Don't be surprised if the Bengals allow RB Rudi Johnson to take a free-agent hike. The Bengals have decided they will not pay Johnson at the level of the top backs in the NFL, and they are not likely to put the franchise tag on him. How could they be so comfortable allowing a solid starter to walk? Bengals coach Marvin Lewis would be confident going into next season with Chris Perry as his starter. Perry, the Bengals' first-round pick in 2004, didn't make much of an impact as a rookie
mostly because of a sports hernia. But Lewis believes Perry will be a special player who could be the team's 2005 equivalent of QB Carson Palmer this season.