Recently Fox Sports Ohio ran an article entitled “Filling Needs” in their AFC section. They covered the basic FA signings the Bengals need to address when Free Agency finally occurs. And unlike most other FA lists FSO went a step further and actually gave the names of 3 players they think are key for the Bengals to acquire. Starting off with
"1. Atari Bigby, S – Bigby has been a playmaker in Green Bay but hasn’t been able to stay healthy. The Packers have other players at the position and money to spend elsewhere, so he’ll likely be allowed to walk. The Bengals need to get younger and better at the safety position and figure to be one of the first teams to call and see if Bigby can get healthy and get his once promising career back on track."
Not sure that’s really in the realm of possibility, it seems like the Bengals have their FS in Reggie Nelson and their future at the SS position in Robert Sands. Also I don’t know what defines “young” these days, but signing a DB who turns 30 this year, isn’t my definition of getting younger at a position.
"2. Ray Edwards, DE – Cincinnati native has 16.5 sacks over the last two years and is probably going to make a lot of money from some team when business resumes. Expect the Bengals to at least call and make a pitch, though, as Antwan Odom just hasn’t been able to stay healthy and having anothe dangerous rusher on the other side would make young Carlos Dunlap even better."
This idea has been kicked around on message boards and blogs since around January. I’m not opposed to the idea personally; if the price is right. The Bengals will most likely be losing Jonathan Fanene when Free Agency comes around and it’s unclear if the Bengals intend on keeping the injury plagued Antwan Odom. So if the price is right, it’s a possibility the “Cincinnati Kid” comes back home.
"3. Marc Bulger, QB – Assuming Palmer does follow through with his plan to retire, the Bengals will hand the ball to rookie Andy Dalton and let him learn. But they’ll still need insurance and leadership, and Bulger is a guy with AFC North roots (Pittsburgh native, Ravens last year) who can help Dalton learn and step up to win a game in a pinch. There’s just no way the Bengals could go into the season with a rookie starter and Jordan Palmer as the backup."
Picking up a FA QB at this point seems imminent. The only question is “who?”. There have been numerous reports that the Bengals will jump at the chance if/when McNabb becomes a free agent. But names like Orton and Pennington have been heard as well. I’m not sure that Bulger is the guy the Bengals land but I am sure that he is an option if the Bengals feel the QB position needs some refining.
Precise prediction by Fox Sports on this one. But that’s the issue when you attempt to be so precise on a prediction, it’s a lot easier to be wrong. I’m not saying the Bengals wouldn’t look at addressing the Safety, Defensive End and Quarterback position. But players like Atari Bigby don’t seem to be guesses I’d put my name next to as a prediction.