The number of high profile holdouts seems unusually high this year. Not sure if that's actually the case but it certainly feels that way. The Bengal might as well try to see if they can exploit it (spoiler alert: they won't). If you're anything like me, you spend more time worrying about what could go wrong rather than focusing on what could go right. Because worrying about what could go right is pointless.
I thought the offensive line, more than any other factor, would likely be the one that submarined the year in 2009. Well, that was almost entirely wrong. But I wonder if perhaps that call didn't come a year early. We have the same personnel as last year, Andre Smith still cannot be counted on, so all we can fall back on is the "continuity" argument. Hey, our individually average at best line played together for a year, so maybe that will make them collectively above average this year.
I would prefer to not rely on that argument this year when all the other pieces seem to be in place. And a lockout looms in 2011.
LT Marcus McNeill and LG Logan Mankins both are holding out for better contracts and would seem to be open to a trade. Either one could easily find a home on our line and would be an instant upgrade in talent. The question is what kind of trade would make it work. Perhaps a future number 1 pick would do it for either of those players. Maybe less. Maybe more. Maybe just offer them Fat Ass and his team friendly contract instead.
Speaking of Andre Smith, his agent Alvin Keels also represents McNeill. And as we all learned last year, he is terrible at being an agent. So Katie can probably jedi mind fuck him again during the ultimate contract negotiations. It's a win-win, folks.
And joking aside, even if it is Keels expertly negotiating the worst possible deal for his client, the new contract for either player would still be quite expensive. But as I noted here, it's not like we're busting up against the salary cap or Mike Brown is running the team at breakeven profitability. The money is available.
The Bengals went out and got some guys this offseason, but they did not do so by spending much money. If they really want to go all out for their fans, like they probably believe they already have, they would explore trade possibilities for one of these guys.