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Cincinnati Bengals Stand Pat on First Day of Free Agency

March 14th, 2012 at 10:09 AM
By Chuck Chapman

While Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder was doling out large sums of cash that even Congress saw as obscene, the Cincinnati Bengals characteristically were quiet on the first day of NFL free agency.

That meant that several of the more high profile potential targets on the Bengals radar were snatched up in the initial flurry of signings. Off the board now are wide receivers Robert Meachem, Pierre Garcon and Reggie Wayne. Cortand Finnegan and Terrelle Thomas are cornerbacks of interest who are no longer available.

The good news is that several intriguing prospects still remain. The chief free agent target for Cincinnati remains RB Michael Bush. While Bush tweeted yesterday from Arizona, it's doubtful he's looking there with Beanie Wells firmly entrenched.

At wide receiver, Mario Manningham is still out there and with the Buccaneers signing Vincent Jackson, he may be looking elsewhere besides re-signing with the Giants. Braylon Edwards remains a more veteran option if the price is right. A return of Jerome Simpson isn't out of the question either as there were no inklings of interest from around the league yesterday with him either.

All of the Bengals targets on the interior of the offensive line remain available. The top candidates, Carl Nicks and Evan Mathis, likely won't consider Cincinnati and Baltimore's Ben Grubbs was reportedly in New Orleans yesterday talking to the Saints in the event Nicks signs elsewhere. Tennessee's Jake Scott remains available as does veteran Steve Hutchinson. Reports had former Ram Jacob Bell visiting Cincinnati, but he doesn't appear to be much of an upgrade over Nate Livings or Mike McGlynn. If Bell is signed, it will likely be for depth, meaning the team plans to go with a draft pick like David DeCastro and Clint Boling.

Several cornerback prospects still remain, including William Gay, Chris Carr, Richard Marshall and Tracy Porter. Terence Newman, who was cut by the Cowboys, played for Mike Zimmer in Dallas, but is a bit long in the tooth. Giants veteran Aaron Ross is reported to be visiting Cincinnati this week.

Of course re-signing S Reggie Nelson continues to be a priority and could get expensive as he is being mentioned as a potential target by several clubs including the New York Jets.

Follow Bengals 101 on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest free agent developments.

Tags: Cincinnati, Cincinnati Bengals, Football, NFL, Reggie Nelson

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