Posted on: July 27, 2010 5:18 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2010 5:48 pm
I’m still a little confused about the interest shown to Terrell Owens by the Bengals. I wrote Monday about why owner Mike Brown likes him – Owens is still a good receiver and Brown considers himself a redeemer – and the Cincinnati Enquirer has reported that originally, Owens wanted $6 million of guaranteed money.
Today, TMZ tracked down Owens, and he said, “I know what I made last year ($6.5 million), so we’re trying to maybe cut that half and see what I can work with. I’m flexible.”
But even if Owens – who, at this point, isn’t going to the Rams or the Jets – makes $3 million of guaranteed money and gets an incentive-laden contract, I don’t quite see how he fits in with the Bengals.
There had been speculation that No. 2 WR Antonio Bryant – who signed a four-year, $28 million contract in the offseason – continues to have knee problems, but when I asked coach Marvin Lewis about that Monday, he said, “It has nothing to do with Antonio. We took steps in the spring to put Antonio into different spots, so he could play inside and play different spots. It’s not reflective of Antonio at all.”
So, say Bryant is healthy. With Chad Ochocinco as the No. 1 receiver and Bryant as No. 2, would Owens be content as the No. 3? Considering Andre Caldwell played the No. 3 spot relatively well last year and considering rookie Jordan Shipley will see plenty of playing time, how much is left over for Owens?
One positive in Owens’ favor: the Bengals don’t have much of a deep threat, and the coaches feel Owens showed last year in Buffalo that he still has the speed to be effective on go routes. Perhaps, that’s one option for him.
But remember this, it’s not like the Bengals were flinging the ball all over the field last year. Before he was injured, RB Cedric Benson was near the top of the league leaderboard in rushing attempts. There might be more passing plays added to the playbook this year, but this still won’t be the Bengals of a few years ago when it was the Carson Palmer-T.J. Houshmandzadeh-Chad Johnson show.
If the Bengals sign Owens, he’s sure to make the roster. That would leave Quan Cosby, Matt Jones and Jerome Simpson fighting for the final spot. Is Owens better than the three of them? Yes, probably. But is he worth a new contract? I’m just not sure I see the point.
UPDATE (5:34 p.m.): Pro Football Talk is reporting that Owens has signed with the Bengals.
UPDATE (5:46 p.m.): The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy reports it's a one-year deal for $2 million base pay and with $2 million worth of incentives.
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Posted on: June 22, 2010 11:50 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2010 12:03 am
CINCINNATI – The Bengals on Tuesday released WR Chris Davis, and though the team had signed him to a free agent deal in March, the transaction was not surprising. Not surprising in the least.
Cincinnati’s receiving room, after all, is awfully crowded and awfully loaded with talent. Some deserving players will not make the 53-man roster, and after the final offseason workout of the year, Bengals receivers coach Mike Sheppard glowed with the anticipation of who he’ll work with when the season begins.
“They’ve been challenged,” Sheppard said. “It’s always fun to see how a group responds to a challenge.”
Without Davis around, 10 receivers will vie for what should be six spots when the team breaks camp for the regular season – it’s not impossible the Bengals would take seven receivers, but it’s highly unlikely. Of those 10, four are most likely locks – Chad Ochocinco, free agent signee Antonio Bryant, third-round draft pick Jordan Shipley (perhaps the most impressive player during last week’s mini-camp) and Andre Caldwell – who Sheppard pointed out was faster than anybody else at the position and who was invaluable at times last season.
Jones: He’s tall, and he seems to have good hands. Plus, he’s a former college QB, so when you want to pull out a trick play or two, he’d be a good candidate. But his feet have been slow, and he’s been out of the NFL for a year. He’s been solid, but not spectacular.
Cosby: His biggest strength – at least, last year – is his punt returning ability, as evidenced by his 11.9 yard return average and the fact he led the league in return yards (he also led the league, it should be noted, in punts returned). He began to have an impact in the passing game late in the season, but his height (5-foot-9) doesn’t help. Plus, he’ll have competition at punt return with Adam Jones and Shipley on the squad.
Simpson: The second-round pick from 2008 has been a big disappointment for the Bengals – he’s been active for only eight of his 32 career games while making one measly catch for two yards. Simpson, knowing he’ll have a tough time making the squad this year, had a fantastic offseason, but there are still questions about how well he knows the playbook.
Briscoe: Until he missed much of the offseason with a groin injury, the coaching staff was really high on the sixth-round pick. His former receiver coach at Kansas called him the best receiver he’d ever mentored, and his leaping ability is tops on the Bengals squad. He’s got some ridiculous highlights from college, but he’s missed out by being absent for so many practices.
Purify: We don’t know much about Purify, because he’s only played five games in his two NFL seasons (he’s spent most of his time on the Bengals practice squad). But he’s a special teams stalwart, and last season, he provided the highlight of training camp by dominating SS Roy Williams – quite a hard hitter himself – in the Oklahoma drill.
Brown: If we don’t know much about Purify, we know even less about Brown, except that the local scribes enjoy calling him Downtown Freddie Brown. I’d be shocked if Brown made the roster.
So, my prediction for who makes the squad? Well, it’s tough to say before training camp, but the Facts & Rumors blog aims to please. I’m thinking Briscoe and Cosby will make it. I could see Simpson making a run at a spot, but he’d have to have an outstanding camp to have a shot. I don't think he'll play well enough to manage it.
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