Mike Brown is Drowning The Bengals Back Into a Sea of Mediocrity & He Is #NotMyOwner
By: Tyler Dugan
It appears as if Thursday, March 9th was the beginning of the end for the Bengals. Well, actually, if it wasn’t the beginning of the end, it was assuredly a pretty big step toward a return to mediocrity. It was a detrimental day for the franchise. A former all pro guard signed the largest contract for a guard in NFL history to play for the Browns, who now may have a top 5 offensive line in the league…Yes, it’s true, we let one of our best players walk to a division foe.
The second best offensive lineman in Bengals history, Andrew Whitworth, signed a 3-year, $36 million deal to play for the Rams. Lastly, the Bengals did decide to keep some of their players. They signed Dre Kirkpatrick for 5 years and $52 million dollars. We also kept Brandon Lafell, lost Peko to the Broncos and will likely lose Burkhead to the Pats.
Now, where do I begin? We’ll start with the Whitworth deal because that came first. A lot of people are saying, “why pay a 35 year old left tackle that kind of money?” And that is a valid point. The NFL is a brutal league that obviously ages players quickly. My simple response is this: Andrew Whitworth was still really, really good. Last year he arguably had the best year of his career. Oh, and we have no one behind him! Last year the Bengals had an issue at right tackle. The first round pick from 2015, Cedric Ogbuehi, started a lot of the season at right tackle and struggled greatly.
The second round draft pick from 2015, Jake Fisher, came in after him and really wasn’t that much better. They got beat like a drum. All. Year. Long. I specifically remember the Christmas Eve game against Houston watching Jadeveon Clowney murder both of them. Both of them now will likely start. One at left tackle, one right tackle. That is beyond alarming.
Next came the departure of Kevin Zeitler to the division foe Cleveland Browns. He signed the largest deal in NFL history for a guard. So after the Bengals missed on Whitworth, they miss on Zeitler.
“But, Tyler, how do you expect the Bengals to pay Zeitler the largest contract in NFL history for a guard?”
Well, for one they had enough cap space to do it. According to Spotrac.com the Bengals had 36 million dollars in cap space before the Dre signing. THIRTY SIX MILLION. Here is the link to the website. It is a really good sight to look at all contracts and cap space for all teams. The Bengals, in reality, could have offered Kevin the largest contract for a guard in NFL history. It was 12 million dollars per year. That sets the Bengals back to 24 million in cap space for this year. Not only did they decide not to pay Zeitler that, they decided to not even go after him.
The Bengals were never even in the running! They didn’t even try! That is so mind boggling to me. I will never be able to understand that.
Next, lets hit on Dre Kirkpatrick. So, based on the previous 2 guys, it looks like the Bengals are following the trend of letting the younger guys they got in the past couple drafts develop. Then they pull this awesome move. They signed Dre to a 5-year, $52 million deal. Little over 10 million a year. (Which if my Elder math serves me correctly gives the Bengals roughly 26 million left in cap space, plenty of room to still get Zeitler, but that’s beside the point).
In 2014 the Bengals drafted Darqueze Dennard in the first round, in 2016 the Bengals drafted William Jackson III in the first round. Both corners. Both look like they will be the back ups. Both had to be drafted because we refused to pay Jonathan Jospeh in the past.
I went back to spotrac to check out the list of corner backs in the NFL making over 10 million a year. There are 11 corners making over 11 million a year. Here are some names not making 10+ million: Byron Maxwell, Malcom Butler, Desmond Trufant, Chris Harris, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Xavier Rhodes, Jonathon Joseph, Orlando Scandrick, and Brent Grimes.
I’m not joking, I would take every single one of those corners over Dre. DRE WASN’T EVEN CONSIDERED THE BENGALS #1 CORNER LAST YEAR. Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones was the guy that often covered the #1 receiver on the other team last year. The Bengals just paid Dre like he is a top 10 corner. According to Pro Football Focus, who grades players based on performance, a pretty reputable source, Dre wasn’t even considered a top 25 corner last year.
Also according to Pro Football Focus, the Bengals had the 23rd best corner back group in football last year. Guess who leads that group, Pacman and Dre. Two guys who aren’t considered top 25 corners are getting paid 16 million dollars combined. That is so unbelievable. Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler both rank at the top of their positions, but weren’t deemed good enough to sign, but those two were. I honestly can’t wrap my head around it.
You know the worst part about it? The Bengals could clear up more cap space by scrapping guys who stink, but are making good money. Who am I talking about? Rey Maualuga and, yes, Pacman Jones. Pacman is set to make 6.3 million dollars this year. Rey is set to make 3.6. That is basically 10 million dollars wrapped up in players who are nothing but issues. Pacman is most likely going to be suspended for at least 4 games because he went all Jackie Moon and told a cop to suck his dong about 57 times. Let’s forget all that though. To me, I can deal with off the field issues if you can produce on the field. I will let most off the field stuff go if you can lock down the #1 receiver on the other team. I put skill above morals. The issue is Pacman sucks. He stinks.
No way around it. He is a bad corner, and he isn’t even the returner anymore, which is the main reason he was brought here in the first place.
Next up is Rey Maualuga. This guy has been on my hate list from day 1. He stinks too. He played in 14 games last year, and had 27 tackles. That includes assisted tackles and solo. That is beyond horrendous. An inside linebacker who played in 14 games made 27 tackles. TWENTY SEVEN. The fact that he is going to make 3.6 million dollars next year is disgusting. Rey wasn’t even smart enough to jump on top of the pile to pad his stats. Complete joke.
They need so much help. They need another linebacker. They need a speed receiver across from AJ. They now need a shitload of O-line help. They had the 13th rated O-line in the NFL last year. The two highest rated players? You nailed it, Whit and KZ. Both gone. The Bengals will be bottom feeders in the OL category. Andy will be running for his life. They need an edge rusher across from Dunlap. They need so much, and it looks like they are going to sit on their ass and watch. (There are rumors we might land Barwin today, though).
The Bengals have 26 million dollars in cap space after signing Dre. If they ever decided to cut Rey and Pacman they would have 36 million, but it looks like Mike Brown is going to sit back and chill per usual. I picture him now, just sitting in his his ivory tower, eating a bowl of oatmeal, laughing at us. I hate that man. I’m pretty sure he probably doesn’t even know that Pacman was arrested this off season. He’s a joke.