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TJJackson

The Complete 2020-21 Offseason Plan v2

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 PART A : 2020 Season

A1 Get more game reps for players who will be around in 2021.  All of the following non-starters should be getting starters reps now:

--The 4 rookie linebackers (I count Pratt)

--Adeniji (at either ORT or OLG)

--Fred Johnson

--Kareem at DE

--Austin Seibert.  Figure out if he is at least as good as Fat Randy over the remainder of 2020.  If so, he's in, and FR is out. I've seen enough - Seibert is our Kicker in 2021

Extend/Re-sign Priority players: Lawson, WJ3, Jesse Bates, Spain, Brandon Wilson, Brandon Allen, Huber (1yr).  The first three are absolute must sign - players you build your team around

Extend/Re-sign Second Tier players: Seibert, Daniels, Estonian Nightmare, The Big Johnson, Perine, Alexander (probably too expensive, but at least approach him), Harris (1yr)

PART B: Offseason before the Draft

Fire the coaching staff except Simmons.  Yeah I know Zak will probably keep his job following victories over Shittsburgh and Houston, but he damn well shouldnt because he sucks.  New head coach might want to bring in his own guy, but Simmons is there for him to pick up as a quality guy at that spot

If Zimmer gets fired in Minnesota, can we at least reach out to him about becoming our DC once again?  He is an insanely good DC. 

Let frequently injured players whose contracts have ended walk.  The best ability is availability

You failed to extend/re-sign anyone during the 2020 season, right?  DO IT NOW.  NOW DAMNIT.

AJ and Geno - we will always love you both, wherever you go.  You are both All Time Bengals greats.  Please come back at the end of your career and retire as a Bengal

Identify and sign a placeholder veteran QB to a 1 or 2 year contract.  This QB will start til New Guy is ready to play.  Neither of the two guys we have now is that guy.  The Houston game, though I hated that we won and ergo dropped 3 places in the draft order, showed me that Brandon Allen can handle this role.  Sign him for another 3-5 years, please, with big bonuses per game started so that he is in essence paid as a starter for any games he actually is the starter in place of New Guy, who may not be ready right away

Bring in a tier 1 veteran at either the WR, TE, DE, OG, or CB spot.  Only asking for one, but open the damn wallet, geez.  My preference is OG (and if we wanna get specific, gimme Brandon Scherff) but any of the five will help.  I dont count re-signing Alexander as this guy.  He's good, but he isnt a tier 1 guy.

Be on the lookout for a replacement Punter and Longsnapper.  I Love Huber and Harris but they are both FAs and both quite old

Part C: The Draft

We're not gonna draft any linebackers, going on the directive that the 4 newbie linebackers need time to develop together

We're not gonna draft a QB because we're going with the placeholder (mentioned above) and our existing backups (or a surprise UDCFA, ya never know)

We need (much) more than one top notch player so we will be looking very hard at any offers we get for our top 3 pick

Top priority is strengthening both the Offensive and Defensive Lines

Priority of needs:  Passblocking ORT, Passrushing DE, Passrushing DT, Passblocking OG,  Man/Press CB, Three down TE, K, P, LS

Because Reader is coming back,  the need at DE is far greater than DT......but we do still need a passrushing DT if we can manage it

Part D: Postdraft

This will be an interesting year with a much lower salary cap than expected due to revenue lost due to COVID.  Teams will be dropping players they'd prefer not to drop because of this lowered salary cap.  We need to be ready to pounce on players dropped in this way that are a serious upgrade to our team

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My plan:
 

1. Fire Jim Turner (the only coach I care to see gone)

2. Sign 2 legit FA o-lineman - one a RT and one a G. 

3. Retain Spain

4. Sign WJII or Lawson in FA - tag the one you don't.

5. Extend Bates

6. BPA in round 1 - get another OT in rounds 2 or 3 if not round 1

7. Hit D-line in FA and one of top three rounds of draft.

8. Proceed to playoffs with Burrow back healthy by mid-August (retain Allen as the vet back-up). 

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Starters. Immediate and obvious upgrades. 

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Free agency is going to be a wild free for all.  Mike and various family members better be ready.  They’re going to have to act fast, sell themselves and the team, and get some players in here.  

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Cap is tight for a lot of teams. Bengals have more room than most and a lot of guys are gonna be cut. And we outbid people last year for Reader (and apparently Wayans). 
 

they need to do that again.

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Also, for all of TJ and other people bitching - the late wins make an easier sell to Free Agents than losing out...

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7 hours ago, COB said:

Free agency is going to be a wild free for all.  Mike and various family members better be ready.  They’re going to have to act fast, sell themselves and the team, and get some players in here.  

Im sure Son-of-a-Genius (sometimes known as Mike) will roll into the office by day 10 of the FA period, rub his eyes, adjust his garters, and ask if anyone brought in bagels

 

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22 hours ago, membengal said:

Starters. Immediate and obvious upgrades. 

ok......but I dont want to upgrade from the 78th rated OG to the 74th rated OG like we did with Su'a-Filo

Get me into the low 40s or high 30s at the very least

Then again, maybe thats sorta kinda what you meant by including the term "obvious"

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AND OBVIOUS

That means shopping in the O-line equivalent of the free agency aisle where they plucked DJ Reader from last free agency.

Also, not for nothing, but XSF has helped stabalize the line a ton since he got back from injury. 

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fair enough - so basically, better-than-average players without necessarily being among the elite

me, I want to inject one clearly elite player at OG or ORT via FA, and then draft high at the position (of those two) that we dont address in FA

preferably the drafted player is a healthy plug-n-play starter, not a guy we have to develop before he can starter and not an Oogie

It will be greatly preferred if Hart isnt the starter at ORT in 2021.  I will concede he might be decent as an OG, but that can be tested during the offseason

also I think it is important that people realize that Hopkins isn't a great player.  He's been one of the best we have had for the last couple years, yes, but thats only because the other players sucked so bad.  As such, we should be looking at improving at OC as well, even though a lot of fans think we are "set" at Center

on XSF:  I want to improve on this 56: https://www.pff.com/nfl/players/xavier-sua-filo/8668   rating and this is where I want to inject the one elite OG FA signing for the max improvement of the overall line.  As I say that, I know Spain is about equally rated but I am seeing things when I watch the game from him that tell me that number is way off.  But yeah, Spain is replaceable as well

 

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7 hours ago, membengal said:

Cap is tight for a lot of teams. Bengals have more room than most and a lot of guys are gonna be cut. And we outbid people last year for Reader (and apparently Wayans).

they need to do that again.

that said, a lot of players who are shed for cap reasons are being shed because either A) their current contracts are just so damn much money, or B) the remaining contract obligations - possibly including bonuses on certain dates or per game and etc - far outweigh their current and/or expected contributions.   Like AJ Green for us in 2020.   So we cant just claim waivered guys willy nilly - we'll have to let them pas waivers then try to outbid other teams without getting too crazy and ergo getting ourselves into cap trouble.  ultimately our bad rep might make the waived player not even consider us.  stuff along the lines of "well, I have tons of money, so now I want a ring more than money" is gonna hurt us badly

so hopefully the situation youre describing will help us, but I dont think we're guaranteed anything

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1 hour ago, membengal said:

DJ Reader is elite. 

sadly......I didnt get to see enough of him to draw that conclusion

but.....understood

I do remember being very pumped about the Geno/Reader DT combo going into 2020

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He was an absolute premium highly soft after FA target - he’s just 25 and graded out as elite heading into free agency. Easily best and most shocking FA signing for bengals ever. Period. They need to repeat that but in o-line this year.

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https://www.si.com/nfl/bengals/allbengals-insiders-plus/bengals-major-shakeup-zac-taylor-coaching-staff

if the assistants who are gone include Turner, I'm probably going to be moderately happy with this. 

Only moderately because Zacky needs to take a one way flight out of town as well, and he unfortunately wont be

if the assistants who are gone include Simmons, I will be pissed (even if Turner is one of the ones released)

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That’s a stronger report than I might have expected in terms of potential change. Interesting.

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Tj - that really should be it’s own thread on the main board, yeah? There’s a lot to chew over in that piece that, if accurate, has some pretty significant and I think positive implications for the off-season ...

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Encouraging report. From the sound of it, Lou is almost certainly toast. And the bit about the FO being “blunt and forthcoming” could be read as saying they don’t care what personal relationship Turner has with Zac, he’s gone.

Re Simmons, I don’t see any reason to think he’s on the list

If Lou is let go there’s probably churn in the defensive coaching ranks as whoever the new guy is looks to bring in his own guys.

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according to Ben Baby, AJ is open to the idea of returning

https://twitter.com/Ben_Baby/status/1344687337993859073?ref_src=twsrc^tfw

while i see this as more of a non-statement said instead of something like "I dont wish to answer that question, go the fuck away", I too would be open to it

.....if.....

the contract were for a single year, few if any guaranteed dollars, and huge incentives based on catch percentage, yards, and touchdowns; such that if he were more like the AJ of old he'd get paid like the AJ of old

That said, I dont see it happening. 

I think he'll be signed by either Atlanta or a playoff contender for a fairly low dollar contract with a few mil guaanteed

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13 hours ago, HoosierCat said:

Lou is almost certainly toast.

If Lou is let go there’s probably churn in the defensive coaching ranks as whoever the new guy is looks to bring in his own guys.

agreed 100%

if it ends up being all defensive assistants plus Turner, I think that'd be about as good as we could hope to get given the declaration that Zacky-Boy is safe, tho in truth he needs to go as well. 

We will not ever do better than 6-10 with Zacky-Boy as our HC

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I do not want AJ back.

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49 minutes ago, membengal said:

I do not want AJ back.

I get that, mem. 

He has been invisible in the majority of the games this year, even when Burrow was throwing the ball

I see it like this.....if you can keep him as essentially receiver number 4 (after Higgins, Boyd, and as I see it, Tate) at the price of a WR4 and then only pay him more if he performs exceptionally well........then I see it as saving a draft spot and a bargain....plus on a personal note it'd be nice to see him take the TD record away from OchoStinko (I loved Chad, but hated Ochocinco)

all that said.....I very much doubt he accepts such a role or contract.....so there's not much to talk about on this one, I think

also.....he is a class act who honestly and truly deserves to play for a contender and possibly earn himself a superbowl ring.  he wont get that shot here. 

 

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so.....Brandon Allen

I've said this elsewhere, but will repeat here:  Unless he shits the bed in some major way against the Ravens or (and this would be unfortunate) gets injured to an extent that he won't be ready by game 1 of 2021.....I feel Brandon Allen is sufficiently capable in this offense to be what I have termed as the "placeholder" qb for 2021.....ie the qb to start until New Guy is 100% ready to go, since we dont know (we cant know) if he will be ready by then

I am not expecting him to win the Fedex QB of the Week award (https://bengalswire.usatoday.com/2020/12/30/bengals-qb-brandon-allen-reels-in-award-for-performance-vs-texans/) every week as he did for the Houston game, rather, I think he is good enough to win some games and keep us somewhat competitive until New Guy gets healthy

and good news: he wants to here, which is a little surprising given our lack of success:

https://bengalswire.usatoday.com/2020/12/31/brandon-allen-endorses-zac-taylor-bengals-coach-2021/

https://www.facebook.com/bengals/videos/brandon-allen-news-conference/234311094854044/

He said the following, per The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr.:

I’d love to come back. I think this organization’s on the right track. I think Zac has it going in the right direction, and I’d love to be here to see that come full circle.

I also think he knows his value will be greater here than it is elsewhere and knows he will give way when New Guy is ready.  I dont think he will be looking for true starting QB money....but of course that remains to be seen.  I certainly wouldnt mind an incentive laden contract where he gets paid in per-game bonuses like a starting qb when his performance matches that level for that game.  Plus....as a younger QB, he could be signed for 5 years or so, give us some continuity and insurance (since the 5 year contract now would extend 1 year beyond New Guys rookie deal) at the backup qb position

as such, I see Brandon as one of the priority team FA agent signings for 2021, along with Lawson, Bates, and WJ3

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