Recent reports have suggested that Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Brandon Tate may be a lock for a roster spot over rookie Mario Alford. Proposing something different, Stripe Hype recently offered an article called “Free Adam Jones.”
May 26, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Darqueze Dennard (21) during OTAs at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
The article stated that the development and ability of Dre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard means Adam Jones should play less on defense. Although Jones is a very solid corner, he should play significantly less snaps. Instead, his focus should be on being the primary returner. After earning All-Pro honors in 2014, there is no doubt Jones is a better returner than Tate.
In fact, the special team units would only improve while the defense wouldn’t suffer much of a loss, if any at all. This assumption would hinge upon Darqueze Dennard.
Dennard came out of the 2014 draft and was regarded as the best corner in the draft by many. It was shocking that Cincinnati was able to select him at 24. There are even some, like defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, who believe he could have competed as a rookie.
“He’s going to compete this year.” Guenther said at the combine. via ESPN. “I probably should have gotten him on the field more. But it’s hard when you have Leon [Hall}, you have Pac [Adam Jones], you Have Terence [Newman]. But sometimes you’ve got to be around those guys for you to learn really what it’s like to do it.”
“I’m really high on Darqueze. He’s going to compete this year”
With a year under his belt, Dennard is not only more experienced, but also more explosive, as he told reporters during OTAs. I believe he will be able to fill the void of Adam Jones admirably. The questions then becomes, what is the need for Tate? Is there a justification for using a roster spot on him?
As we all know, Tate does not offer much as a wide receiver outside of training camp. Although one could argue the Bengals need him for insurance in case Adam Jones or one of the defensive backs suffers an injury (meaning Jones would be forced to play on defense more often).
The way I see it Brandon Tate is expendable. I would rather see Mario Alford make the roster, as he offers something Cincinnati desperately needs, a slot wide receiver who can also act as a return specialist. It’s also worth noting that, with regards to Alford, Cincinnati would definitely lose him if cut, as another team would almost certainly sign him before Cincinnati could sign him to the practice squad.
Brandon Tate out, Adam Jones takes over, Darqueze Dennard gets playing time, and Mario Alford provides insurance as a returner while also giving the team a slot receiver. Sounds good to me. What about you?