Coach Zimmer tends to break corners. This makes complete sense when one examines how Coach Zimmer utilizes them; smash mouth, hard hitters who attack at the point of reception for little or no gain. As a result of smaller-framed players taking that much contact over a season rather than ball-hawking or flying in high for knockout hits, Cincinnati’s secondary has taken a beating each of the last four years. Thus it has become quite usual for a minimum of six cornerbacks to make the final 53-man roster in each of the last four years. Two seasons ago year, Leon Hall and Adam Jones were both sidelined, critically testing the Bengals depth and leading to the drafting of Dre Kirkpatrick with one of their first round picks. This past season Kirkpatrick and Shaun Prater were relegated to red-shirt rookie seasons on the IR along with Brandon Ghee, and although he was never placed on IR, Jason Allen was largely a no show, partly because of injuries.
This was Allen’s first and likely last year as a Bengal. The 29-year old Houston Texans transplant played in only 2 games for Cincinnati and was a major disappointment after coming off a 2011 season that boasted 45 tackles (41 were solo), 11 passes defended, and 4 interceptions. Allen is due $4.5M this season and is unlikely to be back in stripes.
Enter Nnamdi Asomugha. Due $15M this season, the Eagles corner has been asked to restructure his contract, which is a polite way of saying, take a pay cut. Though he hasn’t been released yet, it’s doubtful that he will be in Philadelphia next season. While Asomugha was a previous first-round pick (31st overall by Oakland in 2003), something Cincinnati seems to collect lately, he’s not expected to command a contract similar to the five-year $60M deal that the Eagles agreed to in 2011.