The Cincinnati Bengals have an interesting problems this offseason. What do you do with Brandon LaFell? LaFell is a free agent this offseason, after signing a one year “prove it” deal. He didn’t put up eye popping numbers, but he was a solid number two receiver in the Bengals offense. LaFell had 64 receptions for 862 yards and 6 touchdowns this year. These numbers were very similar to the Bengal’s number two receiver last year, Marvin Jones. Jones had 65 catches for 816 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Bengals really like Marvin Jones and tried to retain him last offseason. They offered to match Detroit’s 5 year 40-million-dollar contract, but Jones chose ultimately Detroit. The numbers can be interpreted in a number of different ways. What I see is that the number two receiver in the Bengals system has somewhat of a cap in production.
There is no doubt that the Bengals got a steal in Lafell’s contract. Though only a one-year deal, his small price tag of 2.5 million was well worth it. I don’t think there would be any hesitation by the Bengals to bring him back at that price. The problem is what LaFell thinks he’s worth. Last year’s deal was a “prove it” deal and he definitely did just that. I personally believe that if it’s any number under 5 million per year, the Bengals will bring him back. Both parties have expressed interest in a reunion. The development of rookie Cody Core also should weigh heavily on the Bengals mind. If Lafell wants more, do the Bengals think they can pick up another receiver for cheap and plug him in? Only time will tell.