Oct 12, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; A detailed view of the Cincinnati Bengals helmet during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Bengals have a coach who is in the last year of his contract and 13 unrestricted free agents set to hit the market next season. The Bengals must figure a way to get over the hump this season before the bulk of their team hits the open market.
Mike Brown has publically acknowledged the tasks ahead and has stated that the future is now. Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com wrote about Bengals owner Mike Brown and his focus on the present. Mike Brown is quoted as saying:
"“But I am not going to distract the team or say something that the public misinterprets. Our focus is literally on whom do we play in Game One of the regular season. Then just taking one at a time. That’€™s the old cliché, but that’€™s all you can do. You start focus on something grander than that and you are just going to run yourself aground.”"
He also goes on to talk about not being worried about Marvin Lewis‘s future preferring to focus on the present.
The players who are scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency next season are some of the Bengals’ biggest impact players. Offensive tackles Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith are both going to demand a pretty penny, along with their offensive counterpart A.J. Green, who will be the most likely to get the franchise tag. The Bengals could lose both their safeties, George Iloka and Reggie Nelson, if they can’t reach a deal before next offseason.
The Bengals will have a lot on their plate next offseason and all the evidence points to losing at least one or two solid players. It is important to take advantage of every opportunity while they still can. If they can get back to the playoffs for the fifth straight year, maybe Mike Brown won’t be “just happy to be there.”
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