March 25, 2016
Cincinnati Bengals: Building For The Future

With the departure of Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones, the Cincinnati Bengals are of course in search mode. April and the 2016 NFL Draft is around the corner. Free agency will be winding down soon and the action always gets wild and crazy. Rumors, speculation, and secret signings have filled the offseason with tons of surprises. The Bengals are moving along and doing what's necessary to build for the upcoming year. The recent signing of Brandon Thompson is a testament to that fact.

Bengals brass wasn't able to keep Sanu and Marvin Jones in the fold. But they made other moves that proved the desire to win is still there. Re-signing Adam Jones was a priority that they made happen. Losing a smart and savvy player in the defensive secondary would have been a recipe for sudden disaster. Jones' year was acknowledged by his peers and he was rewarded with his first trip to the Pro Bowl.

Fans have been divided on the re-signings and the decision to allow two solid receivers to get away. The overall plan is to remain strong and continue a postseason run that has reached five straight years. Keeping the defense together is also a key factor in winning the tough AFC North. Owner Mike Brown understands the necessity to remain intact.

Bengals Building
[Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]Though the Bengals have come up empty in the W column, they are consistently making the playoffs and creating the chance to move forward. Brown addressed the situation, via the Cincinnati Bengals site, while attending the owners meetings in Boca Raton, Florida.
"A lot of teams, in my opinion, would take where we are to where they are."
Contrary to popular belief, Brown realizes that defense wins championships. Free agency will still offer some above average talent when the Bengals decide their next move.

"We preserved what we could in the secondary. We're pretty solid," Brown explained. "We got back Vinny Rey and that was important for us with Burfict's situation. We did get hit at receiver. We lost two guys. We'll have to fill it in. It is something we are working on. We'll work on it as we continue to go along. Free agency isn't over and we also have the draft coming up."

That being said, the Bengals have looked at other studs that could bring another AFC North crown to Cincinnati. Bengals brass is rumored to be in negotiations with Brandon LaFell. The New England Patriots receiver posted 953 receiving yards and seven TDs in 2014, but he struggled this past season after missing the first five games with a foot injury. The Patriots released him three weeks ago.

The rumor mill has the Bengals close to contract with LaFell. According to Pro Football Talk, Cincinnati fans shouldn't be surprised if a deal is made soon. The Bengals have a problem at wide receiver, but that doesn't mean panic. Adding LaFell won't count against the compensatory picks and he still has something left in the tank.

Bengals Building
[Photo by Justin Miller/Getty Images]The Bengals don't dive into the free agent market often. When they do, it's usually a move that makes incredible sense. Browns free agent Karlos Dansby has expressed interest in coming to Cincinnati. It may seem as if the Bengals are stocked at the linebacker spot, but his addition would keep things running smoothly. During Vontaze Burfict's three-game suspension, he would be a welcome addition. He's smart and has played in both 4-3 and 3-4 schemes.

Dansby started every game for the Browns last year. He's already expressed interest in joining the Bengals.

"I'm sure the Bengals are licking their chops. I hope they are. We'll see what it is."
The former Cleveland linebacker wants a chance at winning a ring. He mentioned that he wants to play with a Super Bowl contender like the Bengals, Cardinals, or Packers. Bengals brass just may supply the fuel for his destiny.

[Photo by Justin Miller/Getty Images]