It’s hard to believe that the Cincinnati Bengals are turning into a great NFL franchise after years of futility, but with the way that they have set themselves up is second to none. Too many times organizations listen to their idiotic fan bases and make a trades or free agent signing that really won’t benefit them, but execute it because it will sell tickets. In recent years, the Bengals have turned the tables and are shaping up to be an AFC powerhouse for years to come.
First and foremost, the Bengals hit the jackpot when they were able to draft the future at wide receiver and quarterback in the same NFL draft. A.J Green and Andy Dalton could have easily been drafted by someone else, but the Bengals made the moves and because they drafted well they are now sitting pretty.
When fans see that their teams have upwards of $28M in cap space like Cincinnati does the immediate inclination is for the team to go out and sign Mike Wallace or Paul Kruger. Luckily, the Bengals front office has a grasp of the big picture and would rather hammer out long term deals for offensive tackle Andre Smith and defensive tackle Geno Atkins.
Winning the free agent market does not mean much and the Bengals approach of drafting well and paying their players once they perform is a perfect formula–I advise the naysayers to take a look at what the Green Bay Packers have done for nearly a decade.
The Bengals can expect more postseason berths in the coming seasons as Green and Dalton are not eligible for extensions until after the 2013 season and you have to imagine both of those players will be in Cincy for a long time. Although this franchise has not won a playoff game since 1991, they are turning the wheels in the right direction which should be a good sign for anyone who has faith in the orange and black.
With the Smith and Atkins moves waiting in the wings, stay tuned to see what the Bengals do with the $28.9M that the Bengals have in salary cap space.