Bengals Place 11th in CBS Sports’ “Four-Pronged Rankings”


Pete Prisco of CBS Sports has ranked the 32 NFL teams based on what he feels are the most important positions in football: Quarterback, Pass-rusher, Cornerback, and Offensive Tackle.

"Want to know what your team needs in free agency? Want to see if your team can be considered a legitimate contender as of this moment, before the free-agency period begins?I offer you my four-pronged approach to gauging the strength of NFL teams.The four-pronged approach is this:• Rate the quarterback.• Rate the guys who knock the quarterback down.• Rate the players who knock down the quarterback’s passes.• Rate the men who keep the quarterback upright."

Aw, great. Just another ranking where the Bengals are destined to fail, right?

Nope, Pete Prisco has ranked the Cincinnati Bengals 11th of the 32 NFL teams. It helps that these rankings only choose one player from each category, because some of the Bengals best players fall into these four categories.

  • Andrew Whitworth rated as the 7th best Offensive Tackle
  • Leon Hall rated as the 7th best Cornerback
  • Carlos Dunlap rated as the 25th best Pass Rusher
  • Carson Palmer rated as the 14th best Quarterback

Carson Palmer is the name that sticks out immediately. If Prisco had used Andy Dalton instead of Carson Palmer in these rankings, the Bengals might place a lot lower. Prisco defends his inclusion of Palmer by saying, “I did include Carson Palmer with Cincinnati and Donovan McNabb with Washington. I still think there is a chance they both play for those teams again — no matter what the rhetoric has been.”

So, if I’m hearing this right, Prisco’s ratings indicate that Carson Palmer will return to the Bengals and the Bengals don’t need to be big players in free agency?

I respectfully disagree, Pete. I know I’m not alone in thinking that Palmer will be retiring this year. On the free agency front, the Bengals will need to be big spenders because of the uncertainties at Safety, Offensive Line, and Defensive Line (not to mention, possibly, Quarterback, Cornerback, and Running Back). In addition, the expected salary cap floor in the new CBA forces the Bengals to drop some major cash this year. I, for one, am really excited for the beginning of free agency. The Bengals are almost guaranteed to make some major moves.