The Bengals signed T.O. and I don’t care, because he is unnecessary and will not help the Bengals win. Let us list the ways.
1. They did it for the wrong reasons
Earlier this offseason, the Bengals were looking into signing T.O., but instead went with Antonio Bryant, the former Buccaneers wideout who had a good year once upon a time. However, all reports out of Cincinnati have been that Bryant has underwhelmed coaches in his brief time with the team. If these reports are to be believed, and I do believe them, then the Bengals are not signing T.O. to get better, but to get back to where they were originally. They are trying to cover a mistake with the money instead of adding a piece. I understand the Bengals were not great at throwing the ball last year but…
2. Jermaine Gresham, if healthy, solves the need for another receiver
The rookie TE was a perfect fit and pick for the Bengals. He will be great off the play-action with Benson, and can be a new element that teams have not had to defend when playing the Bengals in a while. He is already an elite athlete at that position and has shown in his time at Oklahoma that he is a good receiving option. I know he is a rookie, and that receiving rookies have a steep learning curve, but with what will be asked of him catching the ball, he has all it takes to fill that need.
3. With the running game being the centerpiece, TO’s impact will be minimal
Last year, Cedric Benson was the Bengals’ main weapon, and that should not change this year. Frankly, the worst case scenario for the Bengals would be turning into a throwing team, if only because it is not what got them to the playoffs last year. Assuming they are a run-first team like they should be, TO’s impact will be null. They are not going to run many 3 WR sets in Cincinnati, which means that either TO or Bryant is going to be less than happy and it is going to be free-agent money wasting away on the bench. I do not even think TO will act like a huge diva in Cincinnati, but he is just not a great signing. Cincinnati was pretty set without this guy, and they are not much better off with him. I know Bryant has some injury concerns, but TO does not think of himself as a backup, and managing that situation will be more of a problem than it is worth.
4. I am personally bitter about the signing because it gives ESPN more time to talk about Brett Favre
Yeah, I said it. All this T.O. talk was great because it gave ESPN something to talk about that didn’t center around Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Now, that is gone, and Brett will go back to being the biggest diva on ESPN’s daily rundown.
All in all, it is not a bad signing as much as a pointless one. T.O. is an expensive insurance policy for Antonio Bryant and according to some accounts, is just a stop gap to cover their mistakes. This move will not win them any games, and may not even make them a more balanced team than they were before his signing. They are still the 2nd best team in the AFC North, and now they just have another guy who could throw a fit if he doesn’t get the ball.