Bengals have big decisions to make


With the freezing cold temperatures, the snow days keeping us inside, and no Bengals football or Reds baseball currently, I am certainly starting to get cabin fever. I can only watch so much Netflix and my mind has been away from college basketball with West Virginia having a poor start to begin the season. My wife is watching Grey’s Anatomy for the 15th time, my man-cave is unused with nothing on the TV, and I now realize how spoiled I have been with recent playoff success from the Bengals. I miss heading downtown for a “win-or-go-home” game and I certainly miss having people over and ordering overpriced “Beast” pizzas and heading out to the garage at noon. With all that being said, there is a tiny bit of light peaking through, as we finally have some definite dates coming up for Spring Training:

Pitchers & Catchers Report – Feb. 13

Position Players Report – Feb. 18

First Spring Training Game – Feb. 24

With Spring Training around the corner, we definitely have some competition on the horizon, which will make Spring Training that much more enjoyable. I am looking forward to seeing how Jonathan India transitions to playing some outfield, if Encarnacion-Strand gets any work in the outfield as mentioned, the competition between Marte and Candelario for majority 3rd base playing time, as well as seeing how the rotation works itself out. With this much depth, along with seeing players like Blake Dunn get a chance to claim a roster spot, this Spring Training is the most anticipated Spring Training that I can recall.

Bengals Trivia

With trivia being a big hit last week with the Reds, this week seemed like a good time to throw in some Cincinnati Bengals trivia. Let us know how many you got correct, answers are at the bottom of the article!

1. What two players in 2023 were the leaders in total tackles for Cincinnati?

2. Which Bengals wide receiver holds the franchise record for the most receptions in a season?

3. Which Bengals running back in franchise history holds the record for the most rushing yards in a single season?

4. In 2015, who were the top three leaders in receptions during the regular season?

5. What quarterback has the most touchdowns thrown in Bengals history despite only playing 133 games?

6. Which former Cincinnati Bengal is the leader for the franchise in points scored?

7. Which quarterback holds the franchise record for the most pass completions in a season?

8. Who are the top three players in franchise history for the most sacks in a season?

Bengals have Major Decisions to Make

Now that the Bengals season has come to a close, Cincinnati has some huge decisions to make in order to get this team back to being a Super Bowl contender:

As all of us know, Cincinnati has to make a decision with one of the key offensive weapons in Tee Higgins. I expect to see a franchise tag and hope that is what they plan to do to see if he can stay healthy in 2024 before inking a long term deal.

Tyler Boyd is also a free agent this year and with his recent comments, it sounds like he wants to be a career long Bengal, but unless he takes a very cheap deal, I expect Boyd to unfortunately be suiting up in a new uniform in 2024.

DJ Reader is another key piece that Cincinnati has to decide on and as bad as our run defense was this year, I think it would be that much worse without DJ. Unfortunately though, he suffered a season ending injury with a torn right quad tendon that certainly could play into a long term deal for the defensive tackle.

Jonah Williams played good enough in 2024 that I want him back on this roster. He took his new position and made the best of it, which led him to having one of the best years in his career.

Chidobe Awuzie is another unrestricted free agent that has an injury past that makes it such a tough decision. His ACL tear in 2022 seemed to make him lose a step, as he ranked very low at the cornerback position per PFF last season.

Other notable free agents include Irv Smith (I don’t expect him in stripes again), Drew Sample, Akeem Davis-Gaither, Trayveon Williams, Max Scharping, Josh Tupou, and a few others.

Trivia Answers

1. Logan Wilson and Germaine Pratt

2. T.J. Houshmadzadeh (112, 2007)

3. Rudi Johnson (1458 yards, 2005)

4. A.J. Green, Marvin Jones Jr, Tyler Eifert

5. Andy Dalton (204)

6. Jim Breech (K, 1,151)

7. Joe Burrow (414, 2022)

8. Trey Hendrickson (17.5 and 14), Carlos Dunlap (13.5), Eddie Edwards (13)

This column appears in several newspapers in southwest Ohio.

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