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Patrick Johnson a Bengal?


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More FOM's? (Friends of Marvin). This pattern is gettin' kinda old. It isn't like Snyder has collected a bunch of winners...at least the guy can handle KR duties.

Interesting stuff on Sapp. Like I said in the TP thread, he's not gonna do anything soon. He'll pull a Sam Adams and wait 'til camp to sign (someplace else).

Marion? Taylor? Hell, we're probably better off tossing the dough at Sapp.

Bengals eye speed receiver

3-18-03, 8:20 p.m.


The Bengals are still thought to have the highest offer out to Warren Sapp, but he doesn’t seem to be jumping on it in time for a Friday signing.

Instead, the Bengals stepped up talks with two other players and looked to be on the verge of signing one of them in Redskins speed receiver Patrick Johnson. Johnson’s agent, Jordan Woy, said he has also had good talks with the Bengals about another one of his clients in Dolphins safety Brock Marion.

“We’ve had good discussions on both. It looks very positive with Patrick Johnson and we’re hoping to get that wrapped up,” Woy said. “It’s a little early with Brock, but we’re still talking.”

The Bengals also appeared to still be in the running for Eagles cornerback Bobby Taylor after he couldn’t get a deal finalized in Seattle and didn’t take a trip to Washington after the Redskins signed cornerbacks Walt Harris and Ralph Brown.

With running back Brandon Bennett signing in Tampa Bay Thursday, one reason the Bengals are no doubt looking at Johnson is to run back kicks. He returned 13 kickoffs last year, most since his rookie year, and averaged nearly 24 yards per return that included a long of 50. The 5-10, 191-pound Johnson, 27, a seventh-year player who caught 15 balls for the Redskins at an 11.3-yard average last season, started nine games for the 2000 Super Bowl champion Ravens when Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis coordinated the Baltimore defense.

Johnson, Baltimore’s second-round pick in 1998 out of Oregon after a stint as Akili Smith’s main target, has made his name with speed. A former All-American sprinter who once beat Carl Lewis in the 100 meters, Johnson has a career yards-per-catch average of 15.3 on 82 balls.

The 5-11, 200-pound Marion turns 34 in June, but he fits Lewis’ bill. He played on two Super Bowl championship teams in the ‘90s with Dallas and played in two Pro Bowls for the Dolphins in this decade. The Bengals are seeking a pair of big safeties who can both defend the run and cover the pass and Marion and Kim Herring would give them a pair of 200-pounders.

Signing both Johnson and Marion may take them out of the derby for Sapp, and maybe for Taylor. Taylor’s agent has said he’s looking for more than the estimated $3.5 million per year the Bills gave the other Eagles cornerback, Troy Vincent.

Drew Rosenhaus, Sapp’s agent, had no comment Thursday. It doesn’t appear that the Bengals have a visit with him lined up yet and they reportedly won’t set one up yet until he’s prepared to sign a contract. The Bengals’ proposal has been reported at approximately $16 million for four years, but some league observers believe he may take less to play for the Ravens’ highly-regarded defense in Baltimore even though they are primarily a 3-4 defense.

Yet word out of Baltimore is the Ravens aren’t in heavy negotiations with Rosenhaus, and he can’t visit this week because general manager Ozzie Newsome is holed up with the NFL Competition Committee in Florida while head coach Brian Billick is on vacation.

Rosenhaus had hoped to wrap it up by Friday, but nothing appeared imminent Thursday night.

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Brandon Bennett wasn't tendered an offer to return, so Bringing in Patrick Johnson as a 5th wide receiver adds, speed, a special teamer, and a returner. He'll also come in for a little more than the league minimum making him a lot cheaper than Bennett,and will hardly have an effect on the FA signings of better known players.

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I still believe in less than 24 hours we will see the signing of Warren Sapp. The reason he hasn't "jumped" on it is his agent is waiting for the last second "big buck" offer from whoever! Patience is a virture...at least here I hope! B)

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