NFL

Troy Blakburn Defends the Bengals Decision of Re-signing Bobby Hart

The Bengals front office has made multiple questionable decisions over the years. Re-signing Offensive Tackle Bobby Hart raised a ton of questions. Bengals Vice President responded to the criticism, and he responded very poorly.

The Bengals front office is usually fairly quiet. So, whenever they talk to the media, people like to pay close attention. Kat Terrell of ESPN recently talked to Bengals Vice President, Troy Blackburn. She asked him multiple questions, but one question triggered Troy Blackburn. She asked him about Bobby Hart and how the fans reacted, and Mr. Blackburn responded very poorly. Here’s what he said…

“For those who say you shouldn’t have signed Bobby Hart, who is going to play right tackle? Who? Oh, maybe you’ll draft one in the third round and he’ll come on. Really? You’re going to bet your season on that? We may still draft somebody. We haven’t had the draft yet. But you just can’t criticize. In our business, you have to solve the problem. If you’re not going to play him, tell me who? Trent Brown at $17 million? Really? A seventh-round draft pick? Let go essentially by his team. Really? We can’t go to WalMart and buy off the shelf. A high quality starting right tackle? That doesn’t exist (in free agency). You have to deal in the universe of options you have. We ended up signing eight guys. That’s probably above average. Were they perfect? You’re not going to get perfect. …”

I sit back, laugh, and I then realized he was being serious. This is how the Bengals front office acts? Wow. We all knew the Bengals front office wasn’t the brightest(coming from a fan), but this is a very bad look.

Lets break this down:

“For those who say you shouldn’t have signed Bobby Hart, who is going to play right tackle? Who? Oh, maybe you’ll draft one in the third round and he’ll come on. Really? You’re going to bet your season on that? We may still draft somebody. We haven’t had the draft yet.”

Really? A 3rd rounder may be better than Bobby Hart. Hart was 1 of 4 offensive tackles to give up more than 10 sacks. He also gave up 39 pressures and had 14 penalties. A 3rd rounder certainly seems like a possible upgrade. Also, why specify the 3rd round? There are 6 other rounds, including a round 1 and a round 2. Why not try and target an offensive lineman earlier in the draft? It seems as Troy Blackburn didn’t do any research coming into this question. Also, a bad right tackle won’t ruin a season. Many teams have survived without a good right tackle. 

“But you just can’t criticize. In our business, you have to solve the problem.”

Yes, we can criticize. Harts contract may be the worst contract given in free agency. The Bengals still have a gaping hole at right tackle, they didn’t solve any problems.

 “If you’re not going to play him, tell me who? Trent Brown at $17 million? Really? A seventh-round draft pick? Let go essentially by his team. Really? We can’t go to WalMart and buy off the shelf. A high quality starting right tackle? That doesn’t exist (in free agency).”

Oh man, where do I start?

Well, to start, Trent Brown was not let go. He was traded for a 3rd round pick. He had a good 2017 year in San Fransisco, and a great year with New England this past year. While $17 million is a bit high, Trent Brown got that money for a reason. Also, bringing up where he was drafted makes Mr. Blackburn look very hypocritical. Bobby Hart was drafted in the 7th round….

What makes the extremely funny, is that he only brought up Trent Brown. A high-quality right tackle doesn’t exist in free agency? So apparently, the Bengals weren’t aware that JuWuan James, Daryl Williams, Ty Nsekhe, and Billy Turner were free agents. They all got better value deals than Bobby Hart.

“You have to deal in the universe of options you have. We ended up signing eight guys. That’s probably above average. Were they perfect? You’re not going to get perfect. …”

Yes, the Bengals signed 8 guys. They only signed 1 guy that was an outside free agent that solves any issues for them(John Miller). Mr. Blackburn ended his rant very poorly. Yes, you’re not going to get perfection, but you strive for it. He makes it seem as the Bengals are not striving for it.

Troy Blackburn would have probably been better off not talking. He seemed very defendant about this, and when you’re that defendant about something, odds are you are in the wrong. Unless Bobby Hart has a huge breakout year, odds are Troy Blackburn and the Bengals are in the wrong.

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