Posted: 5:20 a.m.
Tuesday's deadline came and went with no long-term deal for franchise player Stacy Andrews, one of the club's right tackles, so with the Bengals carrying his $7.5 million salary for the entire season here is what could be next on the timeline:
They figure to reach deals with sixth-rounder Corey Lynch and seventh-rounder Angelo Craig in the next few days and deals for third-rounder Pat Sims and fourth-rounder Anthony Collins will at least be convenient. They both have Atlanta-based agent Todd France. Talks with first-rounder Keith Rivers appear to be under way.
Collins, the left tackle out of Kansas, could be a key figure in the Andrews situation. It's doubtful the Bengals will slap another franchise tag on Andrews next year because it would be closer to $10 million to do it in back-to-back years.
If they can't re-sign Andrews after the season (and they couldn't after the last two years), they still have another young tackle in Collins that looked good in spring ball.
The Bengals are believed to be talking to the agent for left guard Andrew Whitworth about parameters for an extension. His agent said last month the Bengals were interested in doing another deal. Like defensive tackle Domata Peko, who extended last month, Whitworth has become a solid starter since coming out of the 2006 draft and has a rookie deal through '09.
Next on the agenda figures to be wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh and kicker Shayne Graham, both record-setting players whose contracts are up after this season. The franchise tag is an option for both, but moreso Houshmandzadeh than Graham because Houshmandzadeh is a bigger ticket item.