Cincinnati Bengals: 10 Bold Offseason Predictions For the Bengals
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The 2010 season for the Cincinnati Bengals is nearly done.
There were many failures witnessed by Bengal Nation. One surprising thing that the Bengals actually did well was in the draft last April.
Jermaine Gresham, Carlos Dunlap, Jordan Shipley and Geno Atkins all look like a good core to build upon for the future. Gresham and Dunlap may be impact players in 2011.
Another emerging pick from last year is Roddrick Muckelroy who made a huge play on the goal line against the Cleveland Browns.
In 2011, the Bengals will not part ways with Carson Palmer or Marvin Lewis.
Here are ten things the Bengals will do this off season.
1. Pick Up The Club Option on Chad Ochocinco
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If Chad Ochocinco is healthy, he will be resigned.
Here is what Ochocinco tweeted on the subject of his return:
"Could you be an NFL owner and if you were here's the question :Do u pick up PePe 6 million dollar option or let him go?"
Recently, Ochocinco has indicated that he may need arthroscopic surgery to remove bone spurs. Assuming that goes as planned, he will be back.
The Bengals have a club option to have Ochocinco back for $6 million. If they choose not to exercise their 2011 option, Ochocinco will receive $3.5 million. Since keeping Ochocinco will cost the Bengals only $2.5 million more than cutting him, the decision is easy.
Ochocinco brings a lot of exposure to the Bengals.
That exposure sells tickets, jerseys and helps put the Bengals in games on national TV. All of this means that Ochocinco makes money for the Bengals.
2. Sign Jonathan Joseph
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Having more than two good cornerbacks is critical in today's NFL.
Jonathan Joseph is easily in the top 15 of all cornerbacks in the NFL. Joseph has missed games but generally plays hurt. When healthy, he might rank in the top 10. Cornerbacks like Joseph aren't found on the waiver wire often for a reason. Smart teams don't let them go.
Bringing Joseph back is a lock.
3. Bring in a Free Agent Wide Receiver
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Terrell Owens will not be back in 2011.
They'll keep Chad Ochocinco but need another veteran wide receiver to give Carson Palmer another reliable target. The Bengals have squandered opportunities to see what Jerome Simpson can do but they still have a nice core of young receivers in Simpson, Jordan Shipley, and Andre Caldwell.
Possible receivers to go after are fan favorite T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Mario Manningham or Steve Breaston. Lee Evans also may be available.
4. Sign Cedric Benson's Replacement
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Cedric Benson had a big game against the Cleveland Browns last week. The Bengals won't let that make them forget that Benson is 16th in yards per game (71.9) and 46th in yards per carry (3.6).
Oh yeah, and Benson has had problems holding on to the ball this year (four fumbles lost) and will be turning 30 next year.
The Bengals will let Benson walk and sign his replacement.
It would have been smart to give Cedric Peerman some carries to see what he can do. Peerman showed promise in the preseason. Three interesting free agents that may catch the Bengals' attention are DeAngelo Williams, Michael Bush and Jerome Harrison.
5. Draft a Defensive Lineman In The First Round
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Prior to the emergence of Carlos Dunlap, the Bengals had trouble getting pressure on the quarterback with their front four. It took the Bengals a few games to get Dunlap on the field but they eventually came to their senses.
The top two linemen are Da'Quan Bowers from Clemson and Nick Fairley from Auburn.
Bowers has been an underachiever until this year where he has dominated. Fairley might be a better fit if the Bengals are set with Michael Johnson and Dunlap at defensive end since he can play tackle.
6. Draft an Offensive Lineman in The Second Round
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The Bengals' offensive line is not as bad as many think. However, they do need upgrades at either guard position.
Right guard Bobbie Williams is nearing the end of his career. Williams has been a solid run blocker but has had trouble pass-blocking.
He is also 34 years old.
Left guards Nate Livings and Evan Mathis have performed admirably but aren't dominant. The Bengals won't sign a free agent lineman.
Here are the top offensive lineman that could be available to the Bengals in the second round:
1. Mike Pouncey, G, Florida
2. Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
3. Stefen Wisniewski, C/G, Penn State
4. Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
5. Rodney Hudson, G, Florida State
The Bengals will take the top lineman on their board and adjust their line accordingly. If they get a tackle, they may move Andre Smith or Anthony Collins to guard.
7. Draft a Safety in The Third Round
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This is an area that must be addressed.
Roy Williams will be gone. Chris Crocker will be back and should be the starter. Reggie Nelson and Gibril Wilson will be in the mix somewhere.
The Bengals need a game changer back there. They will have to wait until round three to find him, though.
Here are some safeties that could be available to the Bengals in the third round:
1. Robert Sands, S, West Virginia
2. Quinton Carter, S, Oklahoma
3. DeAndre McDaniel, S, Clemson
4. Will Hill, S, Florida
8. Rey Maualuga Moves to The Middle
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Free agent Dhani Jones makes the tackles he should make. He is a great leader and play-caller on the field. On the downside, he has had trouble covering tight ends.
Jones' broadcasting career will start in 2011.
Rey Maualuga will start the 2011 season at middle linebacker. The other two linebackers will be Keith Rivers and a mix of Michael Johnson and Roddrick Muckelroy.
9. Promote Dan LeFevour
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The Carson Palmer era is not over yet.
They may draft a quarterback in the second round, though. If a guy like Jake Locker from Washington or Ryan Mallett from Arkansas falls, for some reason, they would think very seriously about it.
If they like a guy enough like Pat Devlin from Delaware or Christian Ponder from Flordia State, they may take the plunge in the third round.
Those are unlikely, though. Dan LeFevour will do enough to make the Bengals cut Jordan Palmer loose and take over the number two spot on the depth chart.
10. Go Back to The Power Running Game Of 2009
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In 2010, the Bengals abandoned the power running game that brought them a playoff game in 2009. While that offense did fail them at the end of the season, the Bengals will return to it in 2011.
The Bengals will draft a lineman in the second round and have Andre Smith back. Chris Pressley will return at fullback.
The feature running back is unknown but it could be anyone from Michael Bush, Jerome Harrison, Cedric Peerman or even Cedric Benson.
This offense will deliver them another division title.