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Beck Bristow

Offseason To-Do List: Outside Free Agents

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It's wide open.  I'm not listing all the potential outside aquisitions but there should be some opportunity here to add to the roster with our cap space.  I'm not an advocate of throwing huge long term deals at exciting players, but a couple of solid bets at linebacker,  offensive line and even backup quarterback could be real useful.  Anyone specific that we should be looking at? 

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The Bengals historical practice has been to eschew the opening days of free agency and re-sign players already on the team. If ever there were a time to change that, it's after going 2-14. The good thing about having a roster that lacks talent is there are lots of opportunities for improvement in free agency. 

 

I'd like to see who they could get in trade. Maybe Trent Williams, though the Redskins are trying to repair their relationship with him. OJ Howard seems to be on the trade block. He'd be a good replacement for Eifert. We don't know yet who will be re-signed or tagged by other teams but we need to improve the right side of our O-line. Jack Conklin or DJ Humpries are much better than Hart. Scherff is miles better than Miller. At LB, the Bears have 3 LBs going into free agency who are better than any we have. Joe Schobert or Corey Littleton would be nice to sign. At DT, we could upgrade from Billings with Hargrave or Shelton.

 

Bengals have about 16 mil in unused 2019 money to roll forward. We are about 54 mil under the cap for 2020 currently after the Hopkins deal. So that puts us about 70 mil under the cap. We;ll tag AJ but his tag will cost about as much as we'll save from Dalton moving on. 

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1 hour ago, sparky151 said:

The Bengals historical practice has been to eschew the opening days of free agency and re-sign players already on the team. If ever there were a time to change that, it's after going 2-14. The good thing about having a roster that lacks talent is there are lots of opportunities for improvement in free agency. 

 

I'd like to see who they could get in trade. Maybe Trent Williams, though the Redskins are trying to repair their relationship with him. OJ Howard seems to be on the trade block. He'd be a good replacement for Eifert. We don't know yet who will be re-signed or tagged by other teams but we need to improve the right side of our O-line. Jack Conklin or DJ Humpries are much better than Hart. Scherff is miles better than Miller. At LB, the Bears have 3 LBs going into free agency who are better than any we have. Joe Schobert or Corey Littleton would be nice to sign. At DT, we could upgrade from Billings with Hargrave or Shelton.

 

Bengals have about 16 mil in unused 2019 money to roll forward. We are about 54 mil under the cap for 2020 currently after the Hopkins deal. So that puts us about 70 mil under the cap. We;ll tag AJ but his tag will cost about as much as we'll save from Dalton moving on. 

We also will move on from Glenn, so there's another $9 mill plus t open up. 

I'm all about getting two starting LBs in free agency, then keeping our own.  My first choices would be Littleton and Schobert, but I wouldn't expect the team to grab both, so how about Littleton and a next tier guy like Bostic?  If we focus on LB in free agency, then use the remaining cap space to extend Mixon and Jackson.  This in turn would allow us to take Burrow, then an OT and WR with the next picks, while getting a LB only if a guy slips to a spot we didn't expect.  Conversely, if we only get one LB in free agency, we could target guys like Divinity and Dye (sounds like a cult, right?) in the draft as well.

 

Want to free up more cap space?  There's always the option of cutting Dre, but that's not a Mikey thing to do.  We can always tag and trade Green, open iup more cap space, while getting more picks.  That could open up up the space to sign a couple of top LBs and possibly a little to throw at a young OT, but I think they stick with Hart and let Johnson try to push him out of the starting role.

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2 hours ago, sparky151 said:

At LB, the Bears have 3 LBs going into free agency who are better than any we have. Joe Schobert or Corey Littleton would be nice to sign. At DT, we could upgrade from Billings with Hargrave or Shelton.

Those would all be excellent additions.

I expect they'll spend some money this year, with the CBA expiring next year they can't roll money like they have in the past.  Use it or lose it.

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That's a good point about the CBA. Everyone expects a new deal to be struck which will keep the salary cap in place. But at the moment, 2020 is what's called "the final year" and has some special rules. Teams can use both the franchise and transition tags for instance. Bengals will tag AJ and not use another but the market might be depleted by other teams using both tags. 

 

If a new CBA deal doesn't get done in time, then 2021 would be an uncapped year. The league will never the less penalize teams that take advantage of it, as the Cowboys and Redskins did previously.

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6 hours ago, INbengalfan said:

We also will move on from Glenn, so there's another $9 mill plus t open up. 

I'm all about getting two starting LBs in free agency, then keeping our own.  My first choices would be Littleton and Schobert, but I wouldn't expect the team to grab both, so how about Littleton and a next tier guy like Bostic?  If we focus on LB in free agency, then use the remaining cap space to extend Mixon and Jackson.  This in turn would allow us to take Burrow, then an OT and WR with the next picks, while getting a LB only if a guy slips to a spot we didn't expect.  Conversely, if we only get one LB in free agency, we could target guys like Divinity and Dye (sounds like a cult, right?) in the draft as well.

 

Want to free up more cap space?  There's always the option of cutting Dre, but that's not a Mikey thing to do.  We can always tag and trade Green, open iup more cap space, while getting more picks.  That could open up up the space to sign a couple of top LBs and possibly a little to throw at a young OT, but I think they stick with Hart and let Johnson try to push him out of the starting role.

Bengals will have plenty of cap space to do this and even more. Mixon might get 8 mil on an extension. Jackson might get 10-11 mil but he's already on the cap at 9.5 for his 5th year option so it won't hurt the cap much to extend him. I want to go into the draft with all our starting positions covered so after Burrow we can just go BPA without needing to focus on a particular position.

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