This all comes in light of the team working to re-sign several prominent free agents. The team has slapped the franchise tag on QB Drew Brees, which will make it very likely the team is unable to re-sign Pro-Bowl WR Marques Colston and All-Pro guard Carl Nicks.
Nicks is in the prime of his career at age 26. He’s coming off his best year which saw him only allow 12 pressures in 700 passing plays all last season. Nate Livings probably allowed that in one game. Nicks would be the franchise guard this team has searched for since Eric Steinbach left in free agency.
Colston has played at a Pro-Bowl level since his rookie year after being drafted out of Hofstra. He would be an excellent #2 WR to A.J. Green , and with Jordan Shipley manning the slot, the Bengals passing offense would immediately have the firepower to go against any NFL defense. Its unlikely the Bengals would sign both players, but just getting one of them would help make this offseason a huge success.
As far as Bountygate goes, the team is likely to face massive amounts of scrutiny in the coming months, while also losing several high-draft picks, and possibly having several of their players suspended if its found they were participants. Nicks and Colston may opt to avoid all of this and look to find greener pastures elsewhere. Hopefully that elsewhere is in the Queens City.