Why do the Bengals Refuse to Sign Outside Players?

Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Many, myself included, have blamed the Cincinnati Bengals for not spending the money required on their roster to win a championship. The truth is a bit more complicated.

The Cincinnati Bengals are notorious for their inability (or lack of desire) to sign outside players to join their team. The Bengals employ a very aggressive draft and develop approach,  one that unfortunately consistently keeps them with the same mediocre talent that fails to deliver year after year. While many see a lack of outside free agents as a symbol of the frugalness of owner Mike Brown, it’s not really that simple.

The Cincinnati Bengals organization actually spends a good amount of money on their roster, spending the 10th most in the entire NFL in cap space since the new collective bargaining agreement was signed in 2011. Unfortunately, the team has failed to win a playoff game in that time span, but it isn’t about the AMOUNT of money being spent, but WHERE the money is being spent. Cincinnati has, unfortunately, spent far too much-retaining players at higher than market value, all for the sake of keeping players with whom owner Mike Brown is familiar.

Think about the Bobby Hart resigning. 7 million dollars in salary for a player who is a backup tackle in the league is just not a wise way to spend your money, nor is it necessary for a player of Hart’s caliber. This sort of impulse to resign players for the sake of familiarity is what has allowed Cincinnati to spend a high amount on payroll while failing to improve their team year in and year out.

Linebacker Vontaze Burfict is another example of a player who was given a good chunk of change to return and has since offered the Bengals very little in the way of production. If Cincinnati hopes to improve their reputation (as well as their football team), signing a significant player from outside the organization would go a very long way towards showing fans that they are serious about improving their football team.

Want to read more about Cincinnati’s offseason? Be sure to check out all of our Bengals coverage on Stripe Hype!

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