It's day two of the relaunch, although today's entry won't be quite as lengthy as yesterday's. In fact, what you're going to read today will more likely reflect what this page will look like every day.
Brevity is good.
*Here are my Bengals free agency thoughts 24 hours or so into the early tampering period, or whatever it's called....
-Yesterday morning the Bengals had massive holes on the offensive line and one good pass rusher.
This morning the Bengals have massive holes and one good pass rusher.
Trey Hendrickson may be ascending, and after he had a breakthrough season in New Orleans in 2020 I'm certainly not opposed to the Bengals signing him, but Carl Lawson is and has been the better player, and even if it's essentially an even swap of edge guys that can get after quarterbacks, the idea was to add another pass rusher to what they already have.
That hasn't happened. Yet.
READ: NFL teams are still paying for sacks in free agency, and the edge defender market is suffering because of it
-Joe Thuney is not a Bengal, which might end up fine. I'm going to take any suggestion that the team "low-balled" him with a Thuney-sized grain of salt. There is nothing that said that any offensive line improvement in 2021 was solely predicated on bringing the Dayton-area native to Cincinnati, and there remains available guards who are both less expensive and better players than the guys they'd be replacing.
That said, not landing Thuney falls in line with a long-standing practice of allowing the most expensive guys to go to other team and settling for lower-tier guys. I'm in favor of anything that bucks normal Bengals trends, and I'm very much in favor of ensuring that we don't see something like this ever again...
...which means I would have been in favor of getting a player on the offensive line who was the best available at his position, which would have required overpaying.
Yes, the Bengals can still get better on the O-line. I believe they will. But the Bengals always settle for something other than the absolute best, which will essentially be what they're doing by adding a guard who's not regarded as the top guy available.
And over the past five seasons, settling hasn't worked.
READ: Bengals sow seeds of doubt about commitment to protect Joe Burrow
-It's interesting when I hear fans yell and scream that the Bengals should sign top-tier free agents, but then later on claim that they don't want the Bengals to overpay. Those two concepts do not mesh.
*Eugenio Suarez is going to play shortstop tonight, with Mike Moustakas moving to third and Jonathan India playing second base.
For more than a few reasons. We'll touch on them all this afternoon on the radio.
READ: Suarez to short: In case of emergence break glass
*This isn't good....
Justin will join me today at 5:20 on ESPN1530.
The offseason is two days old, and two players have already bolted. You can be excused if you're wondering who's next.
You can also be excused if you're wondering how a foundation for success is going to be laid if there's non-stop roster upheaval.
Saunders, at least at the end of the season, looked like a foundational guy. Part of a crew that John Brannen said on Sunday could one day be elite.
This was already going to be a massively important offseason for this program, with lots of spots to fill and the task of navigating thousands of transfer portal players while getting kids to be here long-term AND while blending all the pieces quickly so the Bearcats could hit the ground running early.
With each departure, those tasks seem more formidable.
*Archie Miller is out at IU. I follow Indiana basketball, because college basketball is more fun when the Hoosiers are good, and because of Miller's success at UD, I followed a little more closely than usual.
But it felt like every Hoosies game was the same, with a stagnant offense, and relative to some of the dudes Archie brought to Bloomington, an un-ending sense that that program was underachieving.
IU fans are often accused of carrying unrealistic expectations, and often it seems as if that accusation is fair, but it isn't unreasonable to expect a winning Big Ten record every now and again as well as the occasional NCAA invite. Archie delivered neither.
That ain't on the fans.
*Here's yesterday's radio show, if you need something to drown out me and my fellow Bearcats fans wondering if anyone will play at UC next season.
*Loaded radio show this afternoon with Paul Dehner in studio for the 3pm hour, PFF's Ben Linsley grades Bengals free agency decisions at 4:05, Wintrop coach Pat Kelsey joins me at 4:42, and Justin Williams on what the hell is happening at UC at 5:20. Join me on ESPN1530.
Listen to my show weekday afternoons, 3:00 - 6:00 on ESPN1530.Listen to ESPN1530 24/7 by going here. Hear old shows and interviews onmy podcast page.
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