It took a while for things to develop, but cornerback Darqueze Dennard finally re-signed with the Cincinnati Bengals yesterday, reportedly agreeing to a one-year contract worth just $5 million. Considering that he played under his fifth-year option last season worth several million more than that, he took a step backward.
There are some indications, in fact, that his testing of the market cost him money, as one report suggested that the Bengals’ original offer was higher. They even signed cornerback B.W. Webb (a former Pittsburgh Steelers player) to a multi-year deal in the interim.
Dennard, a former first-round draft pick, has been relegated to working in the slot, with Dre Kirkpatrick and William Jackson III securing the two outside positions. His market has been limited, which he has found out. But it’s not the only thing he’s realized.
He also told reporters that he felt it was time for changes to be made on the Bengals. “It’s not really my job to say that”, he acknowledged, “but I think change is good at some point. Keep doing the same thing over and over again and getting the same result”, he added, “I think it’s called insanity right? I think it was needed. I think it was time”.
Dennard on whether change was needed: “It’s not really my job to say that, but I think change is good at some point. Keep doing the same thing over and over again and getting the same result … I think it’s called insanity right? I think it was needed. I think it was time…
— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) March 25, 2019
The organization agreed to part ways with long-time head coach Marvin Lewis earlier this offseason, bringing former quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor of the Los Angeles Rams as their new head coach. Taylor has never even held a full-time coordinator position.
Taylor’s identity is obviously driven much more heavily by the offensive side of the ball, whereas Lewis had a defensive background. Lewis was also seen as enabling some negative cultural traits within the locker room and the organization that, presumably, they would like to move on from, which included the release of Vontaze Burfict.
“I think it was just a breath of fresh air for everybody in here. I think it’s just the right way to move forward to kind of make things new and basically work towards something, which is what we all want, and that’s a championship”, Dennard said.
While the Bengals went on a five-year run of making the postseason—and losing in the Wildcard Round every time—they have not only failed to reach the playoffs three years running, they have also posted losing records each time.
It’s true that Cincinnati was bad for a long time before Lewis ever got there, and in fact his time with the organization actually marks a general high point, but it also seemed apparent that he did as much as he would be able to do for them, so it’s certainly hard to blame them for moving on.