Bengals AFC North Free Agent Preview

Pro Football Weekly has a free agent preview on the AFC North, and here’s what they have on the Bengals heading into free agency.

Unsigned players: RB Cedric Benson (6), OT Kirk Chambers (6), C Kyle Cook (3), WR Quan Cosby (2), DE Jonathan Fanene (6), TE Clark Harris (2), OLB Brandon Johnson (5), MLB Dhani Jones (11), CB Johnathan Joseph (4), TE Reggie Kelly (12), RB Brian Leonard (4), OG Nate Livings (3), OG Evan Mathis (6), S Chinedum Ndukwe (4), S Tom Nelson (2), WR Terrell Owens (15), QB Jordan Palmer (3), RB Cedric Peerman (2), CB Keiwan Ratliff (7), OT Dennis Roland (3), LB Dan Skuta (2), S Marvin White (4), S Roy Williams (9), S Gibril Wilson (7).

Analysis: The Bengals generally are not big spenders in free agency and do not figure to alter their plans in 2011. Joseph could draw significant interest if he becomes an unrestricted free agent. He’s one of the AFC’s better cover cornerbacks and has come on nicely the past two seasons. If the price to retain him soars, it will be interesting to see how the Bengals react.

Benson’s value might be highest to the Bengals, and he might have few better opportunities in free agency from the standpoint of carries and role. Should he re-sign with the Bengals, he likely would remain the featured back, and with the Bengals likely to emphasize the run more this season, he wouldn’t go lacking for work.

Owens is unlikely to be back. Jones has been a productive starter for the Bengals, but the team might want to look at other options at middle ‘backer. Fanene missed most of last season with knee injuries but has good size; he could draw interest from 3-4 and 4-3 teams. Johnson also could draw interest elsewhere, too. Cook has developed nicely.

Click HERE to see the other AFC North teams.

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