The Bengals are looking nice and beastly going into the season. With the Pittsburg Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens being the older and, as it were, creaking teams in the division, this new Bengals club could change the whole scenery in the AFC North for years to come. During this free agent period,
teams have not hesitated to throw pots of money totaling more than $50 million to acquire players.
If you are an unofficial Bengals Bean Counter and watching how they have been spending salary cap money, you will notice that each free agent they have signed has not been guaranteed more than $30 million.Is this total cheapness? No. They simply want players that will contribute to their style of play and enhance their schemes, as opposed to players that merely enjoy popularity around the league.
The signing of BenJarvus Green-Ellis, the former running back of the New England Patriots, has given the “Who Dey Nation” some “Make My Dey” pride. Spanning two seasons, Green-Ellis has rushed for 24 touchdowns with 1,675 yards on the ground. Most of his touchdowns were on the goal line for the Patriots, but his athletic ability and smarts will work perfectly with Jay Gruden’s West Coast Offense. BJGE can now take the pressure off “Red Baron” Andy Dalton and A.J Green’s sweet combination.
On defense, let us bless the re-signing of breakout safety Reggie Nelson. He restored his career in Cincinnati last season, leading the defense in INTs with four and ranking No. 2 in tackles: 85 with two sacks. This reinvented basher will give that Mike Zimmer defense some more edge in the backfield. Even though the Bengals have lost two of their rotating defensive ends, Jonathan Fanene and Frostee Rucker, they have also added two defensive ends still in their prime: Derrick Harvey and Jamaal Anderson, who sport a combined 15.5 sacks. These additions to the rising Bengals will spark a lot of flames down the road, as long as the Bengals keep monsterizing their lineup.
With the new and hungry players coming in ready to revive their careers in the AFC North, the Bengals could slash and stomp their way to the top the division, flicking out the sad and aging Ravens and Steelers. Could this be the year the Bengals swipe that AFC North crown? Can the Beast of the Heartland break through?
We will see!