Bengals Offer Devon Still Contract; How Effects Defensive Line
Oct 19, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still (75) warms up before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
The Bengals today have reportedly chosen to forgo applying a restricted free agent tender to defensive tackle Devon Still. Instead, the team has offered Still a one-year contract that he is currently considering.
The move is mildly surprising. The Bengals generally side with retaining their own, much to the dismay of many fans. Nonetheless, the move is surprising, as Devon Still’s retention would secure the same group of defensive tackles from the 2014 season. Worthy of note here, there’s nothing saying the contract ensures Still makes it past training camp, but based on the Bengals’ loyalty to players, it still means quite a bit.
If you’re still thinking the team may eventually release Domata Peko, think again. Per Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com:
"As for cutting Peko, it’s not going to happen. The coaches love their nose tackle and while he just turned 30 and may not be what he was, he still does all the invisible things needed to allow other guys to do their jobs. He’s too important on and off the field. You’ll have to have this discussion with defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, who last season called him the best 4-3 nose tackle in the league."
It looks like the group of Geno Atkins, Brandon Thompson, Domata Peko, and Devon Still will remain in tact going forward.
Last year, the Bengals finished with the 20th ranked rushing defense in the NFL. Many fans were frustrated with the play of the interior of the line, which often was pushed around, allowing holes to open for opposing running backs.
This performance was caused many fans to seek help along the interior of the defensive line. Several mock drafts have the Bengals taking a defensive tackle within Round One, but at least by Round Two, in the upcoming draft.
If in fact Devon Still chooses to sign this offer, only then will we know the details of the deal. Although Still is near and dear to the hearts of fans, the Bengals would do well to not guarantee him any money, unless they do the unthinkable and forgo any improvement within the line’s interior.
Next: Could Brett Keisel Help the Defensive Line?
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