Cincinnati Bengals: Make or break year for Lewis; smart keeping McCarron

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Jan 3, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron (5) against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. The bengals won 24-16. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron (5) against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. The bengals won 24-16. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Is this really a prove it year for Marvin Lewis? Some fans wanted to deal McCarron, others think it’s a good idea to keep him. Let’s explore both sides.

As most of us know Marvin Lewis‘ contract wasn’t extended this offseason as it was in previous contracts. Some say this is Brown’s way of finally stepping up and demanding that Lewis and the team get over the hump. Others I’ve talked to believe it will only take another mediocre year for Lewis to get an extension. In my opinion, this should be a “prove it” year for Lewis and he should really be worried this offseason.

Fans have had a real difference in opinion this offseason, from Joe Mixon to AJ McCarron to the offensive line. Before the draft, there was a lot of talk about trading McCarron to the Browns for a high draft pick but nothing ever came of it. It’s no secret the Bengals love McCarron and what he brings to the table as a backup. He almost won a playoff game filling in for Andy Dalton after his unfortunate injury. For me, I think there’s a little more to it.

What if the Bengals had traded McCarron?

Let’s say Cincy settled for the 33rd pick in the 2017 NFL draft. If McCarron would have been traded, what could have happened? Well. let’s face it. We will never know exactly what would have happened but we can speculate. Reuben Foster was taken at 31st overall, so it’s quite possible the Bengals could have made a run at him. There was also top linemen left on the board, who some thought were the best in the draft (Forest Lamp, Cam Robinson). There are a ton of possibilities: Trading up further into the first round, selecting a good player at pick 33, trading for an already established player, etc.

Maybe the smart thing was to keep him

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Then you sit and think. Would it have been worth it to have to face McCarron twice a year with all the picks and players being put in place in Cleveland? In my opinion, it would not have been worth what they would have got in return. The Bengals also got really good value all the way through the draft. In fact, they got two players projected to be selected around that number 33 pick in the third and fourth rounds; all while keeping their more than competent backup.

We all hope it doesn’t but if this season goes like last year, it’s very possible Marvin Lewis will not be the coach in 2018. Now, if that was to happen. not only will it be years of Lewis not getting it done but Andy Dalton as well. For a new coach coming in what would be better than coming in and picking who you want to move forward with? That is why I believe the smartest thing to do was keeping McCarron. I’m not saying Dalton can’t get it done…just that’s he hasn’t. And with a coaching change, the new guy in charge might want to see what McCarron can do.

Next: Joe With The Flow

Conclusion

I truly believe this year the Bengals will get back to their winning ways. They have added young pass rushers, new offensive weapons, a couple of veterans and some promising players who were injured. This team seems to be very talented on paper. Hopefully, it translates to the field and Cincy gets that elusive playoff win. The Bengals have said this offseason that they want to win now and believe their young players will step up and get things done. For Lewis, his job in Cincinnati might depend on it.

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