As I mentioned, the Laveranues Coles signing could be promising individually. But the Bengals' free agency performance still has ignored the Bengals' greatest needs, Center and Offensive Tackle. One of the two best Centers available, Matt Birk signed a 3 year, $12 million contract on Wednesday ($6 million guaranteed) with the Baltimore Ravens. The other, Jason Brown, signed a 5 year deal worth $37.5 million with $20 million guaranteed (conceded that this contract was probably too rich). Who knows if Birk would've ultimately come here but the contract was reasonable and the Bengals were not mentioned in connection with any attempt at signing Matt Birk or any Center for that matter. While Laveranues Coleslaw definitely helps out after the loss of T.J., one has to be nervous about Carson or
Crazy Legs Fitzpatrick [Insert Name of Crappy 2009 Backup QB] still playing behind a depleted offensive line that performed abysmally last year, and the potential of our running game continuing to suffer due to poor O-line play. It is unclear why the Bengals' front office continually ignores our greatest needs. 2007 and 2008 starter, Eric Ghiaciuc has struggled mightily and he's a free agent this year. If we bring him back, we know what to expect (horrid run game and opposing Defensive Tackles getting pressure on Carson). If we don't bring him back, who will line up at Center? At this point, it looks to be either a rookie or an average/below average free agent Center. Both prospects are not promising in the short term. Perhaps Bobbie Williams will move over (a reader, Randall, pointed out that he is now listed as a G/C on the Bengals roster) but as we recall, that never got off the ground last year and if he did move over, his effectiveness at the position is uncertain and a need is created at Guard. While Coles helps us to digest the T.J. loss and is an interesting change, the needs at OT, Center, FB and even a #2 RB still exist. It's tough to imagine us addressing all of those positions in the draft, especially for the 2009 season.
In completely unrelated news that the Bengals should not concern themselves with but is nonetheless interesting and surprising (but not as interesting and surprising as ESPN will surely make it out to be), the Dallas Cowboys cut Terrell Owens.