Offseason Overview: Questions Still Surround the Bengals

Chad Johnson

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)

• RB Dan Burks (not tendered as ERFA) missed the 2007 season after suffering training camp injury.

• OL Adam Kieft (not tendered as RFA).

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

• LB Darryl Blackstock: Not tendered as RFA by Cardinals; $560,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2008 cap: $485,000.

• WR Doug Gabriel; FA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• LB Brandon Johnson: Not tendered as ERFA by Cardinals; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• DE Antwan Odom: UFA Titans; $29.5M/5 yrs, $11M guaranteed.

• TE Ben Utecht: RFA Colts; $9M/3 yrs, SB unknown (Colts did not match offer and receive no compensation).

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

• T/G Stacy Andrews: FFA; $7.455M/1 yr).

• WR Antonio Chatman: Potential UFA; $1.485M/2 yrs, $200,000 SB.

• DE Jonathan Fanene: Potential RFA; $4M/3 yrs, $750,000 SB/$300,000 reporting bonus.

• QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: RFA; $927,000/1 yr.

• LB Dhani Jones: UFA; 3 yrs, terms unknown.

• WR Glenn Holt: ERFA; $445,000/1 yr.

• LB Rashad Jeanty: ERFA; $445,000/1 yr.

• S Herana-Daze Jones: Potential ERFA; 1 yr., terms unknown.

• P Kyle Larson: UFA; 5 yrs, terms unknown.

• LB Corey Mays: ERFA; $445,000/1 yr.

PLAYERS LOST

• WR Chris Henry (released).

• LB Landon Johnson: UFA Panthers; $10M/3 yrs, $3M SB.

• WR Tab Perry: Not tendered as RFA/Dolphins; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• DL Bryan Robinson: UFA Cardinals; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

• LB Anthony Schlegel (released).

• DE Justin Smith: UFA 49ers; $45M/6 yrs, $20M guaranteed.

• C Alex Stepanovich: UFA Falcons; terms unknown.

• S Nick Turnbull (released).

• S Madieu Williams: UFA Vikings; $34M/6 yrs, $13M guaranteed.

The offseason for the Bengals has been marred by the back and forth between star WR Chad Johnson and the organization. Johnson has said from the end of the season he wants out, while coach Marvin Lewis, who has to be somewhat on the hot seat in 2008, says CJ is sticking around. It’s to the point where Lewis is almost daring Johnson to miss part of the season and forfit paychecks. We’ll see. On the field, this team has underachieved the past two seasons, and defense has been a big reason why. They didn’t make a ton of moves in that department in free agency, but did start the draft with Keith Rivers from USC at LB, and spent 6 of 10 picks on defense.

Another lift could be the return of LB Odell Thurman, who has been out of the league for two years after being suspended. If he can play as well as he did as a rookie, Thurman will be a big benefit to the team. The team should have an interesting summer, as they will need to sort out the Johnson situation, and also will have to figure out how to stop teams with high powered offenses in their division like the Steelers and Browns. As said before, Lewis needs to get this mess turned around, or he may find himself answering employment questions in the near future.

Offseason Grade to Date: C


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