My name is Cenydd… and I am a Cincinnati Bengals fan.
God it feels good to have that off my chest.
If you were not paying attention to the dumpster fire that was Cincinnati’s 2018 season, it did not go well for the Bengals. We were awful.
The familiar pain of being a Cinci fan was made worse this time round in that they gave us hope by winning 4 of their opening 5 games (“WOO YEAH WE’RE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL!!”) and then crushed it whilst laughing in our faces, winning only another 2 all season (“We are so bad. F*** the Steelers, even the Browns are better than us!”).
So with 2018 done I removed all NFL links from Apple News to give myself a break. Absence makes the heart go fonder as the saying goes, and the heart would need to grow fonder to put myself through another season as a Bengals fan. Adding to the US sport news blackout I am also on a self-imposed social media vacation so, living in Australia, I really have been well and truly in the dark.
Until today that is. Desperate to see what’s been going on in free agent season I returned to the NFL news feeds and… what… the… fuck… ?
Joe Flacco to the Broncos?
Antonio Brown to the …Raiders??
Le-Veon Bell to the Je… wait that can’t be right… the Jets??
Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns?!? …The f***ing Browns?!?
Whilst in Cinci we’re spending our time kicking our heels and re-signing our end-of-contract guys.
It’s good news that we are keeping C.J. Uzomah, a reported $18m deal is big money for a guy coming off his rookie contract but he’s a gun, I think he’ll be a great asset next year.
More questionable is that it looks like we’ve tied up the entire offensive line from last year – does that OL have the talent to buy Dalton enough space each and every down to recapture his 2015 form? They didn’t last year and I’m doubtful that will change, I think Dalton will find himself under a lot of pressure again and we all know – The Red Rifle struggles under pressure.
Most concerningly though, at the time of writing, we still haven’t tied up Darqueze Dennard. Letting him slip through our fingers will be a huge mistake, we have nobody on the roster that can do what he does and it will cost a small (…large) fortune to bring someone in of his calibre.
The Bengals are looking after the bottom line, playing it safe, which is admirable from an accounting perspective. However safe doesn’t win championships and the team we had last season certainly won’t.
It’s very early to get the wobbles but I worry if we’re not making moves with this much talent in the free agent pool and potentially letting one of our biggest talents go it’s not going to be the opposition that beats us in 2019 – it’s going to be our own lack of ambition.
Update 5 Apr 2019
Fuck yes! Great job Zac and Mike!