Cincinnati Bengals Free Agent Confedential

The Bengals have never been very active during the free agent period, but if the club is to keep pace within the AFC North division, they will have to loosen the purse strings. At 27 and a half million under next years cap total, the club have the ability make up some significant ground.

Cincinnati Bengals

Andrews, Stacy OT 4 7,457,500 PURPLE
Thornton, John DT 9 4,625,000 GREEN
Houshmandzadeh, T.J. WR 7 3,687,500 GREEN
Graham, Shayne KS 7 1,073,000 GREEN
Ghiaciuc, Eric OC 3 1,039,000 BLACK
Fitzpatrick, Ryan QB 3 932,500 ORANGE
Blackstock, Darryl LB 3 403,000 ORANGE
Benson, Cedric RB 3 397,500 GREEN
Fletcher, Jamar DB 7 366,500 ORANGE
Crocker, Chris DB 5 235,500 ORANGE

Top Free Agent - T.J. Houshmandzadeh

Starters - Six

Must Re-Sign - Cedric Benson

Team Top FA Need - OG, RB, DT

Comments - It's not good news when your most coveted free agent joined the team in mid-season and has a checkered past off the field. Cedric Benson did in fact showed the type of run skills that most coaches and scouts saw at the University of Texas. Now if he can just avoid the off the field problems that plagued him with the Bears, the Bengals, just might have something special. T.J. Houshmandzadeh is a steady productive number two receiver, but doesn't appear to possess the top end speed of the go to receivers within the league. You can pay an inexperienced second year starter Stacy Andrews franchise money, but that doesn't make him a dominant player. Darryl Blackstock a former Cardinal has potential as does Eric Ghiaciuc a hard working fourth round selection out of Central Michigan. John Thornton is still a regular ten years into his professional career, but his play slipped considerably over the last two years. I was actually the primary evaluation scout for the Rams on Harvard's Ryan Fitzpatrick, and although I liked and still do like some of the things I saw, it's time for the Bengals to move on at this stage.

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