Bengals' free agency plan shared by others

March, 12, 2014
Mar 12
3:00
PM ET
CINCINNATI -- If it seems like the Cincinnati Bengals have been one of the quietest teams these first two days of the free agency period, it's because they have been.

And they like it that way.

So do 11 other teams, apparently. On Wednesday, ESPN.com Packers reporter Rob Demovsky pointed out that a dozen teams, including the Packers and Bengals, had at that point stood pat when it came to signing outside free agents. Both organizations have approached free agency that way over the years. They would prefer to build through the draft instead of bringing in too many high-priced, big-name, Day 1 free agents from the outside and have them adapt to the franchise. Such free agents have come to both cities in recent years, but bringing them in is far more the exception than the rule.

In addition to the Packers and Bengals, four other 2013 playoff teams were inactive into these first two days of free agency. Carolina, Kansas City, New England and Seattle also hadn't made moves from the outside. Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, St. Louis and the New York Jets also hadn't made any moves.

The only moves the Bengals have made so far have been internal. Guard Mike Pollak was re-signed last weekend. Receiver and return specialist Brandon Tate was brought back Tuesday, about four hours before the free agency period started. Reports have indicated the Bengals also re-signed defensive back Taylor Mays late Tuesday, although the team has not officially announced his signing.

Along with those moves, the Bengals on Tuesday cut center Kyle Cook, lost defensive end Michael Johnson to Tampa Bay, and were put on the clock by the Cleveland Browns, who provided receiver Andrew Hawkins an offer sheet that he signed. Cincinnati has another four days to match the offer. If they do, Hawkins, a restricted free agent, will remain a Bengal.

As the Bengals start trying to re-sign potential 2015 free agents like A.J. Green, Vontaze Burfict and Andy Dalton, they aren't expected to expend much cash on players who aren't already part of the organization. There might be some external additions that come late in the free agency process, but they likely will be depth-focused signings that won't command many dollars.

So for the Bengals fans who have Darrelle Revis and Alex Mack on your free-agency wish lists, scratch them off. They aren't coming to Cincinnati.

Coley Harvey

ESPN Cincinnati Bengals reporter

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