Cincinnati Bengals: Revisiting Super Bowl of Bust
At the Beginning of the season, many people thought that this year would be the make it or break it point for the Bengals. They have multiple free agents, they have even signed a few since we last talked. So, with the moves they have made so far, is all the eggs still in the 2015 basket?
We know Andy Dalton is signed through 2021, if the team decides to keep him around. A.J. Green is working off a brand new deal through 2019, and Andrew Whitworth is signed until the end of the 2016 season. The top guys are still going to be in place for a few more seasons, and with guys like Tyler Eifert and Giovani Bernard at least through 2016. They have brought in the future of the line with drafting Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher in place for at least the next 3 seasons. We already know they can not afford both Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones long term unless they both take discounts, but should they need too?
The defensive side of the ball is another question mark. Adam Jones, George Iloka, and Reggie Nelson all signed through 2015 with Dre Kirkpatrick is signed through 2016. The Defensive line is a whole other story, with Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, and Michael Johnson signed through 2018, not to mention Domata Peko until after 2016, they are set up front. Even if they were only able to keep Iloka and Jones, this team would not be in dire straights on defense.
So again, we all started calling 2015, Super Bowl or Bust, is it true? As much as we would all love to see the Bengals get their first Super Bowl win in franchise history, or even get to there for the third time, first since 1988 season, this team is not in danger of becoming the Bungles for a while. If they can take another step in winning a playoff game and get past the wild card or into the AFC Championship game, most fans would call that a true success. Now is not the year to panic if they don’t win it all, but it will make the 2016 free agency just a little more important.