Cincinnati Bengals Free Agency: Where We Stand

matthewpedroza
Jan 9, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals fans cheer against the Pittsburgh Steelers during a AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals fans cheer against the Pittsburgh Steelers during a AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Whoa! What a wild ride those first two days of NFL Free Agency were? Teams are going to look a lot different for the 2016 season. Unfortunately, that includes our beloved Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals haven’t made any splashes in free agency signings (yet) but 15 players from last years’ roster entered free agency on Wednesday. Let’s breakdown what’s going on.

Who’s Gone?

Marvin Jones

We’re all sad to see Marvin Jones go, but he was considered the best free agent on the market. He has some HUGE shoes to fill in Detroit after the retirement of Calvin Johnson. To put that in perspective, Jones’ career receiving yards (1,729) is less than Calvin Johnson’s 2012 campaign (1,964). Good luck, Marvin! 

Mohamed Sanu

Mo Sanu’s $32.5M contract shows just how shallow the free agent receiving pool was. Sanu showed us signs of greatness, but seemed to fizzle out in crunch time. His versatility will be missed, but if Atlanta is going to pay him that kind of money, I don’t blame him.

Emmanuel Lamur

Lamur will be reuniting with Mike Zimmer in Minnesota. It could be the move he needs to take the next step as a pro linebacker. 

More from Bengals Free Agency

Who’s Staying?

George Iloka

You can’t coach 6’4″ with closing speed. I love Iloka’s response after signing a mega 5-year, $30M deal, “The bar’s been raised. I’m ready to meet expectations.” He also said he wants to be around when the Bengals get over the hump.

Adam Jones

Pacman is a game changer. It’s good to know that he will be one for the Cincinnati Bengals for the next 3 years (even if it does cost $20M+). Loved his quote after signing, too “I’ve got some unfinished business; WE’VE got some unfinished business.”

Vincent Rey

Rey has been solid as a replacement to injured Vontaze Burfict and Rey Maualuga. So much so that he played himself into being an important piece to this Bengals defense. He’ll be a Bengal for the next 3 years signing between $11M and $12M.

Brandon Tate

This is probably the least popular free agent signing amongst Bengal fans. I think there’s a big chance Tate doesn’t make it out of training camp.

TJ Johnson

You gotta think that TJ Johnson was signed to a one-year extension as an insurance policy at a position that suffers a lot of attrition through the year.

Eric Winston

Similar to TJ Johnson, Winston is here as an insurance policy and to mentor a young Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher.

Who’s left?

Reggie Nelson

It’s tough to say, but Nelson won’t be back in stripes next year. Not after the Iloka signing. 

Andre Smith

It’s reported that Smith may join Emmanuel Lamur in Minnesota, but he’s still unsigned. We’re looking at the beginning of a new era at the tackle position for the Bengals.

Wallace Gilberry

Leon Hall

Brandon Thompson

Pat Sims

These four remain unsigned and have not made much noise one way or another. All four of these players were important cogs to a Bengals defensive machine in 2015. With no real offers coming in for any of them, let’s hope that they get a deal done with the Bengals and are back in a familiar system for 2016. 

Be sure to stay tuned to StripeHype.com to get all of your Bengals insights and news!

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