Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 4/12/13
Two weeks are left before the NFL Draft, which means the meat of free agency is about over. The Bengals have stuck to their word about focusing on re-signing their own and, given they've been a playoff team the last two years, that's a good plan to follow. It has been a successful formula for other organizations and has served Marvin Lewis well the past few years as he has remade the roster into an image he believes he can win with consistently. With the likes of Geno Atkins, A.J. Green and Andy Dalton heading into free agency the next couple of seasons, it's a prudent strategy. The problem arises when this is essentially the same roster that has lost in the first round of the playoffs each of those two seasons. This roster doesn't require heavy overhauling but some tweaking at spots is needed, most notably at linebacker, safety and running back depth. The draft alone won't push this team deeper into the postseason. The fact that they've had veteran linebackers Karlos Dansby and James Harrison in for visits this week is a good sign and if they can sign one of them they've helped themselves. Don't buy into the supposed issue of Harrison being a former Steeler and now potentially being a Bengal; if he can play somewhere in Mike Zimmer's 4-3 system then he can play. Ditto with Dansby, who had a career-high 134 tackles last season with Miami but was deemed expendable when the Dolphins signed Dannell Ellerby. The Bengals entered free agency with 23 players eligible to become unrestricted free agents. The one notable player they've been unable to retain is right tackle Andre Smith. They simply aren't willing to break the bank on Smith, who has turned himself from being the butt of jokes on "Hard Knocks" into an above-average NFL tackle. But he's not Andrew Whitworth and the market this year hasn't given the Bengals any reason to pay him more than Whit. The Bengals don't need to be awe-inspiring when it comes to free agency. They've drafted well and have the nucleus to contend for the next few years - which in the NFL is a lifetime - but they are at the point of their development where small upgrades here and there could mean the difference in a Wild Card exit and breaking through to the Super Bowl. Of course, there's always the draft.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dallas Cowboys' team employee bus involved in fatal crash

Aldon Smith posts video under a pseudonym of a blunt on Periscope

WATCH: Cam Newton get blocked by a girl playing volleyball

Russia avoids complete ban from Rio Olympics by the IOC

Report: Padres trying to move Andrew Cashner, Derek Norris

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Baseball's top prospect called up to majors by Astros

Report: Braves 'aggressively' shopping Francoeur, Aybar

Report: Hue Jackson designing plays for Terrelle Pryor

Report: Darnell Dockett expected to announce retirement

Report: Yankees have not discussed releasing A-Rod

Report: D-Backs making Shelby Miller available via trade

Cristiano Ronaldo spars with Conor McGregor in gym

Adam Silver is the new standard-bearer for league commisioners

Iowa football player held at gunpoint by police while playing Pokemon Go

Eight most significant injuries going into NFL training camp

Man. U players banned from playing 'Pokemon Go?'

Ken Griffey Jr. put on backwards hat during HOF speech

Mike Piazza honors 9/11 victims during Hall of Fame speech

Jeremy Lin hints he is racially profiled by arena employees

Why did Rio mayor offer to put kangaroo in Olympic village?

Joe Maddon wastes no time cracking Chris Sale joke

Report: Lamar Odom walked out on family intervention

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker