The Cincinnati Bengals would gain nothing by signing Mike Pouncey over their current center Russell Bodine.
Cincinnati Bengals fans would love to see a revamped offensive line in 2018. The 2017 version was pushed around, back, and forced quarterback Andy Dalton to run for his life most games. Fans want to see a new look and they are tired of watching the quarterback not have time to find his weapons.
The Bengals made waves trading for left tackle, Cordy Glenn from the Buffalo Bills. Bobby Hart was signed from the New York Giants to compete for a guard spot. Jake Fisher is back on the field to take the spot left by Andre Smith. Finally, the collective fan base would also like to see a change at center as well.
Four years ago, the Cincinnati Bengals drafted center, Russell Bodine in the fourth round of the 2014 draft. Since then he has started every game and has amassed a measly 55.0 career grade from Pro Football Focus over those 4 years. Critics and experts overall and across the board grade Russell Bodine very low. His durability and dependability starting four years straight should be well noted, however.
Most fans and even some players saw the news that center Mike Pouncey asked and was granted a release from the Miami Dolphins after not accepting a pay cut. Fans wanted the Cincinnati Bengals to “POUNCE” on Mike Pouncey but there is a huge problem with this rush of excitement. If we are grading off just 2017, Mike Pouncey was worse than Russell Bodine.
According to Pro Football Focus, Mike Pouncey was actually graded as the 27th Center in the league with a 46.5 grade. Russell Bodine has graded the 25th Center with a 46.8 grade. Pouncey has been up and down in his career with Miami. One can blame the scheme, the revolving door of coaches, or just simply Pouncey underachieved last year. If we were talking the 2013-2015 Mike Pouncey, that would be a different story. However, from one expert prospective Russell Bodine played better in 2017.
There have also been fans and media outlets opening up the possibility of center Travis Swanson. By the same rankings, Swanson was rated worse than both Bodine and Pouncey in 2017 ranking 32nd with a measly grade of 43.1.
Financially, none of the three choices makes sense knowing how much the Cincinnati Bengals. Pouncey will demand at least what he was set to make ranging between $8-$9 million. Travis Swanson will roughly be equivalent to Russell Bodine potential salary.
Unless you drive down to Tampa and hijack the best 2017 Center, Ryan Jensen (9th ranked Center in the league with a 74.7 grade) and pay his rumored roughly $10-$13 million this year it looks as if this is the reason Bengals will be content on resigning Bodine. They will not break the bank this year on the Center position. They can then utilize one of their 11 draft picks for a quality Center to compete with Bodine in 2018.