Hump Day Headline: Personnel Notes
So, why did the New York Jets sign practice squad player James Ihidigbo, an undrafted free agent safety out of Massachusetts, onto their 52-man roster? The Jets Insider story is behind the firewall, but teh google reveals:
"The Cincinnati Bengals attempted to sign Ihedigbo to their regular roster, so if the Jets didn’t do that same, they would have lost the promising safety."
And so we got John Busing back instead, I suppose. Always good to know you were the first second choice of an 0-8 team, eh?
Speaking of choices, kirk points out that the deadline for extending contracts whose salaries and bonuses can be applied to this year’s cap is fast approaching with no sign of any new deals in sight. I can’t say that I’m all that surprised. Who would be in a hurry to re-up with this sorry squad? Fortunately for the Bengals (and unfortunately for their players), they have only three key people set to enter unrestricted free agency in March of 2009: right tackle Stacy Andrews, wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh and kicker Shayne Graham.
Andrews is almost certainly gone. While his play has not been bad, he hasn’t shown anything to justify the franchise tag the team placed on him earlier this year, much less a big-bucks contract.
I expect the Bengals to try hard to re-sign Graham — they were in talks before the season, but nothing came of them — but his last contract was extremely generous, primarily because it was penned by Jacksonville when they tried to steal him in restricted free agency several years ago, and subsequently matched by the Bengals. He will want a raise, and I’m sure the Bengals already feel like they’re overpaying.
At 32, T.J. is of an age that the Bengals usually prefer not to pay, but here the franchise tag is a real option.
In other personnel news or, more precisely, rumors, WDR claims that the Bengals are talking to Daunte Culpepper.. Even if that’s true, though, I would bet Culpepper is just using the Bengals as leverage to get a better deal from a team that reportedly wants him bad. Lord knows it wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened.