» The agent for safety Roy Williams says he's been talking to the Bengals about a contact for his client and Jordan Woy said Thursday in an e-mail that he plans to keep talking with free agency set to begin two weeks from Friday.
It's also believed that the club has offered a deal to defensive tackle Tank Johnson, newly represented by Drew Rosenhaus, according to the NFL Players Association. And there are indications from agents that they could meet with the Bengals about other prospective free agents next week in Indianapolis at the NFL scouting combine. The Bengals figure to approach kicker Shayne Graham and right guard Bobbie Williams before the dealing begins, as well as others.
The overwhelming sense is that there will be no salary cap in 2010, which means players not under contract who have not played six NFL seasons are restricted free agents. Which puts the Bengals list like this:
Unrestricted free agents: TE Reggie Kelly, RG Bobbie Williams, K Shayne Graham, S Roy Williams, FB Jeremi Johnson, RB Larry Johnson, DT Tank Johnson.
Restricted free agents: LG Evan Mathis, DT Shaun Smith, MLB Abdul Hodge, SLB Rashad Jeanty, WLB Brandon Johnson, DL Frostee Rucker, TE Daniel Coats, TE J.P Foschi, CB David Jones.
If there is a salary cap, Mathis, Hodge, Jeanty, Brandon Johnson and Rucker would be unrestricted free agents.
» Call it the Mel Kiper Jr. curse. A couple of hours after the ESPN analyst anointed Georgia Tech's Demaryius Thomas as the wide receiver to watch burst into the first round at the combine, Thomas broke his foot and is shelved for four to six weeks, according to SI.com via ProFootballTalk.com. It is doubtful Thomas is going to be ready by Georgia Tech's March 15 pro day, but he could work out on his own nearer the draft.
Also per SI.com via PFT.com, Missouri wide receiver Danario Alexander, a mid-round pick, got knocked down the board when he had knee surgery earlier this week.
So could the Bengals now get Thomas in the second round? Probably not. The reports say there is tape of him running a 4.38 40-yard dash.
» Contrary to Internet reports the Bengals aren't thinking about putting newly-signed wide receiver Matt Jones at tight end. As PFT called it, Jones simply isn't big enough. When the Bengals officially announced his signing Thursday, they listed him at 6-6, 218 pounds. The only tight end they have under contract is Chase Coffman, but everyone figures they have to draft one fairly high.