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  1. #1
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    Bengals slap the franchise tag on OL Andrews

    Andrews franchised
    By GEOFF HOBSON
    February 18, 2008
    Updated: 12:35 p.m.

    As they advertised last week, the Bengals used their franchise tag in free agency Monday and opted to use it on youth and promise when they tapped offensive lineman Stacy Andrews.

    Which means two defensive starters are likely headed to free agency in defensive end Justin Smith and free safety Madieu Williams when the market opens Feb. 29.

    The tagging of Andrews, with a one-year tender of $7.5 million that represents the average of the top five offensive line salaries in 2007, is a stunning number for a player with 17 NFL starts and reflects what they think of his 350-pound athleticism.

    The Bengals, who haven't been able to reach a long-term deal with Andrews for more than a year, won't be able to strike one with him after July 15.

    Andrews, 26, a fourth-round draft pick who came into the NFL as a world-class track athlete with just 70 college football snaps, received his most experience this past season with 11 starts at right tackle in place of injured perennial Pro Bowler Willie Anderson.

    Head coach Marvin Lewis has expressed confidence that Anderson and left tackle Levi Jones can overcome their injuries this upcoming season with the allure of Andrews that he provides insurance and versatility.

    The club has been rocked by knee injuries to both Anderson and Jones, and his six other starts have come at left guard and right guard. Andrews isn't viewed as Jones' backup on the left side, but he moves to left guard when Andrew Whitworth moves from guard to tackle.

    Yet the Bengals are barely a year-and-a-half removed from signing Anderson and Jones to mega long-term deals that combined counted for nearly $13 million of the Bengals' salary cap in 2007.

    Just last week Lewis had high praise for how Jones battled through his injury to secure an alternate Pro Bowl berth while expressing confidence that Anderson showed in the last two games of the season he can return to form at age 33. The Bengals look prepared to keep three high-priced offensive linemen.

    "Stacy has been a productive young player for us," Lewis said in Monday's news release. "He has shown the flexibility to start and play well at a number of different positions on our line. This move helps us keep our core players together, and it gives us an opportunity to continue negotiating for a longer-term contract with Stacy."

    The move very well could end the Bengals' career of Smith, a first-round draft pick in 2001 and fourth on the Bengals' all-time sack list with 43.5. But after Smith had a career-low two sacks last season, the Bengals opted not to franchise him for a second straight year at $10 million.

    Which is no surprise to agent Jim Steiner. He said last week he expected Smith to go on the market untagged.

    The agent for Williams, Kenny Zuckerman, said last week the Bengals have talked with him and they'll continue to talk. But no deal looked to be imminent.

    According to the Bengals' news release:

    "The franchise-player designation means that the Bengals could retain Andrews by matching any offer sheet he would sign from another team and that if the Bengals declined to match a signed offer, the team signing Andrews would be required to give the Bengals its first-round choices in the 2008 and 2009 NFL Drafts."


  2. #2
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    Re: Bengals slap the franchise tag on OL Andrews

    I would like to see us pursue Justin Smith. I think Carl Nicks is this years Stacy Andrews i would watch out for him also early in the second

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    Re: Bengals slap the franchise tag on OL Andrews

    Man I was looking forward for that one too...Justin Smit wouldnt be bad though.

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    Re: Bengals slap the franchise tag on OL Andrews

    Does everyone think that Justin Smith will really improve our pass rush? Sure hes solid against the run but even before his 2 sack season hes never had more than 8 in a season. Interesting situation though as he might be one of the best to hit the market

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    Re: Bengals slap the franchise tag on OL Andrews

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram on nos View Post
    Does everyone think that Justin Smith will really improve our pass rush? Sure hes solid against the run but even before his 2 sack season hes never had more than 8 in a season. Interesting situation though as he might be one of the best to hit the market
    8 sacks with no one on the line with him. He will have much more help than he did in Cincy. He got all the atention in Cincy, here Little, Carrriker, Ryan and him will share the attention cutting down on the doubles he would receive

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    Re: Bengals slap the franchise tag on OL Andrews

    I would love to see us persue Justin Smith.

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    Re: Bengals slap the franchise tag on OL Andrews

    It all depends upon the dollars. As one of the few real good DE's to hit true free agency, he's going to command top money, probably around 9 million a year. The truth is, he was the best linemen that they had and so he was consistently double teamed, and he never got to the passer that much because why throw against the Bengals when you can run?

    The pluses for me are that we no longer need to hope the Phins don't draft Chris Long, however, do we still draft him if they don't? As our new GM says, the #2 pick has to be a day one starter, and unless Little gets traded, cut, or benched, we can then stick with that. So, who becomes our pick? I think at that point we need to trade down for whatever we can get to cut down what we pay our first pick, even though I truly believe that Chris Long will be better than his dad and will will his team to a championship.


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