10-17-02, 12:20 p.m.
BY GEOFF HOBSON
In a bid to find any kind of answer at quarterback, the Bengals planned to work out journeyman Joe Germaine after Thursday's practice.
If the Bengals like what they see from the 27-year-old Germaine and sign him, it's doubtful they would cut one of their three quarterbacks. They would have to cut elsewhere from their roster, but the Bengals have been told he's also eligible for the practice squad.
The 6-0, 200-pound Germaine has thrown just three NFL passes and none since his rookie year of 1999. The Rams took him in the fourth-round and then traded him to the Chiefs just before last season for a sixth-round pick.
He spent this spring in NFL Europe, where he started all 10 games for Barcelona and compiled a 54.2 passer rating on 93 of 181 for 905 yards on five touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Germaine is one of the first
players the Bengals have brought in to work out since the season started. It's a common practice throughout the league to bring in free agents early in the week for a look. Just this past Tuesday, 17 teams brought in a total of 60 street free agents.
But Bengals President Mike Brown says the club hasn't had reason to go beyond the current roster.
"I don't think anyone is looking at the out-there list of players as the magic bullet to solve their problems," Brown said. "They see them as players when they have injuries and open spots. If we have injuries and open spots that didn't match up with our practice squad, then we would look out there and at (practice squad) players on different teams. We've had injuries, but have backed them up internally."
There is a school of thought that says even if you're talking about the bottom of the roster, bring in free agents just to give the current players a sense of urgency.
"There is that argument that we should be lopping off heads," Brown said. "They say, 'Things can't get any worse. Do something. Do anything.' I don't subscribe to that as an answer."
The Bengals went to Washington's practice squad three weeks ago to sign rookie tackle Reggie Coleman when Richmond Webb suffered a season-ending pectoral injury.
Germaine is best known in these parts for leading Ohio State to a come-from-behind victory in the Rose Bowl after the 1996 season.