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Buying or Selling Latest Free-Agent Buzz Surrounding the Cincinnati Bengals

Sean ODonnellContributor IIIFebruary 11, 2013

Buying or Selling Latest Free-Agent Buzz Surrounding the Cincinnati Bengals

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    The 2012 season is over and for football fans, the next jolt of excitement will come from free agency. Each and every year there are rumors and speculation about certain players that could be headed to certain teams. Sometimes these pan out, sometimes they don't.

    The Cincinnati Bengals are a very interesting story this year in free agency. The Bengals currently have many needs to fill in their young, talented roster and they have the cap space to do so. Cincinnati is currently calculated at $55.1 million of cap room heading into 2013.

    This leaves room for plenty of spending if the Bengals choose to do so.

    With a large amount of talented players heading into free agency this season or reportedly on the trade block, there is already a great deal of rumors surrounding the Bengals potentially landing a marquee player.

    Let's take a look at five players that are deemed possibilities for the Bengals that have been brought up lately.

Ahmad Bradshaw

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    Earlier this month, the New York Giants decided to release running back Ahmad Bradshaw. With the emergence of Andre Brown late in the season, Bradshaw, a six-year veteran, became a salary cap casualty.

    This began immediate rumors of Bradshaw possibly heading to Cincinnati to give the Bengals the kind of speed back that they have been lacking.

    Given a quick glimpse at this situation, it seems as though this would be a match made in heaven. However, that really is not the case here.

    Bradshaw has suffered from a countless amount of injuries, including a recent foot injury, which is something the Bengals can not afford to risk.

    Cincinnati has already dealt with a number of injuries to Bernard Scott, its current change-of-pace back who is set to be a free agent this season. If the Bengals are ready to let Scott hit the open market, bringing in a running back with similar issues just does not make sense for this club.

    Keep in mind that Bradshaw would demand a much higher salary than Scott, which makes this a nightmarish scenario for the Bengals.

    Cincinnati is poised nicely to take a look at some fresh running backs in this year's draft which would fit their scheme much better than Bradshaw.

    Given the injury history, draft position and salary cap numbers, it is easy to sell this idea.

Percy Harvin

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    Recent reports have come out of Minnesota that Percy Harvin will be up on the trade block. Opposing Views has stated that Harvin and head coach Leslie Frazier have not been getting along and apparently the Vikings feel that it is time to move on.

    Harvin is a very dynamic player both on offense and special teams. He has continued to be dominant as a wide receiver, rusher and a return specialist. In fact, he has scored a touchdown in all three of those phases in each of the last three years.

    With Cincinnati currently looking for a solid No. 2 receiver and possibly a new return specialist, Harvin seems to fit the bill.

    The Bengals do have a spare second-round pick this year from the Carson Palmer trade which could equate to the asking price of Harvin.

    It seems like everything is aligned here for the Bengals to pick up its next big talent. If healthy, Harvin can come in and contribute in all phases immediately.

    The Bengals have a very strong locker room at the moment and allowing Harvin to be around players with good character would serve him well.

    Cincinnati has plenty of cap space to get this deal done and improve what was a very sluggish offense toward the end of the 2012 season.

    The one issue with Harvin is his durability. He has been plagued by injury and migraines during his professional career which has caused him to miss a fair amount of games. This would be very concerning for the Bengals.

    Looking over these details and accounting for the Bengals' trade history, it really is tough to see this team giving up a highly valued draft pick for a player with so many concerns.

    Regardless of Harvin's skill set and how it would be very much desired in Cincinnati, this is a scenario which cannot be bought. Harvin to the Bengals is most definitely a move that we should be selling.

Anthony Spencer

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    Rant Sports recently ran a story linking the Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Anthony Spencer to the Cincinnati Bengals.

    This though may be a little far-fetched given the 11 sacks that Spencer ended his 2012 campaign with during his breakout season.

    Spencer would come with a very high price tag and could potentially damage the amount of money the Bengals have allocated to extend current player contracts.

    This article did have a great point in that Spencer would be an immediate upgrade to what already is a fantastic defense.

    If the Bengals were to re-sign Thomas Howard and move Vontaze Burfict to the middle, Spencer would fit right in to create a very dominant linebacker corps.

    Keep in mind that Spencer would be adapting to a new defensive scheme as he would be going from a base 3-4 defense to a 4-3. This will change the way he will be able to maneuver on the field. However, if there is any defensive coordinator that can help a great player make this transition, the Bengals have him.

    Given the amount of talent that defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer would have to work with, the Bengals defense would have the potential to be one of the most dominant in the league for years to come after a move like this.

    Again, this is a bit of a long shot, but the Bengals do have the cap space to get this deal done. It all comes down to whether owner Mike Brown is willing to spend some smart money in free agency this offseason.

    Given recent trends between Brown and the Bengals franchise, things have not been the same old story for this club. Anthony Spencer to the Bengals? Buying it.

Reggie Bush

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    Early in the NFL career of Reggie Bush, it seemed as though he would be one of those blockbuster-type busts coming out of college.

    Bush could barely escape with a double-digit run when handed the football and it seemed as though his best assets in the league would be at receiver and on special teams.

    Those thoughts were put to rest once Bush landed with the Miami Dolphins.

    After his inability to reach 600 yards rushing in any of his first five seasons with the New Orleans Saints, Bush looked for greener pastures in Miami. He found them as he averaged near 1,000 yards in each of his two seasons there.

    Bush also has some of the best hands at the running back position in the NFL. He has caught at least 34 passes in each season in the league.

    With his explosiveness, vision and speed, he seems primed to fit a Bengals offense that needs exactly that skill set.

    It seems as though Bush would be able to come in and contribute right away as a recent Cincy Jungle article has suggested on SB Nation.

    There is one glaring reason, however, why Bush will not find himself wearing a Bengals uniform in the future. That reason is turnovers.

    Bush has not been the most reliable running back when it comes to fumbles during his seven-year career. In that span, Bush fumbled a total of 21 times, losing 12. In his past two seasons, he has fumbled eight times, losing four. His increased workload has brought on increased turnovers.

    This is a stat that the Bengals brass takes very seriously. Bush may be explosive, but there is far too much concern over ball security to warrant the Bengals making a move for him in free agency. Go ahead and sell this idea.

Mike Wallace

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    Mike Wallace has been with the Pittsburgh Steelers during his first four years in the league. Each year he seems to have the type of big-play ability that can break open a game in an instant.

    His speed is enough to keep defenses honest as he has the ability to get behind a secondary with ease. Wallace has struggled with drops of late, but the ability he possesses simply can not be overlooked.

    Wallace has been at odds with the Steelers franchise and ended a lengthy holdout last season before playing the final 15 games of 2012. Still, Wallace was a factor as he caught 64 passes and recorded eight touchdowns.

    The Bengals are still looking for a second wide receiver to pair opposite A.J. Green. Mohamed Sanu did a great job while healthy last season, but does not have the kind of respect that Wallace demands. Marvin Jones stepped in as well and is a speedster at wide receiver, but his play was iffy at best.

    The Bengals have struggled in the past when recruiting a wide receiver out of free agency to team up with a current offense. However, they have never gone after someone so young and talented as Wallace.

    Granted, Wallace will demand a high price tag, but if the Bengals can budget accordingly to get key players extended this year in Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap and leave room for a Green extension next year, this deal could be very worthwhile.

    Given the struggles of the Bengals offense in 2012, a major move needs to be made to allow this team to get to the next level. Signing a wide receiver that does not have injury concerns and has flashed his talent time and time again on the field is deserving of major consideration.

    Wallace made just over $2.7 million in 2012 and may expect a slight bump in this number heading into 2013. If the Bengals are able to keep this price tag around this level, it seems as though this is a no-brainer to buy this move.

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