Re: How bad are the Bengals going to be next year?
Even if we're bad enough to earn the #1 overall pick, Luck will pull an Eli Manning on us anyway. Besides, I think Dalton's a keeper and the need for Luck will probably not be there. As an aside, I have a feeling Luck's stock is going to drop this year.
If we re-sign Benson and pick up a nice OL via FA (we have to spend some money somewhere now - it's required) and Dalton/Gradkowski are serviceable, our offense should be league-average. I'm interested to see the transition from Brat to Gruden...did I say interested? I meant "thrilled." Defensively, the secondary is going to be damaged with the loss of JJoe, but if we can grab Clements in FA and those young guys on the line continue to develop, our defense could be good. Not great, but good.
However, even if Benson is brought back, he's likely facing a personal conduct suspension, as is Adam Jones.
I think this team is staring 4-5 wins squarely in the face. A top 10 pick. Blah.
The land was farther away from the core and had much less gravity so bigness could develop and dominate