Five Bold Predictions for Bengals Off-Season

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The Bengals love Domata Peko’s leadership ability, but after having acquired several players like this over the years, his time with the Bengals could soon end. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The off-season is officially underway and the Bengals have much to do.  They’ll face tough decisions during free agency as they have a couple of players they’d like to retain.  But with 2016 presenting a significant list of players due to hit free agency, this year’s decision-making won’t be a breeze.  The Bengals have proven themselves to be a competent drafters and this trend will need to continue if the team wants to remain competitive going forward.

Most notably regarding this off-season though, is the Bengals’ supposed new approach, as they won’t be sticking with the “status quo” according to Marvin Lewis.  Mike Brown is apparently spearheading this deviation from the past approach to the surprise of many fans.  It’s so shocking that Bengals’ minds can’t help but imagine what possibilities lie out there.  With that in mind, here’s a list of bold predictions for the Bengals’ 2015 off-season.

Domata Peko Will Find the Exit Door

Defensive tackle Domata Peko has been a Bengal for numerous years now and has been praised by coaches often in the past.  He’s seen as a quality teammates and great locker room presence.  But unfortunately for Peko, his skills have been severely declining over the past couple of seasons.  He’s proven himself to be entirely ineffective at times and even a liability at others.  He’s simply not the complement to Geno Atkins that the team needs.

The Bengals currently possess a replacement for Peko in Brandon Thompson.  Although Thompson missed a handful of games in 2014 due to a knee injury, when playing, he’s proven himself to be the superior tackle both against the run and pass.  Peko’s job is to primarily stop the run and this happens to be Thompson’s strong suit as well.  It simply makes sense for Thompson to receive the bulk of the run-stopping snaps in 2015.

Complicating Peko’s situation further is the Bengals copious amount of selections this year.  It’s entirely possible the team takes a defensive tackle very early in the draft, which would push Peko further down the pecking order.  But this draft also possesses some potential sleepers in the later rounds.  The Bengals could most certainly find themselves selecting the “best player available” in these rounds and end up with a second tackle.  If this happens, Peko could find himself out of a job.

With the Bengals possessing a replacement and the ability to invest in a couple of tackles, Peko’s cap number of $3.7 million this year and $3.725 in 2016 could go a long way towards helping the Bengals retain some additional players from 2016’s lengthy list of free agents.  Although Geoff Hobson of recently wrote that Peko will not be cut, the Bengals veering from their past quotidian could lead to Peko’s departure from Cincinnati.

Next: Bold Prediction No.2