Cincinnati Bengals Free Agency 2017: Domata Peko

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Domata Peko has been a staple on the Cincinnati Bengals’ defensive line for years. Could 2017 be the year the team decides to cut ties?

Domata Peko has been one of the marquee players for the Bengals this decade. Whether having a great or subpar performance, he seems to always be brought back for another couple of years.

Last season, Peko had a down year. After posting five sacks in 2015, he had zero this past season, at the age of 32. While not known as a sack artist, to begin with, there’s no question his play is on the decline. So. would it be worthwhile to have Peko play his 11th season in the Jungle?

I personally vote yes, as long as it’s in a reduced role. I still think Peko holds some value for the Bengals as a leader and as a strong locker room presence. Seriously, someone has to be the voice

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of reason for Adam Jones. If Peko will sign for closer to the veteran minimum than the $4.5 million average his last contract was ($9 million for two years) then it would be worth it in my book.

Peko seems to have his fair share of haters and I think there is an argument to be had there. But, I for one think his value to the team goes beyond the stat sheet. I liked comparing him to David Ross of the Cubs this year. Neither of them is the best at their position on the team and both are past their prime. But, you can’t imagine winning a championship without them on the team.

Next: Trevor Roach Retires

The Future at the Position

I’m a big fan of Andrew Billings and have high hopes for his “rookie” year. Billings anchored next to Geno Atkins has the potential to solidify the middle of the Bengals’ D-line for years to come. By carrying four to five guys who can play DT, the Bengals can afford to drop Peko down the depth chart. It all depends on how Brandon Thompson recovers and Marcus Hardison develops. Cutting Pat Sims and reallocating his contract to a new one for Peko could open the roster spot and keep the cap hit reasonable.

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