The Cincinnati Bengals should be a team in flux, they should be a team looking for a new coaching staff and a new GM. Unfortunately for Bengals fans, their owners are the platonic ideal of inertia. The Bengals will be stuck with Marvin Lewis for yet another year, but the disaster draft will come at a time where the roster is in decline. It’s slim pickings to find players to keep on the roster outside of the obvious guys. They let good players walk (hello Andrew Whitworth) and the rest of the team core is aging or ineffective. Still, in this disaster draft exercise, they must protect sixteen players, and that they did.
Lost to free agency: Kevin Minter, Andre Smith, Tyer Eifert, Jeremy Hill, Cedric Peerman
The No Doubters:
Believing in Andy Dalton is inconsequential; turning the team over to Jeff Driskell would be a disaster. A.J. Green is literally the best player they have by miles, and Joe Mixon might fit that bill in two years. The rest forms the core of their defense (except old as dirt Pacman Jones), with Atkins/Dunlap/Lawson forming the core of their pass rush.
The More-Than-Likely Staying:
John Ross may very well end up off this list if his sophomore campaign is anything like his rookie campaign, but being the fastest player ever has a bit to do with his second chance. Vontaze Burfict would likely be on this list if they switched up their coaches… a new regime would look at the disaster draft as a chance to get out from under a long-term commitment with a head case. Dennard took a big step forward this season and is worth keeping under control, same with Boling and Bernard. Tyler Kroft did a decent Tyler Eifert impression this season, and with Eifert gone in free agency for this exercise, Kroft stays. Fejedelem is a special teams superstar… but keeping that kind of player says a lot about the state of the Bengals roster.
These former Bengals don’t quite inspire confidence, but they’re all the Conquistadors and Arches will have to choose from in the 2018 Disaster Draft. There are some talented players… who are old or on expiring contracts. They should help out the expansion teams for a year or two.