Bengals expect to sign either Harrison or Dansby before the draft

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The Bengals are continuing to talk to free agent linebackers James Harrison and Karlos Dansby, and they want to get a deal done with one of them before the NFL draft opens on Thursday.

Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is hopeful of signing one of those linebackers, but has ruled out signing both. Lewis said both players can fit into his defense.

“Either player that comes in, we make some adjustment to things we do and we feel good about them,” Lewis said. “They bring some playmaking ability to us and would be good to have. They are good men and would continue to enhance the defensive room. Both guys are smart guys and that would be good.”

Harrison and the Bengals were reportedly close to a deal a year ago, only to have talks fall apart. Harrison hasn’t been able to find any team willing to pay him even close to the kind of money he was making from the Steelers, and he may now be regretting turning down the Steelers’ offer of a 30 percent pay cut. The Steelers have now moved on and aren’t interested in re-signing Harrison.

Dansby started all 16 games for the Dolphins last season and is younger (and has stayed healthier) than Harrison. Some reports have indicated that the Bengals would prefer Dansby, but that Harrison will come cheaper. In any event, the Bengals want to know what they have at linebacker before the draft.

30 responses to “Bengals expect to sign either Harrison or Dansby before the draft

  1. ogletree doesn’t seem like he’ll be drafted by the bengals now.. I’m excited that one of these players will be on the team. Hopefully Dansby..Put him in the middle and let maualuga play strong and only play a few snaps a game

  2. I would put out one contract and say this is the contract that we are offering…than draft Ogletree if no one bites – if someone does, draft a safety or sign woodson to play to safety.

  3. The Steelers simply wanted him to take a 30% pay cut which would have left him at 4+ million this yr and he walked. Who looks stupid now James? From 4+ million to potentially unemployed. Winner-Steelers

  4. One can only hope they get Dansby. Curious to why the Dolphins cut him and signed Ellerbe to a huge deal Dansby has been the leader of a surprisingly stingy Dolphins D over the last few seasons. His contract must’ve been majorly back-loaded because I read on google that his salary in 2012 was only around 1.5 million I use ONLY in terms of NFL salaries in no way am I calling this chump change. Just get someone so the Bengals can get Rey Maualuga’s slow butt off the field on passing downs!

  5. Good move by Mike Brown. He now has leverage on both of them. Hopefully Dansby signs. 3 year 9 million is my prediction

  6. Supposedly, they’re committed to Maualuga in the middle and are only looking for a SAM. Ogletree and other potential LB draft picks, apparently can’t play SAM. I love the idea of a new Mike and moving Maualuga to SAM though.

  7. I think the better player at this point is Dansby but with so many young guys on the roster mainly Moch,Joiner,Lamur,Maybin and Burifict there’s still a lot of unproven talent to evaluate ((not to call Burifict unproven but I highly doubt he has reached his ceiling )) and I think they want Harrison on a very short term deal that Dansby is in no way inclined to accept because he is a solid starter with a few years left …with that said one of these young guys could end up being better and then your stuck with a past his prime overpaid cap drainer whose deal could hinder further improvement in an area of need or prevents us from resigning one of our solid players not named Geno or A.J.

  8. Dansby would be the better signing. He was a leader on that Dolphin D and I’m sure that would translate to the Bengals too. Dansby is also better in coverage than Harrison is. All signs point to Dansby.

  9. Steeler fan-boys loved Harrison, until he wouldn’t take a pay cut. Now he’s scum. That’s some loyalty for you.

  10. Thrifty Bengals have a ton of cap room and still can’t close a deal because they insist on low-balling everyone.

    They could get both of these guys dirt cheap, but apparently not cheap enough for Mike Brown’s dust covered wallet.

  11. Um think you made a mistake. how could harrison been close to a deal a year ago when he has been under contract in pittburgh since after the 08 super bowl that he pretty much delivered him self. did i miss something

  12. I agree, leverage is good. Overpaying for aging veterans is rarely a good formula. I think they’ll get Andre Smith done (at the right price) and sign either Dansby or Harrison. This puts us in the position to draft the best available in Round 1 without having to worry about a LB or RT as a need to fill.

    I’d love to see us take Eifert (TE) or Patterson (WR) if they are available.

  13. Low balling is right. That’s why they have the cap room in the first place. But also consider that if someone else wanted to pay Harrison more where are they? He had no better offers. Also why sit here and quibble over whether he can play in a 4-3. Media and fans have a lot less expertise than a head coach and DC that have commanded #1 defenses in their career. Harrison has never been lined up in 4-3. So how can anyone say they know he won’t fit. BTW Baltimore wanted him before they got a shot at Dumervil. And they don’t really play a 3-4 like most teams. They play basically a 4-3 alignment where the RDE stands up most of the time. It looks like a 3-4, but is essentially a 4-3 by all other principals that would decide such a thing.

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