A former New Orleans Saints and Cleveland Browns safety visited the Paul Brown Stadium this week with the view of filling the gap that the Cincinnati Bengals have at the position this year. It’s quite clear that the Bengals are looking to move away from safeties Taylor Mays, Jeromy Miles, Chris Crocker and Nate Clements after each of them had disappointing 2012 seasons. The key is to complement their current top safety, Reggie Nelson, and whether the new starter will come in the NFL Draft or in the free agency is yet to be determined.
The latest in the long line of possibilities that have been making visits to Cincinnati is veteran safety Usama Young. Young, heading into his sixth year in the NFL, is looking to join his third team after the Browns released him in order to free up some much needed cap room. Unfortunately for Young however, his last team was the Browns, a team that the NFL tends to overlook when it comes to players that are no longer wanted, especially considering their excellent spot in this year’s draft.
It’s hard to say at this point whether Young falls into this category because although he had an excellent 2012 season putting up three interceptions and was ranked 12th overall in NFL safeties, he has only played one full season in the NFL as he has been injury plagued throughout.
At this point, it seems quite clear that even if the Bengals decide to pick up Young, they will still probably pick up a rookie and will have Young to fall back on. On the other hand, if they pick up Young, it could mean that they have decided to use their first round pick elsewhere and will use a later pick on a safety like Baccari Rambo from Georgia or Shamarko Thomas out of Syracuse, both still top safeties, but they could have time to develop.
There has been no word on a contract for Young yet, although it may seem like a wiser decision than holding on to the four disappointments from last season.
Simon Greene – Cincinnati Bengals Writer. Follow Simon on Twitter @simongreene88