams to the type of deal he is looking for. So why haven't they made the move yet? They're still a bit gun shy, that's why.


Meanwhile, the Raiders and Broncos are still courting Adams. Both teams don't have the cap space to sign Adams to a lucrative multi-year deal. But, both teams are proposing one-year deals that would allow Adams to compete for a championship, and re-enter the market next year.


"My own preference is to not do a one-year contract because I'd like get him settled in somewhere for the next few seasons," Parker said. "But there's also something to be said for doing one year, and then going back into the market next spring at the outset of free agency, when most teams have money."


Clearly, Parker is still playing to all fields. Don't think that the Ravens are completely out of the mix either. In the end, money is still the biggest factor in determining where Adams will end up. As of today, the Ravens still have the best concrete offer to Adams on the table. If the two sides were to reach an agreement, Adams would be paid a $5 million bonus, which is the amount of money he has been seeking to be paid all along.


Still, the only way an agreement will be reached is if either Ray Lewis and/or Peter Boulware reach a contract extension in the next week or so. That scenario doesn't seem likely to happen, unless the Bengals end up balking at the idea of paying Adams a bonus worth $4 million. In the event that this happens, Eugene Parker (who represents Adams, Lewis and Boulware) could turn back to the Ravens, and help work out an extension for all three players.


The problem is, Parker would have to convince Boulware and Lewis to accept less money than they are asking for right now. It's hard to fathom why either player will lessen their stances on how much they deserve to be paid, in a span of two weeks. It's even harder to fathom why the Ravens would give in to their demands, just to re-sign Adams. The Ravens have repeatedly made it clear that they will not settle to make preposterous deals today, to possibly ensure more cap catastrophe in the future.


Still, all is not lost for the Ravens. If Adams signs with Oakland or Denver, instead of signing with the Bengals, he will become a free-agent in 2003. This would allow the Ravens to re-pursue Adams next year, when they are likely to have close to $20 million in cap space to sign players. 




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