NFL Free Agency: Cincinnati Bengals, DeAngelo Williams and News from Day 1

Matt GrayContributor IJuly 27, 2011

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 24:  DeAngelo Williams #34 of the Carolina Panthers runs with the ball against the San Francisco 49ers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on October 24, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

With teams unable to sign free agents until Friday, this week may prove to be slower than some pundits expected, with the possibility of emerging reports changing before Friday rolls around.

Geoff Hobson of is reporting the team has made a number of early phone calls as it begins to put together its roster.

The big name coming out of Tuesday is free agent DeAngelo Williams. The Carolina Panthers running back is a free agent going into 2011 and is expected to receive a number of calls before deciding where to hang his hat. Regardless of whether or not the Bengals decide to and manage to secure the services of Williams, it does inspire confidence the Bengals are being proactive in their pursuit of outside players.

The historically reserved Bengals are somewhat strangers to bidding wars, but with a need to spend to meet the leagues new cap floor, we could see a more active Bengals than in previous years.

With Williams' name cropping up this early in the process, one might suggest that head coach Marvin Lewis is looking for the successor to Cedric Benson. With the running back going through yet more legal problems, his long-term future with the team is something that may well be decided as we speak, despite Lewis' suggestion on Tuesday that he will likely return. 

Though the Bengals have no principle deals yet established, it is believed that they have also been in contact with their own cornerback Johnathan Joseph, as well as Oakland Raiders guard Robert Gallery. Other players to add to this list are Benson, Brandon Johnson and Jon Fanene.

Hobson is also reporting that the Bengals have inked a dozen undrafted free agents, two of which are Louisville guard Mark Wetterer and University of Kentucky's DeQuin Evans, a defensive end the club is going to move to linebacker.

The team has also been said to have touched base with agents for Andy Dalton and A.J. Green as part of the ongoing signing process.

Let me know how you feel about these developments, and stay tuned for updates as the week progresses.