Team Needs: Cincinnati Bengals
By: Bernie Marshall 
Posted: 2007-03-16
Category: Washington Redskins News
Between now and the 2007 NFL Draft, THN will be taking a look at all of the NFL teams’ off-season needs. Up next is the team with the eighteenth overall pick in the draft, the Cincinnati Bengals.

2006 Results: 8-8 ( 2nd in AFC North )

2007 Projected Cap Status: $80,200,000 or $28.8 million under the Cap


2006 Season Recap:

The Bengals ended the season on a three game losing streak after opening with a 3 game winning streak. Streaky is a good way to describe the 2006 Cincinnati Bengals, they’d win 2 or 3 only to follow up with 3 of 4 loses. QB Carson Palmer throwing for over 4000 yards combined with Rudi Johnson rushing for over 1300 yards couldn’t help them to the post season with all of the off field issues that were surrounding them.

Character will definitely play more of a priority when selecting players this year, when nine players were arrested in a 14-month stretch for the Bengals.

Team needs:

1. Defensive Line
DE Justin Smith is a free agent, the Bengals must retain him. Smith was the only bright spot on a weak defensive line. Robert Geathers is giving the team hope for the future (combined with Smith they had more than half of the teams sacks in 2006). Veteran DE Sam Adams takes up a lot of space in the middle but Cincinnati need to draft a young guy to add athleticism to the interior of their line.

2. Offensive Line

The Bengals gave up 36 sacks in 2006, and one reason for the high number was the loss of starting center Rich Braham and left tackle Levi Jones (they both missed most of the season with injuries). Their replacements, second-year center Eric Ghiaciuc and rookie left tackle Andrew Whitworth, did as well as expected, but their inexperience showed. Eric Steinbach was the best on the team, but he has left town via free agency.

3. Defensive Back

FS Madieu Williams may be asked to move to CB opposite last year's rookie CB Johnathan Joseph if CB Tory James doesn’t re-sign. The Bengals could then look for a safety later in the draft or pick up a free agent safety.

2007 draft picks:
Rd. 1 (18th)
Rd. 2 (49th)
Rd. 4 (110th)
Rd. 5 (141st)
Rd. 6 (172nd)
Rd. 7 (211th)


Free Agency Status:

Exclusive Rights Free Agents:
RB Terrence Whitehead

Un-Restricted Free Agents:
CB Rashad Bauman
C Rich Braham
CB Tory James
QB Doug Johnson
S Kevin Kaesviharn
TE Reggie Kelly
OT Scott Kooistra
S Anthony Mitchell
DE Justin Smith
OG Eric Steinbach
TE Tony Stewart
WR Kelly Washington
RB Kenny Watson
LB Marcus Wilkins
QB Anthony Wright

Restricted Free Agents:
OG Stacy Andrews
CB Greg Brooks
DE Robert Geathers
LB Landon Johnson
P Kyle Larson
LB Caleb Miller
DT Shaun Smith

Check out more at THN's exclusive 2007 NFL Draft section.
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