As training camp approaches and players ready themselves for the long season ahead, us fans have several questions waiting to be answered. The Bengals are entering a season with a roster that is primed for success. They have franchise players on both sides of the ball, quality depth at most positions, and a quarterback entering his fourth year as a starter. With coaching changes on both sides of the ball, my question is: Will this finally be the year they break the 24 year playoff win drought.
Let’s check out some questions from you fans:
Dustin, what are your thoughts on a contract extension for AJ Green? It seems like the Bengals are not in a hurry to get anything done? Thanks Matt, Cincinnati, OH.
Matt, there is no question that AJ Green is one of the franchise players in this organization and a key player for the offense. Green mentioned in a recent interview at his Pro Camp that his contract was being but on the “back burner” by the Bengals. However he also said, “That’s fine with me, I don’t even look at it like that. I just go out there and play and my time will come. … It’s not surprising. Teams always want to wait.” In my opinion the Bengals are doing it the right way by exercising Green’s fifth year option and waiting on a contract that will be massive. They also technically could keep Green for three more years after the 2014 season by using the franchise tags in 2016 and 2017. Bottom line is AJ Green will be a Bengals for at least the next three seasons.
Andy Dalton, does the team really want to resign him because if they did, it would be done by now. What percentage of a chance do you see Dalton not being resigned and leaving the Bengals after this year? Ben, Lexington, KY.
A five percent chance Ben. I just think that a contract for Dalton will be announced in the next couple of weeks. The Bengals don’t care what everyone else thinks, when they reach a deal they are comfortable with then we will see a contract. Now if your Andy Dalton’s camp you have to think about how many teams would pay a premium for a quarterback with three straight playoff appearances on his resume. If the Bengals wanted a replacement they had opportunities to draft one, AJ McCarron doesn’t count. I myself am going to pass judgment until I see what Hue Jackson does with Andy and the offense this season.
Dustin, who is one player that you think will sneak onto the roster and make the final cut, ala Jason Dimache last year. Thanks, Jerod Kansas City, KS.
FB Nikkita Whitlock, TE/FB Ryan Hewitt, G Trey Hopkins, and WR James Wright have all gotten some pub during OTA’s as late round/CFA’s that could make the roster. I agree and if any of the four made it I don’t think it would be a surprise or sneak attack. Now here is a name to keep in mind, offensive tackle/guard Dan France which I mentioned in the 2014 Long Shots Stripe Hype post. France might not be a sexy pick, but he was a 36 game starter with two seasons at left tackle and one at guard. That kind of versatility makes rosters, especially when you factor in his ideal size at 6’5 315 lbs.
With Mike Johnson gone how confident are you that the Bengals have the personnel to fill his spot on the defensive line? Ross, Cincinnati, OH.
Thanks for the questions Ross. I’m confident that they have the guys and that we will see more production from the defensive end spot opposite Carlos Dunlap this year. To me Michael Johnson was kind of over rated, he was not an impact player like he got paid as. Durable, high character, team leader, yes, but he is replaceable and I really hope Wallace Gilberry gets more opportunities this year to do that. Margus Hunt will probably see some work on early down and be replaced by Gilberry, who had twice the sack production as Johnson on half the snaps.
If you would like to send in a question enter it into the comments below and I will do my best to answer it in next weeks post or send your question to @DDMeritt.