Sapp, Vincent spurn Cincinnati
The Bengals came up 0-for-3 in signing the players they thought would best lead them to the postseason.
Owner Mike Brown, who was criticized for being frugal, gave Lewis more power than any other coach he had ever hired. Almost overnight the Bengals became a more respected organization, and that was reflected by their success in free agency.
The Bengals started off slowly, signing only one unrestricted player in the first week of free agency, defensive lineman Carl Powell. But they used the money they saved by losing Takeo Spikes and added linebacker Kevin Hardy, defensive tackle John Thornton and cornerback Tory James. James actually chose to sign with Cincinnati over Minnesota for similar money.