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west tx bengal fan

Monday Morning QB: Bengals 23, Eagles 23

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14 hours ago, west tx bengal fan said:

INdy, you are a loyal guy.  

I think Geno/Dunlap go if cap $175 mil because that leaves us about $24 mil right now while prob needed WJax, Lawson, and 1 other vet CB re-signed (while also saving money for FAs during season and rookie contracts.. about $15 mil).  We can't do anything with $9 mil.  Hart gives back about $6 mil; Price about $1 mil.  Geno is $10 mil and Dunlap $12 mil.  Drop all four and have $29 mil to spend (which still isn't much but will go farther with a contracting cap).  If Geno or Dunlap play well, we might even get a pick for them.  But we're not winning with this squad this year, and won't win next year with only $9 mil (or $16 mil if you dump only Price and Hart while still considering re-signing Green, Lawson, and/or WJax.  

Time to let this franchise grow up and move on.  AJ at 34 ain't getting better.  Nor is Geno or Dunlap.  We retain these three, then we can hope to remain status quo until we make the hard decision.

It's unlikely Uzomah will be back to full speed next summer for camp. He was somewhat overpaid before his injury. Gio is also overpaid for a backup at 4 mil per. Moving on from them frees up another 9 mil. We could probably sign Hunter Henry for 10 mil and get a RB in round 4 of the draft.

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8 hours ago, INbengalfan said:

Maybe I am too loyal, and i agree about Green given the trajectory he is on.  I would only sign him to one year deals from here on out, kinda like they tried to do with Whit and other older vets between 2008-15.

If the choice is Lawson v Dunlap, I just would stick with Dunlap.  he stays healthier, and is more productive.  lawson has two monster games a year (2-3 sacks) then is either hurt or invisible for most of the rest.  In a perfect world, we keep them all.  Now if they keep Lou around, they have a bigger choice, as Lawson is their best option as 3-4 OLB.

I also am taking the wait and see with Geno.  

Last point.  The salary cap is going to drop, but you keep citing the projected absolute floor number.  So what if that $175 mil suddenly is $190 mill.  How does that change your thinking, if at all?  We need to keep Jackson and Alexander.  We should keep the back end guys too, as they aren't breaking the bank.

I think that’s where you draw a lot of enjoyment (re: loyalty and watching “our guys” get better over time).  Nothing wrong with that except that loyalists tend to get their souls crushed these days.

Of course if the cap is $15 mil more, then you adjust your approach.  We have so many fires going tho and just don’t admit and deal with them the way winning franchises do.  By the time we got a winning QB, out LBs and lines were depleted.  Now the WRs are turning over.  I think we need to retain a high level of DB play, allow our LBs to mature, and replace our aging, high dollar DL in the next go around.  I agree that Lawson is a binge player (and has t been consistently healthy), but Dunlap is at the end of his usable life unfortunately (and also disappears at times).  Lawson played well simply because Eagle LT is also at the end of his usable life.

On the O side I prefer Nix’s idea of playing Adeniji and Johnson for a while on the right side.  Do I think that will fare better?  At first, No.  Johnson is raw, and Adeniji is not the push type run blocker we need to fortify RG.  But they might be better in Pass Pro pretty quickly than what we’ve used so far.  And we just need to do something differently because this crap isn’t working.  The TE area is a mess over losing one average player, and your roster should never be set up that way.  My insistence in talking about Schreck isn’t to note that I think he’s a realistic answer but rather to note that he’s the only guy on the TE roster who has the ability to get downfield into medium routes in the passing tree - something we need to fully optimize and develop Burrow’s abilities.  Sample has improved but will NEVER be a big option receiving TE (too slow; lacks footwork) and still is occasionally coming up zero in blocking (yes, Barnett beat him and made him look really bad with a very basic rush move).  I’ll finish by mentioning Green and Ross.  Green is the guy you want to emerge and play top level another 3-4 years as he claims he can do.  But there’s only one Jerry Rice, and Green is not showing us elite skills so far.  If it takes him 8-10 weeks to emerge from deep thaw, what’s the use when you’re spending almost 10% of your cap on him?  With Ross, it’s the Bengal policy to keep waiting on early picks on basis of recovering sunk costs (which is a losing financial decision making policy) and thinking the egg will hatch any minute.  He’s basically been a glorified Jerome Simpson (minus the megaweed).  He was on the field with Burrow for about 100 snaps the first two games and has two catches for 17 yards (with two drops).  He is the “fastest guy in the league” but fails to get separation?  And drops half of what he is thrown.  He’s just a guy who’s skills don’t pan out at the next level and is a total embarrassment to the front office that took him a pick after Patrick Mahomes and has spent 3 years trying to get him to focus, act like a professional, and show a consistent level of play ... none of which has ever emerged.  He won’t be in this team in 2021, so I say to keep him in game-day inactive until a WR is injured.  Overall, it’s a good move to keep the WRs on an even rotation, get them all opportunities, and let the future trio of Boyd, Higgins, and Tate continue to develop.

I think this season is already in the tank.  You won’t win consistently without the ability to win up front, and we’re doing very little of that on either side of the ball.  Nonetheless, we can figure out a lot in the rest of a season that has just started including which players we need back, which positions need fortification, and which coaches we need to drop.  It’s been a three decade recycling theme tho ... I guess we can be happy for a few years to say we have a decent QB... a lot better than losing every week with Opie Taylor at the helm.

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4 hours ago, sparky151 said:

It's unlikely Uzomah will be back to full speed next summer for camp. He was somewhat overpaid before his injury. Gio is also overpaid for a backup at 4 mil per. Moving on from them frees up another 9 mil. We could probably sign Hunter Henry for 10 mil and get a RB in round 4 of the draft.

You do have to keep a few vets to maintain locker room stability, so I don’t advocate dropping Gio yet.  Instead of a one-shot spending spree on Henry, I’d like to grab 2-3 guys who can all run well for TE 2-4 to add to Sample’s run-heavy abilities.  Then you don’t end up with zilch when Hunter Henry goes down for a few (or more) games.  This is what Pitt has done well at TE with Big Ben ... using multiple value, relatively athletic TEs to pressure D’s throughout the passing tree.  Since Burrow is so good at moving through his reads, extending plays, and ball placement, it makes sense to open the field to maximize those strengths.  Do that in higher quantity, medium quality instead of lower quantity, higher quality at a position where your players are highly likely to be injured at any given time.  Save your big money investments  for the players who are likely to stay on the field consistently.... like a new RG/RT combo; another pass rusher; and maybe a younger speed receiver.

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50 minutes ago, west tx bengal fan said:

You do have to keep a few vets to maintain locker room stability, so I don’t advocate dropping Gio yet.  Instead of a one-shot spending spree on Henry, I’d like to grab 2-3 guys who can all run well for TE 2-4 to add to Sample’s run-heavy abilities.  Then you don’t end up with zilch when Hunter Henry goes down for a few (or more) games.  This is what Pitt has done well at TE with Big Ben ... using multiple value, relatively athletic TEs to pressure D’s throughout the passing tree.  Since Burrow is so good at moving through his reads, extending plays, and ball placement, it makes sense to open the field to maximize those strengths.  Do that in higher quantity, medium quality instead of lower quantity, higher quality at a position where your players are highly likely to be injured at any given time.  Save your big money investments  for the players who are likely to stay on the field consistently.... like a new RG/RT combo; another pass rusher; and maybe a younger speed receiver.

Yeah i think i agree that TE is probably not a priority for this offense.  

 

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1 hour ago, west tx bengal fan said:

1.  I think that’s where you draw a lot of enjoyment (re: loyalty and watching “our guys” get better over time).  Nothing wrong with that except that loyalists tend to get their souls crushed these days.

 

2.  On the O side I prefer Nix’s idea of playing Adeniji and Johnson for a while on the right side.  Do I think that will fare better?  At first, No.  Johnson is raw, and Adeniji is not the push type run blocker we need to fortify RG.  But they might be better in Pass Pro pretty quickly than what we’ve used so far.  And we just need to do something differently because this crap isn’t working.  

 

3.  The TE area is a mess over losing one average player, and your roster should never be set up that way.  

4.  I think this season is already in the tank.  You won’t win consistently without the ability to win up front, and we’re doing very little of that on either side of the ball.  Nonetheless, we can figure out a lot in the rest of a season that has just started including which players we need back, which positions need fortification, and which coaches we need to drop.  It’s been a three decade recycling theme tho ... I guess we can be happy for a few years to say we have a decent QB... a lot better than losing every week with Opie Taylor at the helm.

1.  Mostly because I used to coach (track and cross country) and spent 85% of my time developing the new guys for the first part of the  season.  I'd give the upper classmen workouts, watch them, but focus on the "next gen" so that when their time came, they were actually ready.  Not exactly a pro approach, either, I agree.

2.  I'm down with it too.  Still think Johnson is much more suited for OT (and we've discussed this many times).  

3.  Two athletic TEs on day three should work.  It did with Kroft and Uzomah when they first were drafted.  But yeah, Zac doesn't utilize them, which is why I keep circling back to tate running those flex TE routes.  He's lighter, but still a slot mismatch.  Use him as such instead of a slow outside WR that only gets vertical separation.

4.  Only one home game so far and it feels over.  This sux.  Glad I'm not paying for it this year, but a friend in maryland landed free tix on a Twitter giveaway and asked me to go, so i get to see them live Sunday.  Ironically, he won them off of famous CJ poster jeremy Conley, also a friend of mine.  For such a big, populated world, it shrinks more and more every day.  Once the season tank is on, then I'll, be focusing on Sewell and other top OL figuring out how to get them and in what rounds.  I like the FA idea for one of the spots, if they can afford it.  I need to see more consistency from Jonah, but regardless of his play, if Sewell is available, I'm taking him 100% of the time and sliding Jonah to RT or OG.  

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4 hours ago, west tx bengal fan said:

You do have to keep a few vets to maintain locker room stability, so I don’t advocate dropping Gio yet.  Instead of a one-shot spending spree on Henry, I’d like to grab 2-3 guys who can all run well for TE 2-4 to add to Sample’s run-heavy abilities.  Then you don’t end up with zilch when Hunter Henry goes down for a few (or more) games.  This is what Pitt has done well at TE with Big Ben ... using multiple value, relatively athletic TEs to pressure D’s throughout the passing tree.  Since Burrow is so good at moving through his reads, extending plays, and ball placement, it makes sense to open the field to maximize those strengths.  Do that in higher quantity, medium quality instead of lower quantity, higher quality at a position where your players are highly likely to be injured at any given time.  Save your big money investments  for the players who are likely to stay on the field consistently.... like a new RG/RT combo; another pass rusher; and maybe a younger speed receiver.

 

Yes, you need leadership from established players. But that's what Hopkins, Mixon, and Burrow should be providing next year. Paying our backup RB 4 mil per year when the starter was on a rookie deal was a luxury but one we could afford. When the starter is making 12 mil, then money needs to be reallocated.

 

Regarding Henry, we need someone clearly better than Sample. That guy won't usually be found on day 3 (though the Browns got one with Harrison Bryant). Next year's draft is weak at TE so we're looking at trade or free agency to fill the spot. Fixing the O-line is a higher priority but we should be looking to have a complete offense for Burrow to run, while taking a chance with rookies on defense. The run defense sucks now. Daniels is on a 1 year deal and Geno is getting old. But we'll have Tupou and Wren back next year. 

 

If we sign say Henry for 10 mil and someone like Thuney for 12-13, we could use the top pick on a tackle and have a solid offense. The rest of the picks and money could be used for defense or depth. Sewell-Thuney-Hopkins-Jordan-Williams-Henry would be a decent line that could run block and give Burrow time. 

 

There aren't any Bengals entering free agency whom the team must re-sign. WJ3 and maybe Lawson will get consideration. Green and Ross can move on. Atkins and Dunlap are on the bubble. Price has a guaranteed contract so he won't be cut as it doesn't save space. We're about 37 mil under the 2021 cap at present, 8th most in the league. If we cut Atkins, Dunlap, Hart, Uzomah, and Bernard, that would that would free up another 36 mil. Plenty to add a couple of good players on each side of the ball. 

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12 hours ago, sparky151 said:

WJ3 and maybe Lawson will get consideration

If those two finish the season the way they've started, they are both must signs.  WJ3 is actually tackling and covering, and Lawson has been good in every aspect of the game.

I agree with the rest.  It's time to move on from the older core.

I'm on the bubble with Sample.  I won't say they need to replace him next year quite yet.  He's got another 13 games to prove himself.  If he's mediocre, then he can play TE2 next year if they can find someone better.  

Personally though, i'd rather they spend that 10M you suggest on Hunter Henry and throw it into the Offensive Line.  Or maybe on the defense somewhere.  

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Lawson is a situational pass rusher. Those are good to have but he might want starting DE money, which he isn't worth. I want to see a full season of good play from WJ3 before re-signing him. But with us potentially 73 mil under the cap in a year where the cap goes down, we'll be in good shape for free agency. We'll have money to spend and Burrow gives us some credibility as a team on the rise. 

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1 hour ago, sparky151 said:

Lawson is a situational pass rusher. Those are good to have but he might want starting DE money, which he isn't worth. I want to see a full season of good play from WJ3 before re-signing him. But with us potentially 73 mil under the cap in a year where the cap goes down, we'll be in good shape for free agency. We'll have money to spend and Burrow gives us some credibility as a team on the rise. 

He's played well against the run this year.  Small sample size, but that's why said if they finish the season the way they started.

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On 9/30/2020 at 8:19 PM, sparky151 said:

 

1)  Paying our backup RB 4 mil per year ...money needs to be reallocated.

2)  Regarding Henry, we need someone clearly better than Sample. 

3)  If we sign say Henry for 10 mil and someone like Thuney for 12-13, we could use the top pick on a tackle and have a solid offense. 

4)  Bengals entering free agency whom the team must re-sign... WJ3 and maybe Lawson ... Green and Ross can move on.... Atkins and Dunlap are on the bubble.

5) Price has a guaranteed contract so he won't be cut as it doesn't save space.

6)  We're about 37 mil under the 2021 cap at present, 

1)  Difficult to argue against this.  For this reason, tho, we should be getting TWilliams snaps right now (and we aren't).  One other thing... I usually discuss my ideas around the realm of what the Bengals FO is likely to do.  I think they're likely to retain Gio... could be wrong but smells like something Mike Brown would insist upon (because $4.1 mil cap savings will be weighed against his family traditions).

2)  Agreed that we need one (probably 2) TEs who are better receivers than Sample.  Sample will still be the starter as a guy who can block and hit the shorter routes.  I can promise they won't spend $10 mil on a TE.  I disagree with those who say that we won't use a TE with Taylor because Burrow was already effective doing it this season before Uzomah went down.  Uzomah may be back for 2021... players have been doing a lot better after Achilles repairs more recently.  But he's still not worth $6 mil in cap... and cutting him saves $5.25 mil.  My concept here is to simply find two TEs who are decent route runners and can do 4.65 or better 40's to replace Uzomah and Cethan Carter (if Carter won't return on a minimal raise deal from his current $2.13 mil contract).  I don't think we need to spend a lot on a TE but still can have personnel who Burrow can make better based on their specific traits and Burrow's know-how.

3)  If we spent $22 mil on these two positions, we'd be out of cap.. and here's why...  see answer 6)

4)  Agreed totally except that maybe Atkins/Dunlap are off the bubble on the wrong side.... either would have to rack up some real numbers and make a difference in games moving forward to deserve the $$ they have in 2021.  And see 6) again....

5)  Irrespective of Price's guaranteed contract, dropping / trading him saves $2.1 million in cap... so you can bet here and now that he's a favorite to be elsewhere (since he's no good at center and is pretty bad at RG).

6)  The big message... drum roll.  Bengals quoted (per Spotract) to be at $151 mil in cap for 2021.  However.... the league is estimating/warning that the cap will drop next year ... maybe as low as $175 mil ... to reflect the losses due to COVID in 2020.  If that's the case, we're $24 mil under the cap.  Remember that we WILL retain about $15 mil for rookie contracts and in-season signings due to injuries.  So that gives us $9 mil before we make any cuts or signings.  Dropping Geno and Dunlap returns about $22 mil.  Gio and Uzomah's releases would give back $9.3 mil.  Let's say that we re-sign Lawson and WJax... Lawson would probably get $6-7 mil per year, I suspect.  WJax is going to get $9-10 mil... maybe more... but let's say $10.  So that's $16.5 mil right there... you drop Geno/Dunlap to retain Lawson/WJax and have $5.5 mil to show for it.  Pair that with the $9.3 mil for Gio/Uzomah and the $9 mil in cap noted originally, and you have about $24 mil to fix your problems outside of the draft.

What are the problems?  We will lack a speed WR, a RG/RT combo, a #2 RB, 2-3 TEs, a pair of DL, a pair of LBs (Bynes and Evans will be UFAs), 2-3 CBs (Alexander, Sims, and TBrown are all also UFAs), and all 3 STs specialists.  Are we expecting to compete for the playoffs in 2021?  If so, nobody you draft at these positions is going to make a playoff berth more likely at least for the first half of the season.... so you need to re-sign or pick up outside UFAs for a good portion of your losses.... which will eat away at your available $24 mil.  And God forbid if the FO decides that any or all of the cuts (Gio, Uzomah, Geno, Dunlap) or non-resignings (Green, Ross, Bynes, Evans etc.) are viewed differently.

I think some may have gotten the wrong idea from the UFA splurge this past spring.  I'd be shocked to see us not revert back to the old "do nothing substantial in UFA" approach next season, especially if the cap is retracted.

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21 hours ago, sparky151 said:

Lawson is a situational pass rusher. Those are good to have but he might want starting DE money, which he isn't worth.

He’s been very formidable versus the run this year so far. He never got that chance under Lewis. He’s proving he’s capable of playing a starting role. 

I also don’t buy the concept of being a “situational pass rusher” seeing as the league is in nickel +70% of the time. More often than not we’ll need him on the field.

He’s one of our best young defenders on an aging defense. I’d rather not let that walk.

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There’s still hope we can turn this thing around guys. We have been in every game this year. It’s literally been a play here or there that has been the difference. But we have to win this Sunday or else this season is gonna be a repeat of last year. 

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On 10/2/2020 at 9:30 AM, Johnny Nix said:

There’s still hope we can turn this thing around guys. We have been in every game this year. It’s literally been a play here or there that has been the difference. But we have to win this Sunday or else this season is gonna be a repeat of last year. 

It probably feels like they're further away bc they haven't won a close game under Taylor yet. 

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