Jason La Canfora of NFL Network recently wrote an article about 4th year players that make this Free agent class “worthwhile”. In the article he made mention of Veteran QB’s and with one player he kept the Bengals in mind.
No big-time starters here. No long-term solutions to anyone’s needs. But there are some interesting options. Bruce Gradkowski has won some games for Tampa Bay and Oakland without much of a supporting cast. He is a gamer, and teammates love him. He has strong leadership skills and plays hurt. He has ties to Jay Gruden already, and the Bengals will need a veteran to add to rookie Andy Dalton should Carson Palmer go ahead and retire.
Is Gradkowski a possibility for the Bengals? He may very well be in the picture at some point. Rumors of the team being interested in acquiring a true veteran QB have been floating around for some time now. Gradkowski does at least add a veteran QB who has at least won an NFL game in his career. Something that 3 of the QB’s on the roster can’t say.
With the current QB roster looking like Carson Palmer, Andy Dalton, Jordan Palmer & Dan Lefevour it’s understood why sports analysts and fans feel the team is looking for someone to add. Carson will likely never be a Bengal again (be it trade or retire). Andy is a rookie QB and may need time to adjust to the game speed at the NFL level. Jordan is unique, as he could be cut because of Carson or he could be given a legitimate shot at making the roster and starting. Dan is well, looking to be the odd man out in most situations. If Carson stays on the roster and sits out, I doubt they give an extra roster spot to Dan. And if they want a Vet, again I doubt they keep Dan.
One of the things that may effect the signing of a Veteran this off-season (that does not have significant WCO time) is the work stoppage. The things that Andy, Jordan and Dalton offer over a guy like Gradkowski is that they already know their offensive teammates. The three QB’s already have some types of timing (even in shorts) with the WR’s, adding a new guy means he has to learn everything from the offense AND his teammates. That may be the monkey wrench throwin into signing a Vet FA, but if a QB like McNabb happened to go on the market, well the WR coach is from Philly and in Gruden is actually a descendant from the Reid coaching tree. Somebody like McNabb would only have to get the timing down with WR’s and teammates.