Although Adam Jones may not strike you as a lock-down corner, the Cincinnati Bengals saw firsthand how big of an impact he made for their club last season. Jones played in all 16 games last year and was a factor with 37 tackles and one sack. Now that Jones is on the books for three more seasons, the Bengals can focus on developing last year’s first round draft pick, Dre Kirkpatrick.
Kirkpatrick was the talk of the NFL Scouting Combine last year as the cornerback appeared to be a perfect fit for the rigors of an NFL season. Unfortunately, the Bengals only saw a small sample size of the corner as he was sidelined for five games in 2012. A knee injury kept Kirkpatrick out of the lineup, but the sophomore defensive back should come on with a vengeance this year.
Pacman will be 30 in September and the Bengals are still in talks to bring back 35-year old Terrance Newman, so the youth at the position is solely represented by Kirkpatrick. With Pacman ending 2012 as Cincy’s No. 1 cornerback, the Bengals also had a great season from Leon Hall.who will too be a big part of this teams future at just 28-years old.
Although the Bengals have not made the big move of bringing in a player like Ed Reed or even Darrelle Revis, the front office has done a wonderful job keeping their aces in their places on the defensive side of the ball. In a weakened AFC North, the Bengals will likely be the favorite to take home the divisional crown, but they need production from the recently-paid Jones.