Cincinnati Bengals Free Agency and NFL Draft Strategy

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Nov 17, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson (93) hugs defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer during the game against the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati won 41-20. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Saying Goodbye To MJ

Pressing needs for the Bengals in the 2014 draft somewhat depends on free agency and Michael Johnson. Also the health an recovery of Leon Hall. Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer wanted to keep Johnson, but he is no longer the d-coordinator, so changes on the defense will surely follow. And with the contracts of Dalton and Green coming up fast I’d say the Bengals organization lets Michael Johnson test the water in free agency.

My solution, the Bengals implement some new age baseball strategy “Money Ball”. Let me explain.

First you leave all high profile or over-valued free agent alone. So ,yes, that means leave Michael Johnson’s contract alone an let him test the market. His pass rush took a major drop off in production from 2012 to 2013 although his rush defensive did slightly improve(# 2 rush DE according to Pro Football Focus).

A healthy Geno Atkins will require most of the other team offensive line attention next year to help whoever fills in for Johnson. In my opinion, Atkins made Johnson the lethal pass rusher Johnson was in 2012.

Atkins can do the same for someone else if healthy in 2014. So priority number one will be let Johnson test free agency.

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