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Matt700wlw
02-15-2007, 04:27 PM
BENGALS DESIGNATE JUSTIN SMITH AS FRANCHISE PLAYER



The Bengals today designated DE Justin Smith as the team’s franchise player, under terms of the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The franchise tag gives Smith the option to play for Cincinnati in 2007 for a salary equal to the average of the top five defensive ends in the NFL for the previous season (2006 in this case).

Smith is presently unsigned for 2007, and he will become an unrestricted free agent on March 2 if he does not reach a contract agreement with the Bengals prior to that date. The franchise-player designation means that the Bengals could retain Smith 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 Smith would be required to give the Bengals its first-round choices in the 2007 and 2008 NFL Drafts.

“We are pleased to designate Justin as our franchise player,” said head coach Marvin Lewis. “He has been a consistent performer and worker. This move helps us keep our core players together, and it gives us an opportunity to continue negotiating for a longer-term contract with Justin.”

Smith has played all six of his NFL seasons with the Bengals. In 2006, he led the defensive line in tackles (110) for the fifth consecutive season, and he achieved his highest career ranking (second) in the team tackling standings. He had a 50-tackle lead over the second-place lineman (John Thornton). He ranked second on the team in sacks (7.5), and raised his career sacks total to 41.0, ranked fourth all-time on the Bengals. He also had a line-best 4 passes defensed, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery. He has started 91 consecutive games.

“The franchise option is designed to help a team retain the rights to a top player,” said Troy Blackburn, Bengals director of business development. “The players’ union supports it because it guarantees that player a salary commensurate with what he has accomplished.”

The Collective Bargaining Agreement permits a new agreement between Smith and the Bengals to be reached at any time prior to July 15.

guttle11
02-15-2007, 04:53 PM
Bah.

gonelong
02-15-2007, 05:15 PM
He's a pretty servicable lineman (In the right situation he might even be a monster), but I don't think he is worth Cincy dropping a tag on him.

GL

Cedric
02-15-2007, 05:22 PM
Dumb, IMO. He is not a play maker by any stretch.

Heath
02-15-2007, 05:36 PM
Who else do they have to tag?

gonelong
02-15-2007, 05:37 PM
Who else do they have to tag?

Steinbach?

Matt700wlw
02-15-2007, 05:38 PM
I think Steiny's gone. I hope I'm wrong.

beb30
02-15-2007, 06:08 PM
Much rather have seinbach and I'd much rather use $8.6 Million to get Adalius thomas

WMR
02-15-2007, 06:33 PM
Don't agree with this move. Don't think he's worth the average of the top five at his position. That puts his salary in some elite company.

DoogMinAmo
02-15-2007, 06:46 PM
I think you transition Steiny and Franchise Smith. Steiny will go elsewhere and you get the extra pick to make up for Brooks. Either Smith stays and you have a one season stopgap until a draft pick can take over, or he goes and you get two comp picks, a win win. In this year's defensive FA class, it makes sense.

Buckeye33
02-15-2007, 06:54 PM
More than likely, Smith will either sign a new contract or he will be traded for a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick if they can not work out a new contract.

People who think the Bengals will just be able to sign Adalius Thomas aren't thinking clearly. The Ravens would be idiotic to not franchise tag Thomas, just like the Patriots are going to tag Asante Samuel. This tag is there so teams keep their best/better players. If Thomas got onto the open market, somehow I do not believe the Bengals would outbid every other team in the NFL.

Steinbach would have cost even more money from the tag than Smith will. Of course Smith is not worth 8.6 million per year, but the Bengals have players who can fill Steinbachs position better than they currently can fill Justin Smiths.

DTCromer
02-15-2007, 06:57 PM
How much longer until Bengals fans realize Mike Brown is the same old Mike Brown? This further proves it.

redsmetz
02-15-2007, 07:04 PM
I'm glad to see it. He's from my wife's hometown and my brother-in-law was a trainer for his high school there (among other places). Feels like hometown for our family!

Redhook
02-15-2007, 07:19 PM
Much rather have seinbach and I'd much rather use $8.6 Million to get Adalius thomas

Couldn't have said it better myself.

UKFlounder
02-15-2007, 07:27 PM
Not quite an Eric Milton-esque deal, but it certainly gives him an awfully high reward for fairly average production (3 sacks in game 1, 4 in the final 15)

Buckeye33
02-15-2007, 07:39 PM
Couldn't have said it better myself.

Ok, for all the folks that want to use that 8.6 million to get Thomas, what do you do when the Ravens tag Thomas and Smith then walks and you get nothing? Do you hope that some other player who is as good as Smith decides to sign with the Bengals?

Because that seems to happen every year, oh wait...we get Dexter Jackson and a 400lb Sam Adams who was worth having 4 years ago.

Smith had 82 tackles as a DE and 7.5 sacks. More tackles than Adalius Thomas, more sacks than Jared Allen and same amount as Alex Brown.

I do not believe anyone would argue that Smith is worth 8.6 million, but the Bengals need to keep him. He is a very solid NFL DE.

TeamSelig
02-15-2007, 09:23 PM
good deal imo

Ben
02-15-2007, 09:45 PM
I'd look for a deal somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 yr/35-37 million for Justin Smith. Hopefully they put the big money into the 2nd year of the deal thus lessening the cap hit this year. Also, a couple million could be saved if we cut Bryan Robinson. If the Bengals can find a smallish, speedy pass rusher in the later rounds of the draft (a la Mark Anderson of the Bears last year), the Bengals DE's might be very good next year.

All that said, I'm glad it was Smith rather than Steinbach. Steiny is a good guard but for the money he's going to get (Brownies fans fawn all over Steinbach) I think I'd rather keep Justin Smith.

WVRed
02-16-2007, 04:59 PM
Ok, for all the folks that want to use that 8.6 million to get Thomas, what do you do when the Ravens tag Thomas and Smith then walks and you get nothing? Do you hope that some other player who is as good as Smith decides to sign with the Bengals?

Because that seems to happen every year, oh wait...we get Dexter Jackson and a 400lb Sam Adams who was worth having 4 years ago.

Smith had 82 tackles as a DE and 7.5 sacks. More tackles than Adalius Thomas, more sacks than Jared Allen and same amount as Alex Brown.

I do not believe anyone would argue that Smith is worth 8.6 million, but the Bengals need to keep him. He is a very solid NFL DE.

I don't have 2006's top salaries for DEs, but this is from 2005(based on cap value).

Simeon Rice(10.7)
Jason Taylor(7.8)
Darren Howard(7.8)
Adewale Ogunleye(7.6)
Reggie Hayward(7.5)

Last season-
Simeon Rice(14 tackles, 2 sacks in 8 games)
Jason Taylor(62 tackles, 13.5 sacks, 9 forced fumbles)
Darren Howard(35 tackles, 5 sacks)
Adewale Ogunleye(43 tackles, 6.5 sacks)
Reggie Hayward(33 tackles, 8.5 sacks)

Now for Justin Smith-(81 tackles, 7.5 sacks)

What does this prove?

All of the top 5 players are overpaid, with the exception of maybe Jason Taylor.

I would rather have Smith than Steinbach, because at least we have somebody who can step in and replace Steiny in Whitworth. If Smith left, we would have nobody(Adalius Thomas is a pipedream) and we are going to have to worry about replacing the secondary in the draft.

WVRed
02-16-2007, 05:50 PM
Also, for the Cardinals to have franchised Leonard Davis, it would have cost 11 million. Think Steinbach is worth that much?

This is starting to look like a smart decision.

Redhook
02-23-2007, 10:44 AM
People who think the Bengals will just be able to sign Adalius Thomas aren't thinking clearly. The Ravens would be idiotic to not franchise tag Thomas, just like the Patriots are going to tag Asante Samuel. This tag is there so teams keep their best/better players. If Thomas got onto the open market, somehow I do not believe the Bengals would outbid every other team in the NFL.

Well, the Ravens are idiotic b/c they didn't franchise A. Thomas due to their salary cap numbers.

I have no idea what the Bengals numbers are, but I think they still have some wiggle room. The Bengals need a guy like Thomas....badly. I wonder if they'd have a shot at him???

Hoosier Red
02-23-2007, 10:50 AM
I was also thinking, its smart to tag Smith this year to make sure you get the top 5 players in 2006 dollars as opposed to having to worry about the top 5 players in 2007 dollars when the cap will have opened up some.

Z-Fly
02-23-2007, 01:39 PM
How much longer until Bengals fans realize Mike Brown is the same old Mike Brown? This further proves it.

I don't know what you mean by this. Mike Brown is known for not spending money. Or at least I thought. So wouldn't this disprove that?

This is a great way to use Justin as a one year stop gap.

HotCorner
02-23-2007, 04:29 PM
Yeah the Bengals are cheap. Re-signing Carson, Chad, Levi, Willie, and TJ must not apply. :rolleyes:

Please tell me who the Steelers, Patriots or Colts overpaid for in free agency?

Buckeye33
02-23-2007, 06:08 PM
Well, the Ravens are idiotic b/c they didn't franchise A. Thomas due to their salary cap numbers.

I have no idea what the Bengals numbers are, but I think they still have some wiggle room. The Bengals need a guy like Thomas....badly. I wonder if they'd have a shot at him???

The Ravens really must be hurting on the cap (don't have exact #s) because allowing this guy to leave for nothing is really bad. Maybe the Ravens think they can actually sign him on their own without using some sort of tag on him.

Could the Bengals sign Thomas? They probably could as long as they got Smith signed to a long term deal. I do not think it will happen though because some owner will pay Thomas some insane amount of money up front. Rumors are the 49ers are going to break the bank to sign him.

Redhook
02-24-2007, 11:29 AM
The Ravens really must be hurting on the cap (don't have exact #s) because allowing this guy to leave for nothing is really bad. Maybe the Ravens think they can actually sign him on their own without using some sort of tag on him.

Could the Bengals sign Thomas? They probably could as long as they got Smith signed to a long term deal. I do not think it will happen though because some owner will pay Thomas some insane amount of money up front. Rumors are the 49ers are going to break the bank to sign him.

I did read it was about cap room.

Listening to Marvin Lewis it doesn't sound like the Bengals will go after Thomas. That's a shame b/c he is the type of guy that couild really make a difference on their defense. They desperately need a difference maker on defense.

JaxRed
02-24-2007, 03:22 PM
Smart move by Bengals, they hold all cards. Smith won't want a one year deal, and if he goes FA, the Bengals get two picks. Hell, I'd like him to sign elsewhere for 2 first rounders.

Boss-Hog
02-24-2007, 07:41 PM
Smart move by Bengals, they hold all cards. Smith won't want a one year deal, and if he goes FA, the Bengals get two picks. Hell, I'd like him to sign elsewhere for 2 first rounders.
I don't see any team giving up two first round picks for Smith; instead, I see him playing here for another year at a top five DL salary. I hope I'm wrong and they do work out a reasonable long term deal or a trade that brings compensation.

hebroncougar
02-25-2007, 08:41 AM
Smith is very overrated IMO, but this wasn't a terrible move. As long as they trust someone else like Whitworth at guard. It bothers me a bit though, Steinbach seemed like a trooper, playing all sorts of positions after guys got hurt. And it wouldn't surprise me to see him end up in Cleveland, which won't help us.

BuckWoody
02-25-2007, 11:23 AM
Smith is very overrated IMO, but this wasn't a terrible move. As long as they trust someone else like Whitworth at guard. It bothers me a bit though, Steinbach seemed like a trooper, playing all sorts of positions after guys got hurt. And it wouldn't surprise me to see him end up in Cleveland, which won't help us.
I agree that in the grand scheme of things Steinbach is a more valuable player than Smith but when talking about the Bengals' specific needs, Justin wins out. I don't think he's lived up to being the #4 overall pick in the draft but he's solid and a very high-motor guy...a good example for some of the other knuckleheads on this team. I think they have people in place to step in for Steinbach but their needs on defense are numerous and keeping a good solid DE on the club is better than letting him walk and opening up yet another hole. The gameplan is to get him and his agent to the negotiating table and get something long-term and cap-friendly worked out.

If the Bengals can just get close to the top half of the league in team D, I think we've got something special here.

hebroncougar
02-25-2007, 04:36 PM
I agree that in the grand scheme of things Steinbach is a more valuable player than Smith but when talking about the Bengals' specific needs, Justin wins out. I don't think he's lived up to being the #4 overall pick in the draft but he's solid and a very high-motor guy...a good example for some of the other knuckleheads on this team. I think they have people in place to step in for Steinbach but their needs on defense are numerous and keeping a good solid DE on the club is better than letting him walk and opening up yet another hole. The gameplan is to get him and his agent to the negotiating table and get something long-term and cap-friendly worked out.

If the Bengals can just get close to the top half of the league in team D, I think we've got something special here.

He was one of the dui's last year. I agree, high motor, valuable, but a franchise tag?

RedFanAlways1966
02-25-2007, 04:46 PM
He was one of the dui's last year. I agree, high motor, valuable, but a franchise tag?


I don't believe that was last year. He did, however, get a DUI. After leaving Diamonds Gentlemen's Club in south Dayton. I believe one of the dancers was in his SUV when got busted at 5 am.

Redhook
02-25-2007, 05:55 PM
He was one of the dui's last year. I agree, high motor, valuable, but a franchise tag?

Smith didn't get a DUI last year. Steinbach did while boating on the beautiful Ohio River.

hebroncougar
02-26-2007, 08:46 AM
Smith didn't get a DUI last year. Steinbach did while boating on the beautiful Ohio River.

You're right........my bad. I was thinking he was the one on the river.

RedFanAlways1966
02-26-2007, 08:50 AM
You're right........my bad. I was thinking he was the one on the river.

Hey... if it is a Bengals player, then there is a good chance that he has been arrested in the last 12 months. No one can blame a guy or girl for thinking that way. Who Dey, Who Dey... Who Dey Think Gonna Get Busted? :devil: