Scout. Draft. Develop. Reward. That’s the Bengal’s way. Is it the correct way?
The Bengals rewarded another one of their homegrown young players on Wednesday by coming to terms on a 3-year contract extension worth $15.5 million. It seems that this has been the Bengals model. You can see it with A.J. Green, Andy Dalton, Tyler Eifert, Carlos Dunlap and others.
The Bengals scouting and drafting have been second to none for the past decade. To make things better, they’ve been able to develop their young players into valuable pieces of this team, and they get rewarded for their hard work with a handsome contract extension.
The question is: Is this the right way? If you look at it from a fan’s perspective, of course it is. As fans, we love our players, we wear their jerseys, we want them here long term. If you look on the opposite end of the spectrum in Foxboro, the Patriots don’t seem concerned with keeping players long-term that aren’t named Tom Brady or Rob Gronkowski.
We can point out the obvious differences between the franchises. The Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since 1991, and the Patriots have won 4 Super Bowls over the past 15 years. Can both approaches be right? It can be with the right pieces in place. I, for one, believe the Bengals model creates a sustaining football program however.
The Patriots approach is great for short term rewards. I’ll even go as far to say, they even had a dynasty. Eventually the fish in the NFL pond will want more than to just play for Bill Bellicheck. Eventually, and probably soon, Tom Brady won’t be as glamorous of a ploy to bring in free agents for a year that want to contend. Eventually, they’ll realize they draft terribly, and that’ll come back and bite them.
So dare I say it? Yes, the Bengals are the model franchise of the NFL. Prospect. They Draft quality guys, grow them into NFL players and give them a home and a payday. That’s the Cincinnati Bengals way, and it will be for a long time.