The Cincinnati Bengals finally make a few waves in the free agency waters. By signing Kevin Minter, the defense will get an injection of speed.
If Bengals fans were hungry for a free agent signing that means something, they got it. Per ESPN, the Cincinnati defense added linebacker Kevin Minter to the fold on Saturday. Minter has been with the Arizona Cardinals for four years, after being selected in the 2013 NFL Draft. The addition of the young linebacker brings a dose of speed and, hopefully, sideline-to-sideline coverage.
Essentially, the Bengals’ signing of Minter is further proof that the current state of the defense is not going to go unaddressed. After posting a disappointing 6-9-1 record, it was time for a shake-up. So far, most mock drafts have delivered Reuben Foster to the shores of Cincinnati. Either Marvin Lewis or defensive coordinator Paul Guenther isn’t happy. With the acquisition of Minter, there just may be a changing of the guards coming soon (cough, cough…Rey Maualuga).
The addition of Minter wasn’t a total surprise. Linebacker seems to be a position that the Bengals are ready to upgrade. The Bengals have entertained the Giants’ Keenan Robinson and initially had an earlier visit with Minter. If there was one constant complaint about the Bengals’ defense, it was the recurring use of the word slow. Hopefully, the presence of Minter–and getting Nick Vigil into the lineup–will give a turbo boost to the X’s.
Nothin’ But Love For Lewis
Minter was able to talk with his new coach in Arizona before signing with the Bengals. Lewis is a member of the NFL Competition Committee and is in Scottsdale for a meeting. The newest member of the defense had nothing but praise for Lewis.
"“We talked a little ball, but he was trying to figure me out and I was trying to figure him out,” Minter said, per Bengals.com. “It was a very down-to-earth conversation. It was cool to sit down with a guy who has been a head coach for so long and just have conversation like that. I understand why so many people have so many good things to say about Marvin Lewis. It gave me a better understanding why everyone loves that man.”"
One thing Kevin will have to get schooled on is his use of the phrase “everyone loves that man.” Lewis may be one of the longest tenured coaches in the league but he isn’t on everybody’s Christmas list. That aside, snagging Minter is the biggest deal of the offseason. After losing Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler to sunshine cash and the Dawg Pound, this signing may have most of Bengals Nation trying to smile again.
For the past two seasons, Minter has been improving his skills with the Cardinals. In the Bengals’ scheme, he could possibly play his natural position of inside linebacker. The move is an interesting one indeed. Karlos Dansby recently signed with Arizona. If it was any sooner, the situation could be looked upon like exchange students. Both players agreed to one-year deals.