So apparently, the Bengals might be trying to trade Levi Jones and if they can't trade him, they might release him (h/t Stripe Hype who gave a h/t to Go-Bengals...blogging at its finest). WDR has no problem with this. Levi Jones is not a good football player. At some point in time, he was a good football player. But then he signed a big fat contract and then started playing like a big fat guy who signed a big fat contract. He's also expressed multiple times that he doesn't want to be on this football team even though the Bengals have given him a big fat contract and he may not be able to get a big fat contract from anyone else. As we've seen the last two years, you don't want a guy with a big fat contract who doesn't want to be on the football team protecting your Quarterback's blind side.
But what WDR has a problem with is where that puts the Offensive Line. As of now, the Offensive Line is the same minus two starters (Eric Ghiaciuc, Stacy Andrews) and if Levi Jones is traded or released, that's three. Currently, the following Offensive Tackles, other than Jones, are on the roster: Anthony Collins and Dennis Roland (I don't know who he is either). Currently, the following Centers are on the roster: Kyle Cook, Andrew Crummey and Dan Santucci (combined starts: 0, combined offensive series: close to 0). Just exactly what is the plan at Offensive Line? If Jones is taken out of the equation, the starting O-Line looks like this:
Left Tackle: ???
Left Guard: Andrew Whitworth
Right Guard: Bobbie Williams
Right Tackle: Anthony Collins
Maybe the Bengals are thinking of moving Andrew Whitworth to Left Tackle and starting Nate Livings at Left Guard. I fail to see how that would be any sort of improvement to last year's O-line that led to Carson Palmer missing 12 games.
Perhaps the Bengals are relying on the draft and hoping to get a startable Offensive Tackle. The problem with that is (1) the two top Offensive Tackles in the draft, Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe, have separated themselves and could very well go before the Bengals pick, (2) Andre Smith is either pulling a Britney-esque collapse or doing his best Jeremi Johnson impersonation, and (3) Michael Oher is apparently inconsistent and has fallen down the draft board (plus do we really want the epilogue of Blind Side to be that he ended up on the Bengals? I mean that's a feel-good book ruined). If the Bengals draft another position, they risk not getting an effective, startable Offensive Tackle in the second round or later. By the way, this doesn't even address Center. The plan there is anyone's guess and WDR has certainly expressed our view most recently here, but also here, here and here.
WDR continues to watch in confusion as, barring a trade, as of now it looks like the Bengals will be starting middle of the road or below average free agents, rookies or last year's backups to what was a pitiful O-Line. If this Offensive Line is not fixed, this team will continue to be terrible.