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Bengals coaches want Rey Maualuga back

Rey Maualuga AP

Much of the early discussion about Bengals free agency has centered on whether or not the team would be using the franchise tag on defensive end Michael Johnson or tackle Andre Smith, but that’s hardly the only choice the team has to make this offseason.

Linebacker Rey Maualuga is also set to become a free agent next month, which doesn’t complicate the franchise tag decision but does give the Bengals another call to make about how their team will look next season. Coach Marvin Lewis told NFL.com that Maualuga is someone “you got to get back in the fold” while defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer compared losing Maualuga with the departure of defensive lineman Justin Smith several years ago.

“He is, as you will find out when this free agency period starts, a lot better than what a lot of people give him credit for,” Zimmer said, via the team’s website. “I think that’s going to be what people are going to find out if he goes. If he’s not here people are going to miss him and say we should have had him. That’s how it works, like Justin Smith.”

The route to keeping Maualuga is a fairly simple one. Offer him enough now to ensure that he doesn’t wind up testing the open market as a free agent in a couple of weeks. The issue there is that Maualuga may have a different, more expensive take on what that offer should be and that would leave the Bengals to hope that the other 31 teams read things the way they do so that Maualuga returns at a price they’re comfortable paying.

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21 Responses to “Bengals coaches want Rey Maualuga back”
  1. footballgod87 says: Feb 25, 2013 10:37 AM

    Those coaches must not have watched the Houston when he got targeted and abused throughout. Or any other game mauluga has played in for that matter.

  2. justingsnyder says: Feb 25, 2013 10:39 AM

    No, no, no. He is such a liability. He was rated the 32nd best middle linebacker for a reason. Bringing him back makes no sense whatsoever. We need burfict in the middle. Period.

  3. footballgod87 says: Feb 25, 2013 10:44 AM

    He was a complete liability against Houston. I hope this is just coachspeak

  4. cnote94 says: Feb 25, 2013 10:48 AM

    you left out the second part, “Bengals coaches want Maualuga back…to carry water at practice” Just a smokescreen by Bengals brass to not openly bash a guy.

  5. granadafan says: Feb 25, 2013 10:49 AM

    Are they sure they want him back when HGH testing becomes mandatory?

  6. jarvis1104 says: Feb 25, 2013 10:55 AM

    I don’t get how these athletic linebackers can be such liabilities in coverage

  7. mazblast says: Feb 25, 2013 10:57 AM

    An upgrade would be–so easy. And would save money. Maualuga has a fancy name and first round cache, but he’s not even NFL average.

  8. bengalsstillsuck says: Feb 25, 2013 11:11 AM

    I wld hate to play in Cincinnati poor guy

  9. samoanjungle says: Feb 25, 2013 11:16 AM

    Surely they wouldn’t want him back as a MLB with Burfict being a better option? Maybe this is all to butter up Rey in case he can be had cheap and they can move him to OLB or have him as a backup.

  10. jcioffi1485 says: Feb 25, 2013 11:21 AM

    This just in, Justin Smith has filed a $200,000,000 lawsuit against the Bengals for defamation. “How dare those people compare me to that stiff!”

  11. cincyfan0890 says: Feb 25, 2013 11:23 AM

    They already said Burfict is going to be in the middle. They were going to move Rey back to SAM.

  12. shaunypoo says: Feb 25, 2013 11:41 AM

    Are you kidding me, he looked worse than Teo did in the Alabama game.

    I think this is one of those elaborate ruses designed to get some other team to pay more for a player than they should so they have less to spend later. Hope it works.

  13. tbred2328 says: Feb 25, 2013 11:59 AM

    The good news is that if he is back, he won’t be manning the middle like he has the last two seasons. Rey is a huge liability in coverage. If they move him back to SAM backer, they will be able to keep him from covering a whole lot. If he is back in stripes, it is at a low price and with him at another position.

  14. stoptrippn says: Feb 25, 2013 12:03 PM

    Zimmer isn’t all that

  15. sparky151 says: Feb 25, 2013 12:14 PM

    Total smokescreen. Cincy likes to collect supplemental draft picks so maybe this is to get another team to overpay for Maualuga. Rey wasn’t very good last year and won’t be the MLB if he does return.

  16. mynameischando says: Feb 25, 2013 12:22 PM

    Relax Bengals fans. The plan would be to retain him then move him to the SAM spot.

    I kinda like the sound of a Rey (SAM), Vontaze (MLB) and Howard (WLB) tandem.

  17. Beezo-Doo-doo-Zippity-Bop-bop-bop says: Feb 25, 2013 1:04 PM

    Bust, sure am glad the Rams passed on him for one of the best MLBs around.

  18. anyonebutbrady says: Feb 25, 2013 1:10 PM

    Why?

  19. thekingdave says: Feb 25, 2013 1:35 PM

    @mazblast

    You can have a first round cache as a second rounder? Ok.

  20. axespray says: Feb 25, 2013 1:58 PM

    let him go and just go pick up Brad Jones for cheap.

    Dude isn’t awful – has decent speed – doesn’t get picked on in coverage.

  21. bonniebengal says: Feb 25, 2013 4:38 PM

    As long as they get him out of the middle and move him back to SAM, I’m okay with it.

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