Lance McAlister

Lance McAlister

Lance McAlister covers everything in Cincinnati sports! Host of sports talk on Cincinnati News Radio 700WLW and ESPN 1530!Full Bio


Bengals: Identifying the Core 5

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Bengals: Time to identify the Core 5

The current contract situation with Jesse Bates reminds me it's time to revisit a yearly topic.

Years ago, I hosted the Friday Bengals Show with Bob Trumpy. Every season he would hammer away at the fact the Bengals were poor at recognizing their core players and resigning those players to extensions to keep them around to build with.

The contract situation with Jessie Bates is an example. He's not happy about the fact he does not have an extension.

Is Jessie a core player? Should he be signed to a market deal for top safeties? Can/should a safety be part of your core?

I have presented this topic to listeners and compiled a list over the years:

Who are the 5 current Bengals players to keep and build around over the next 5 years?

Imagine you were deciding on five 'keepers' for the Bengals, just like your fantasy football team. 

Which Bengals do you keep and which players do you toss back into the pool? 

What factors matter the most? Age? Position? Upside?


Here are listener choices/results from past years doing the topic:

It is pretty interesting to look back at some of the names fans identified as Core 5 guys over the years. Order is based on the most votes received. 

2006: Carson Palmer, Odell Thurman, Chad Johnson, Levi Jones, Eric Steinbach

2007: Carson Palmer, Johnathan Joseph, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Levi Jones, Chad Johnson

2008: Carson Palmer, Robert Geathers, Johnathan Joseph, Keith Rivers, T.J. Houshmandzadeh/Leon Hall (tie)

2009: Carson Palmer, Keith Rivers, Rey Maualuga, Andrew Whitworth, Leon Hall

2010: Carson Palmer, Andrew Whitworth, Carlos Dunlap, Johnathan Joseph, Leon Hall

2012: A.J. Green, Vontaze Burfict, Geno Atkins, Andy Dalton, Michael Johnson

2014: A.J. Green, Geno Atkins, Vontaze Burfict, Andrew Whitworth, Jeremy Hill

2016: A.J. Green, Geno Atkins, Tyler Eifert, Carlos Dunlap. Andy Dalton

2017:  A.J Green, Geno Atkins, Vontaze Burfict, Andy Dalton, Joe Mixon (20 different players received votes)

2018: A.J. Green, Geno Atkins, Andy Dalton, Williams Jackson III, Carl Lawson (17 players received votes)

2019: Tyler Boyd, Jonah Williams, William Jackson, Joe Mixon, Sam Hubbard (18 players received votes)

2020: Joe Burrow, Jonah Williams, Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, Jessie Bates (15 players received votes)

2021: Joe Burrow, Jonah Williams, Jessie Bates, Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins (14 players received votes)

Vote on my Facebook page HERE on tweet me @ lancemcalister

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