Upgrading the linebacker corps was a top priority for the Eagles this offseason. First, they acquired two-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans from the Houston Texans in March. Even though Ryans is a road block to his path back to a starting role, Matthews praised the addition in an interview with the team’s official website.
The Bengals signed cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick of Alabama to a four-year contract on Friday, the first time in nine years that they’ve reached a deal so quickly with their top pick. Kirkpatrick was the first of Cincinnati’s two picks in the opening round, going 17th overall. He’s expected to compete for a starting job. Leon Hall, the Bengals’ top cornerback, is recovering from a torn Achilles tendon and is expected to be ready for the season.
I think he will progress. Most second year players slump due to lack of an improving work ethic or due to injuries they get in their second season. Julio Jones had injuries in his rookie year and with an NFL level offseason training program, he will only get better. Plus, as a wide receiver, there tends to be chemistry issues early on in their careers and Julio gets to work with Matt another offseason this year. He should be able to have a ridiculous statistical season despite having less targets than Roddy.
Out of all of the Bengals with expiring contracts entering the 2012 season, Smith has the most to either gain or lose this season. IF he can put together another solid season while continuing to improve his abilities as a run-blocker, he’ll get a big-time contract this offseason. Whether its from the Bengals or another NFL team will remain to be seen.
Ingram has lingering turf toe problems as well as a recently operated on knee, the same knee that caused him to fall from the mid teens to the late 20s on draft day. Today, interim Head Coach Joe Vitt said that Ingram would likely be limited for the start of Training Camp in August.
Starting linebacker Rolando McClain was found guilty early this week of four different charges and will serve 180 days in jail for his actions. The front office knew of this possibility, but have done little this off-season to overcome this set-back.
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