The Cincinnati Bengals have been passive so far in free agency, with only a few meetings with players thus far. However, according to reports, the team is adding another to the list. Defensive end Robert Ayers, formerly of the Denver Broncos, is meeting with Cincinnati this week.
Ayers was drafted in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Broncos, but was a bit of a disappointment, totaling just 12 sacks and just 27 starts in his five seasons in Denver as a rotational player. He could find a home in Cincinnati’s line rotation as a good run defender, and would fit with the tendency of the Bengals to take a chance on former first round draft picks who didn’t find success elsewhere. Coaches have had some success in rehabbing the careers of high-potential players, but guys like Jamaal Anderson and Aaron Maybin weren’t able to put it together in Cincinnati.
The Bengals are, in their words, kicking the tires on some free agent depth after the first wave of big contracts. They will likely bring in several players over the next few weeks, and some will wind up in stripes. Depth along the defensive line is something the team needs, and so Ayers makes some sense, if he comes at the right price as well. There are other teams with some interest as well, so fans shouldn’t get hopes up too high that a contract is imminent. The Bengals have proven they will take their time to get the right guys.