NFL rumors have been swirling around Brandon LaFell this week. After being released by Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots, the 29-year-old wide receiver is looking for a new home in the National Football League. The Cincinnati Bengals are a team that has been looking for wide receivers after losing a pair in free agency. The two sides might be a fit for one another. According to NBC Sports, LaFell is scheduled to visit the Bengals this week to negotiate a contract.
The New England Patriots wanted to upgrade their offense with new weapons for Tom Brady. Brandon LaFell was not a part of that plan. He struggled with a foot injury at the beginning of the NFL regular season. Then, when he finally got on the field, he had issues with dropping passes. Bill Belichick felt that it time to part ways with Brandon. The Patriots have since replaced him by making a big splash trade with the Chicago Bears to acquire Martellus Bennett.
Brandon LaFell was not one of the top free agent wide receivers this year because of his poor season with the New England Patriots. He and his agent had to stand idly by while higher ranked wide receivers found new homes in the NFL. With teams wanting to fill in roster spots before the upcoming NFL Draft, LaFell has started to receive some attention. There’s bound to be a team in the National Football League that will give him another chance to show that he can still play.
The Cincinnati Bengals might be the team to give Brandon LaFell that chance. They lost Marvin Jones to the Detroit Lions and Mohamed Sanu to the Atlanta Falcons. The Bengals had enviable depth at wide receiver behind AJ Green last season. In order for Andy Dalton to be at his best, the Bengals need to acquire some pass catchers for him. Even if the team signs LaFell, one can expect Cincinnati to spend a selection or two in the upcoming NFL Draft on the position.
Depending on what version of Brandon LaFell shows up in 2016, the Cincinnati Bengals will figure out where to slot him on the depth chart. If it is the one that struggled for the New England Patriots last season, then LaFell might be the third or fourth option at wide receiver. If Brandon plays like he did during his breakout year in 2014, where he had 74 receptions, 953 yards, and seven touchdowns, then the Bengals are going to have their second option behind AJ Green.
Brandon LaFell has some pretty good references on his resume in case the Cincinnati Bengals needed to make some calls. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has made sure to let everyone know that LaFell was one of the toughest players on the roster. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick went out of his way to let everyone know that Brandon has a tremendous work ethic and tried really hard to come back from his foot injury.
The Cincinnati Bengals are said to be hesitant about signing a big-name free agent, because they don’t want to lose the pending draft compensation picks they are receiving from the loss of Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones. That’s why they’re going after Brandon LaFell. However, if the Bengals change their stance, then there are options out there. Andre Johnson, Anquan Boldin, and Roddy White were some of the best wide receivers in the NFL, and they’re available now.
Signing Brandon LaFell is a gamble for the Cincinnati Bengals. If things work out, then they get another weapon to compete for a spot in the Super Bowl.
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