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Hobson's Choice: Two Sam views

Q: Cutting Sam Adams, oh really? This strikes as cheaper is better. Not that it will help the cap, but $1.5 million saved is $1.5 million earned for the 2007 balance sheet. So a bad defense gets worse, but cheaper. Great news. Adams couldn't move well, but at least he wasn't getting blown off of the ball. The timing also is odd. Why not wait until camp, see if Adams can really come in shape and healthy? Then, let competition determine the roster. Instead it's losing a starter (Adams) and a reserve (Shaun Smith) and adding two reserves and a sixth-rounder. Not sure how that is progress for a defense that needed it.
--Bill, Richmond, VA

BILL: You're talking to a big Sam Guy, but I think youth is the call here and not cheap. And given that he was cut less than 24 hours before voluntaries, maybe it was all about timing.

The Bengals have been working out for five weeks, so you have to believe they've got a pretty good idea of what they've got and how much they felt Sam could give them at this point. I'm with you, I would have given him another camp.

But we're not Marvin Lewis, either, and we don't have to look at players and coaches if younger guys are able to do more than a guy who hardly practiced at all last season.

Remember what Lewis said the last day of rookie camp just eight days ago?

Addition by subtraction.

Maybe with the vets coming in Tuesday, it wasn't all that odd if even a Lewis favorite like Adams can get lopped.

I feel badly for Sam because it sure looked like he was rounding into some type of Pro Bowl form before he got his knee blown up against Green Bay in the preseason. And you have to salute the guy for playing hurt. But anybody who saw Sam try to get on and off the field courageously knew this wasn't the same guy from Baltimore, or even Buffalo.

And, who knows, maybe at age 34 he would have come back. But what you do know is that you've got a fine 22-year-old player in Peko who got better every week. So I don't know how that makes it a worse defense if you're giving a talented young guy more snaps than he got last year.

And, theoretically, you're replacing Shaun Smith with a guy in Michael Myers who has played a heck of a lot more and been more productive than Smith because he's had far more snaps. On paper, I don't think you can say the defense got worse although the jury is still farther out than Pluto.

Q: This is a good move for the Bengals releasing Adams. This will give them the opportunity to start Thornton and Peko while still having the depth behind them with the new additions to DT. With the new situation, do you see Thornton and Peko taking the majority of the snaps, or will they continue to rotate with the new additions?
--Bryan S., Bettendorf, IA

BRYAN: One man's gripe is another man's grin. You have to believe Peko is going to get a lot more snaps, but I'm sure they're excited about adding a productive, durable guy like Myers into the mix.

I would think that Thornton, Peko and Myers get the bulk of the snaps at tackle but Allen gives them an intriguing look as a guy nearly tapping out at 6-6, 330 pounds who can apparently move around well when healthy.

The problem with Allen is that he was more banged up than Adams last year with his lisfranc injury of his foot that took him out of all but two games.

Apparently the injury wasn't serious enough to require surgery and he must have passed muster when he worked out for them last week.

Yet with their signing bonuses and salaries, Myers and Allen combined are probably hovering near Adams' $1.5 million salary, and if the move doesn't work and Adams goes somewhere and plays better than he did last year then the critics will Scrooge them. But if they get healthier snaps from them than Adams gave them last year, you have to count that as an upgrade.

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