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Article:Ready or Not, Greenhorns Will Be Tested

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The free-agent frenzy started today, and already Madieu Williams is a Viking and Justin Smith appears headed for a gold rush in San Francisco.

The Bengals also decided not to resign Tab Perry, a clear sign his hip isn’t getting any better soon. So long, Tab. With Madieu gone to Minnesota and Dexter Jackson old and useless, the pair of rookie safeties - Marvin White and Chinedum Ndukwe -  are now thrown into the primordial soup of this new defense as starters, at least for now.  Like Fanene and Rucker at defenive end, these young bucks are going to see a lot of action next year.

Expect to hear a lot of second-tier names lining up to visit the Bengals this free agency.  Out of all the names being tossed around, I like Calvin Pace the most.  He’s got good size (270) for an outside backer, he’s 28, he had six sacks and 98 tackles last year in 16 games.  Arizona had problems against the pass last year, but they were solid in run defense.

Sure, Lance Briggs would be nice, but he’ll command a lot more money than Pace, and we don’t have the history to cough up dough on top guys like him.  In a perfect world, Dallas would be forced to release Roy Williams due to salary cap constraints and the Bengals could use their Mike Zimmer connection to lure him here.  Or, Miami decides to shed Jason Taylor’s contract and start over without their old guys.  Neither are all that likely, but it’s fun to think about.

Landon Johnson will be the next to fly the coup.  He’s an undersized, tough guy, who plays a lot of snaps and makes tackles.  Mike Zimmer has no need for guys like that, but he’ll find a home somewhere in the next week or so.  If Bryan Robinson doesn’t find a place on our team, that would likely be the end of his playing days.  So long, Bryan.

Also, look for the Bengals to consider acquiring defensive tackle Langston Moore from Detroit.  He’s a former Marv draft pick and wasn’t too bad when he got his chances.  He’d come cheap too.

This wide-ranging change of course we’re seeing, actually began last off-season.  After so many older players were wither cut or weren’t offered to resign, and then few free agents visited, it became clear that Marv was just making space for changes ahead.  That time has come, and the further exodus of veteran players along with an invested future to the youth of this team, demonstrates Marvin’s last ditch effort to get this jalopy moving forward, once and for all.  He get’s some time to try to fix it, but if this doesn’t work either...So long, Marv.

Mojokong - Madieu, $33 million?


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