The franchise-tagging of Stacy Andrews points to lots of possibilities.

Of those, the most likely is the departure of Mr. Anheuser-Busch himself, Justin Smith. He is finally a free man and can visit the St. Louis Rams where they know all about that tattoo of his.

Also, the move puts pressure on the offensive line, especially the two aged wooly mammoths we dress as offensive tackles every Sunday in the fall. Big Willie and Levi, have seen this coming since last training camp. They know that Marv and Co. are keeping a close eye on the future of such a valuable position, and now with Andrews and Whitworth in the fold, that future is grazing right beside them.

It seems the Bengals would make a move like this, to ensure that Andrews doesn’t slip away while they hammer out the details of a long-term deal. He isn’t worth $7 million as a versatile backup, but it’s worth the risk in paying him that much in order to buy time to lock him up in a multi-year contract

Allowing Smith to walk, in addition to the numerous other veteran defensive players also circling the drain, would lead the breadcrumbs to point to the beginning of a long-awaited defensive overhaul to the 3-4.

If said veterans are released or unsigned, money would then be available to make a run at a decent free agent or two. We know Marv is a shrewd customer and isn’t going to spend money unless he’s really sold on the value he’s getting, but this season, his words indicate he’ll be more active in the defensive free-agent market.

It doesn’t appear the Bengals are eager to get contracts done with Landon Johnson or Madieu Williams before free-agency begins on Feb. 28 at 11p.m.. While I rely on local media sources for this stuff, as do you, there have been no encouraging reports to suggest otherwise.

I like the durability of Landon, but it wouldn’t anger me to see him play elsewhere. Madieu is only factional as a third corner at this point, and how much do you really want to spend on that?

Stacy Andrews has a lot of value on this team and we need fresh, tree-trunk-like legs protecting our Golden Boy. Andrews would have commanded starters money on another team, and Marv would rather tag him and work out a contract, rather than that be another off-season hole to fill.

Mojokong - Where does the NFL apply the franchise tag on the player? The ear?

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