We’ve heard it all season long, and we’ve bragged about it, the fact that the Bengals have 6 first round drafted defensive backs.
Our secondary has had its ups and downs (Up: Chiefs, Giants, Down: Ravens, Steelers), but for the most part they have been productive.
But we all know what’s going to happen in the Off season, many of our corners’ contracts are up after this year: Terrence Newman, Adam Jones, and Nate Clements. So my question to you is, If you could only keep one, who would it be?
I may be wrong and Mike Brown may re-sign all of them, but we all know that is highly unlikely. Here’s what they all bring to the Table:
1. Terence Newman: Leads the team in Interceptions, has made some big plays other than that, probably grades out as the teams best corner, still has pretty good speed considering his age. Speaking of age, he’ll be 36 next year, is it possible to stay successful? Only time will tell.
2. Adam Jones: Youngest of the group, huge playmaker on defense and as a returner, vocal and passionate leader, starting to become technically sound which makes him a better player. hasn’t made an interception yet but that comes with the Territory in a Mike Zimmer defense.
3. Nate Clements: Started games at both Corner and Safety, made some plays at both positions, but has also struggled more than any other in my opinion. He hasn’t made the same plays he made last year (forced fumbles, clutch p.b.u’s) He does have one interception however and he is a vocal leader.
There are certainly other factors to put into perspective, they all bring different things to the table, but like I mentioned, Mike Brown certainly won’t keep all 3 of them, possibly 2, but not all 3.
If I had to choose, I would pick Adam Jones, he can return and is a solid cornerback, I think he still has a few good years left.
Newman was a close second, I figure if he’s still this good at 35, he’ll be similar at 36, and maybe he could have a role similar to Charles Woodson or Ronde Barber at their respected ages. No offense to Clements but I think this may be his last year.
So Bengals fans, now it’s up to you! Who would you choose?