Aug 30, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Anthony Collins (73) runs off the field during a time out in the game against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Gauging the Chances of Each Bengals Free Agent's Chances to Re-Sign

Dec 29, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tackle Anthony Collins (73) against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. Bengals defeated the Ravens 34-17. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 29, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tackle Anthony Collins (73) against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. Bengals defeated the Ravens 34-17. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

With the NFL free agency period starting exactly one month from today (March 11th), let’s take a look at the Cincinnati Bengals that have the potential to hit the open market and evaluate whether the team should re-sign them and what the chances are to re-sign them. Below are the 15 Bengals players that either become Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA) or Restricted Free Agents (RFA) on March 11th.

Type

Player

Analysis

Should Bengals Re-sign?

Chances to re-sign

UFA

Michael Johnson I love Michael Johnson the player. I love Michael Johnson the person. I don’t love the money Michael Johnson is going to command. While Johnson did not have the big numbers in 2013, he is still a top DE with plenty left in the tank and he will get big money offers. The Bengals could afford to keep either MJ or Dunlap. They chose Dunlap. I would love him back, but with Dunlap, Gilberry, Hunt, etc, I expect the Bengals to let Johnson walk.

No

10/90

UFA

Anthony Collins I have always liked Collins and thought the Bengals line really took a step forward last year when Collins went to LT and Whitworth moved to LG. I don’t know if the Bengals are open to keeping Whit at LG full time, but they should be. While I wouldn’t break the bank for Collins, if $5-6M would be enough to get him signed, I would bring him back and move Whit to LG permanently.

Yes

50/50

UFA

Taylor Mays I have never been a big fan of Mays, but to his credit, he played well last year in his role as a nickel LB and it is because of that versatility that I think the Bengals should try to bring him back. With his low NFL production and season ending injury, bringing him back shouldn’t be hard or expensive.

Yes

80/20

UFA

Chris Crocker The last two years Chris Crocker has come off his couch to stablize the Bengals secondary and been very productive doing so. Much like they did in 2012 and 2013, I see the Bengals letting Crocker walk, knowing that he will be there should they need him later in the year.

No

10/90

UFA

Brandon Tate Tate had a decent year, but nothing that can’t be replaced by a younger and less expensive option. Letting Tate walk could save me a few four letter outbursts per Sunday – a welcomed thought.

No

50/50

UFA

Brandon Ghee Ghee always draws rave reviews…and is always injured. As a result of his injuries, I don’t expect him to get many looks outside of the Bengals and he will be available for cheap. He is worth bringing back to see if he can stay healthy and finally be the player we hear about, but his roster spot will be far from a lock.

Yes

80/20

UFA

Mike Pollak I thought Pollak did a very good job last year filling in for Zietler and at times, I thought he outperformed Zietler. I would be all for bringing Pollak back in 2014 as a strong and versatile lineman, but the Bengals have other young lineman (Hawkinson) that they like as well.

Yes

50/50

UFA

Alex Smith Smith played more than the average 3rd TE, but he produced at the level you would expect for a 3rd TE…very little. I see the Bengals letting him walk and keeping Gresham, Eifert and Charles.

No

10/90

UFA

Dennis Roland Letting him go brings up the big question of “who fills the tackle eligible role?” However, barring injury, I see Roland being free for lunch dates come September.

No

5/95

UFA

Zoltan Mesko If Huber is healthy, the Bengals have their Punter. If not, they certainly could bring back Mesko who fills two roles – Punter and Speedo model!

No

1/99

UFA

Michael Boley There is never a 0% chance for a player returning, but Boley is as close to 0% as one could get. With Burfict, Maualuga, Harrison, a healthy Lamur, Porter and Mays ( and presuming they bring back Vincent Rey), Boley has no spot and serves no purpose…not much unlike he did in 2013.

No

1/99

UFA

Ogemdi Nwagbo Who? Exactly. He filled the roster spot when Still went on IR, but assuming Still is healthy and Peko isn’t released, he doesn’t have a spot on the 2014 team.

No

5/95

RFA

Andrew Hawkins With his quickness and agility, Hawkins provides an additional element to the offense and makes the offense tougher to defend. I think the Bengals want him back, and as a RFA, they will have the opportunity to match any offers. However, if someone offers him big money (doubtful), I don’t see the Bengals matching it (nor should they).

Yes

70/30

RFA

Vincent Rey Rey was a pleasant surprise in 2013 and I would argue the 2nd best LB on the team. I think the Bengals realize his value and will bring him back on a 2-3 year deal for starter/high paid backup money. It isn’t out of the realm of possibity that Rey starts in 2014.

Yes

90/10

RFA

Dane Sanzenbacher I think the Bengals would like to bring back Sanzenbacher and his limited playing time in 2013 likely makes his return more of a possibility. Sanzenbacher is a sure handed receiver that can return punts and be a great insurance policy against an injury.

Yes

60/40

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