Making the Call: Should the Bengals Re-Sign Cedric Peerman?
Sep 21, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Cedric Peerman (30) against the Tennessee Titans at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 33-7. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Cedric Peerman‘s presence is like that of many special teams players throughout the league. Even as one of the league’s leading special teams tacklers, Peerman largely goes unnoticed by fans and the NFL community alike. Yet he’s been a strong and consistent presence for the team for some time now. Acting as the unit’s captain for the past few seasons, Peerman helped the Bengals finish 2014 with one of the league’s best special teams units. But this is where his impact on the team stops, which begs the question, is it enough to justify another contract from the Bengals this off-season.
No NFL team can afford to overlook the oft forgotten about special teams unit; it’s why Cedric Peerman was given an extension but the Bengals in 2013. But with several young players becoming stalwarts on the unit, is Peerman’s presence as necessary as it once was? Shawn Williams has been a dynamo for the group, as has Jayson DiManche. But most importantly, fellow reserve running back Rex Burkhead has also done his part to prove his merit within the unit.
Peerman’s presence on the roster means, Rex Burkhead has been a game day “inactive” more often than not across his first two years in the league. Despite his rare opportunities, Burkhead has made the most of his time. He accounted for four special teams tackles this year while also blocking a punt. With this kind of potential, and while considering younger players (Peerman will be 29 next season), are the Bengals really so reliant on Peerman’s impact within the unit.
Offensively, again despite Burkhead’s lack of opportunity, the battle between Cedric Peerman and his fellow running back seems to be over. Although Peerman has come up with some nice plays in the past, he will never be an impact player on offense. The team has drafted several running backs over the past couple of years, including Burkhead, which has effectively pushed Peerman out of any conversation.
Meanwhile, Burkhead has proven himself to be the superior offensive talent. He made several nice catches last season including this one during the team’s Wild Card matchup against the Colts.
His plays were both timely and effective across 2014.
This while Burkhead displayed great versatility. During the Bengals matchup against the Colts, he lined up at running back, wide receiver, and even tight end. It’s this kind of versatility that the Bengals love and can be employed in an effort to confound the opposition; something Hue Jackson loves to do.
Cedric Peerman will have to decide if he ever wants to get a shot as a running back in the NFL; at this point in his career, it seems unlikely. If he does, then Cincinnati isn’t the place for him going forward. If Peerman is past that goal, then the market will certainly exist for his talent on special teams, which will likely include Cincinnati.
Cedric Peerman has done nothing to warrant an exit from Cincinnati, with a potentially more versatile and impactful player behind him on the depth chart, his time with the Bengals should be running out. Although I expect the team will likely seek to re-sign him to a small deal, doing so would only keep the team from utilizing a more talented player in Rex Burkhead.