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Secondary feels draft with Nelson trade

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on September 4, 2010 – 9:07 pm

So the Bengals did end up keeping a former first-round pick of the Jaguars after all on Saturday’s NFL cutdown day.

But it wasn’t wide receiver Matt Jones, released earlier in the day as the Bengals made room for Jerome Simpson and Quan Cosby.

It turned out to be safety Reggie Nelson, acquired for cornerback David Jones and a conditional draft pick about 30 minutes after the 6 p.m. deadline to get rosters to 53.

In the wake of the season-ending injury to Gibril Wilson and the decision to cut all three veterans vying to take his place as one of the four safeties, the Bengals turned to the Jaguars No. 1 pick from 2007.

The Bengals know the 5-11, 206-pound Nelson well.   

The move now gives the Bengals secondary five first-round picks and one they almost had when the Jaguars took Florida’s Nelson with the 21st pick. The Bengals ended up taking Michigan cornerback Leon Hall at No. 18, but had Nelson on their radar as one of their Plan Bs if Hall slipped through.

He ended up tying Hall to lead all NFL rookies with five interceptions that season.

Now Nelson joins Hall and three other first-rounders in the Bengals secondary. There is Johnathan Joseph at the corner opposite Hall, a ’06 first rounder, as well as 2005 first-rounder Adam Jones at the third corner and 2002 first-rounder Roy Williams at strong safety.

“Trade great for us,” texted head coach Marvin Lewis on Saturday. “Acquiring a young player with tremendous upside and two years left on his contract.”

The Bengals kept just three safeties at Saturday’s 53-man cutdown, so they were anticipating making some kind of move. Now instead of six cornerbacks, they have five corners and four safeties with safety Chris Crocker able to play corner in a pinch.

Nelson had a big rookie year with five of his seven career interceptions but didn’t seem to adapt to what new defensive coordinator Mel Tucker did with him last year. Tucker moved him all over, including into slot corner, and he even started one game at left corner.

But he’s advertised as a free safety with good range.  In 42 starts with the Jags, Nelson had 162 solo tackles, one sack, and two forced fumbles. With special teams captain Kyries Hebert among Saturday’s cuts, Nelson will more than likely be asked to contribute in the kicking game. Four of his 18 special teams tackles came last season in a year he started 14 games before he was replaced in the next to last game of the season.

The Bengals picked up Jones on this weekend three years ago when they plucked him off waivers from the Saints. They got a lot of bang for their buck. He started seven of 33 games and had 47 tackles and eight passes defensed.

He was Cincinnati’s third corner in 2008 but got supplanted by rookie Morgan Trent last year after he missed virtually all of the preseason and the first four games of the regular season with a broken foot.

After going 18 years without making a player-for-player trade, the Bengals have now made one before each of the last two seasons. In May 2009 they picked up Rams running back Brian Leonard for defensive tackle Orien Harris.


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Posted in Hobson's Choice | 8 Comments »


8 Responses to “Secondary feels draft with Nelson trade”

  1. By tochouno on Sep 4, 2010 | Reply

    I like the trade nelson for jones. Jones wasnt gonaa see much playing time with us anyways and with gibril going down i was concerned about our safety position. Now ive seen the jags post alot of bad comments about Nelson but i definitely see the potential in him and with Zimmer there i believe he will be able to get the best out of him. Now, Lets go get that SB!!!….WHO DEY!!!

  2. By steelworker1 on Sep 5, 2010 | Reply

    I know the Bengals are loaded at wide receiver, but do you think they would be interested in landing T.J now that Seattle has cut him?

  3. By 4sinc4life on Sep 5, 2010 | Reply

    Great move, very excited about this, since we picked up adam jones i think he was expendable. I would have loved with all of my heart to see JT Osullivan get cut, maybe we can pick up troy smith? matt lienart? even jp losman would probably look better. I understand this is why im not the GM of a football team, but they have to see that Osullivan is no good for us, i want to be able to have some confidence that if Carson goes down our season isnt completely over.
    Im also curious to see where chase coffman ends up, maybe in a pass first offense where he could actually help out a lot. A little bit sad to see him and Briscoe get cut.

  4. By bigdad616 on Sep 5, 2010 | Reply

    Looks like Marvin is starting to drive player personnel moves a little more (hence the increase in trades). With some big wins, (Benson, Maualuga) and some big busts (Andre Smith, Bryant), it must be an interesting debate between Marvin and Mike Brown. I think we want to keep Marvin with the organization a long time. To do so, he must want to both coach and have some control over player moves. Maybe not contracts and caps but quite reasonably, a lot of say over who makes up his team. Part of this is he has a lot of contacts at day to day working level around the league and is more comfortable having trade discussions.

  5. By theredbengal on Sep 5, 2010 | Reply

    Love the trade. So from your description in your in depth article, Hobs, Nelson flourished in the Jags’ initial d-coordinator’s scheme. But when they switched coordinators, he was being moved around instead of doing what he did his rookie year with 5 picks. Hey, 1st rounder (Nelson) for a waiver wire pickup (D. Jones) and a 4th or 5 draft pick maybe? I’ll take it.

    The backup QB position is fretted over too much. Pick out a backup QB in this league that can take any team to the super bowl. I’ll help you out: David Carr, Charlie Batch, Sage Rosenfels, Seneca Wallace, Kyle Boller, Chad Pennington, Curtis Painter, Mike Vick, Charlie Whitehurst, Jon Kitna, Tarvaris Jackson, Jimmy Claussen, Josh Johnson…

    Backups Kerry Collins and Rex Grossman both played in superbowls. But, Grossman should get very little credit for his efforts as he was on the best team (’06 Bears) in the league that year. I always that if Jon Kitna was on that Bears team instead of Grossman, they’d have won the super bowl. Anyway, Collins would be the one guy, besides Kitna for obvious reasons, that I’d say would be a worthy backup.

  6. By kaptkurt on Sep 5, 2010 | Reply

    I am so excited about the season. Mike Brown has been the best GM in the NFL this offseason. Bringing in the players this team needs (and releasing them to the tune of $8million) to compete for a championship. If we make the Nelson trade any day but cutdown day, it’s the talk of the NFL. T.O, Wilson, free agents named Jones, Antonio Bryant all designed to improve a team that swept the toughest division in football.
    The FA former Bengal receivers (TJ, Bryant, Jones, Coffman, Coles and Briscoe) would be an upgrade for several NFL teams. I like Briscoe but I like our team better. ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL

  7. By 4sinc4life on Sep 5, 2010 | Reply

    I just woke up this morning to see that Osullivan has been cut(morning for me as I live in Hawaii) this coming right after my post last night begging for it to happen, now Im off to surf, and have some fun tonight for labor day… This has officially started my day off right!

  8. By theredbengal on Sep 5, 2010 | Reply

    15 year FB Tony Richardson has been released by the Jets. I think it would be a no-brainer that the Bengals give this guy a call. He’s an outstanding player and locker room guy.

    Just when you think the plot couldn’t thicken anymore with player for player trades and QB swaps…

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