Jan 8, 2010; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu (51) during the NFC Wild Card playoff game against the New Orleans Saints at Qwest Field. The Seahawks defeated the Saints 41-36. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Where the Bengals Could Replace Rey Maualuga in Free Agency

With the arrest of Bengals MLB Rey Maualuga, the team may opt to search fro his replacement sooner rather than later. Rey picked the worst time to get charged with assault after punching a bar manager in a downtown Cincinnati bar. He’s on the last year of his rookie contract, so cutting him would affect the Bengals’ cap significantly. The team would have a month until free agency starts on March 13 to determine a list of adequate replacements. The Bengals could also opt to draft a MLB in April, and there are several high-caliber prospects at that position.

Here’s a list of potential free agent MLB’s the Bengals may sign:

Lofa Tatupu:

After being cut prior to the 2011 NFL season by Seattle, the street free agent could be signed by the Bengals immediately. After starting all 16 games for the Seahawks during 2010, the 29-year-old, three-time Pro Bowler did not play a down this past season. It was reported he suffered a knee injury, and is now 100% and ready to play at a high level again. He could be a cheap replacement if the Bengals opt to go for the cheaper option like they typically do.

Jonathan Goff:

Goff started 16 games in 2010 for the New York Giants, but tore his right ACL in September and missed the entire season. Goff is only 26, and coming off an injury may be able to be signed by the Bengals at a reasonable deal.

 

Dan Connor:

Connor started his NFL career as a Carolina Panther backup to Pro Bowler Jon Beason, but an injury early this year to Beason thrust Connor into the starting lineup at MLB. He started 11 games for Carolina this past season and registered 75 total tackles. He’s only 26 and could probably be signed at a descent price, though he’ll likely want a 4-5 year deal.

 

E.J. Henderson:

Henderson has started 30/32 games for the Vikings the past two season after suffering a broken left femur during 2009 season, and made the 2011 Pro Bowl. He’s registered 214 tackles the past two seasons. At age 31 and with the Vikings in rebuilding mode, he may opt to sign with a playoff contender like the Bengals.

 

Other Free Agents the Bengals may Consider:

Jameel McClain, ILB, Ravens. Age: 27

Chase Blackburn, ILB, Giants. Age: 29

Joe Mays, ILB, Broncos. Age: 27

 

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Tags: Dan Connor E.J. Henderson Jonathan Goff Lofa Tatupu NFL Free Agency

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