Cincinnati Bengals Pre-Camp Free Agency Targets

Cincinnati Bengals Pre-Camp Free Agency Targets

Nick Pedone
2 years ago
3 min read
Cincinnati Bengals Pre-Camp Free Agency Targets

Despite a big offseason of spending, the Cincinnati Bengals have a few remaining weak spots on their roster.

Potentially, these are spots that could be filled by players rapidly ascending during training camp. However, there’s always going to be value in adding veteran talent to such a young roster, even after the Bengals added a lot more experience through free agency.

According to a list shared by Indianapolis Colts website writer Andrew Walker, the Bengals have the 12th-oldest roster in the NFL this season with an average age of 25.04. Given their recent roster churn and a slew of new talent, that’s a somewhat surprising figure.

Still, heading into 2021, the Bengals would benefit from a few more known commodities on both sides of the ball. Perhaps not more than one or two for each side, but it might go a long way towards generating wins. Plus, this team has struggled with plentiful injuries in recent seasons, making depth an even more important asset.

While there’s a reason these players remain free agents this late in the game, they can still provide some solid value. After all, there are quite a few former Pro Bowlers and All-Pros left on the market.

David DeCastro, Guard

After being unceremoniously released by the Pittsburgh Steelers in late June, the All-Pro guard is rumored to be considering retirement. Seemingly, the Steelers wouldn’t release DeCastro if his serious ankle injury wasn’t such a major concern.

If he’s healthy or even 75 percent of his former self, the Bengals would benefit from his experience in their pool of guards. With Jackson Carman expected to start as a rookie and the team lacking cushion behind him, DeCastro would be a comfortable fit.

Jurrell Casey, Defensive Tackle

Despite signing Larry Ogunjobi to fill the role of the three-technique, the Bengals could certainly use a proven commodity like Jurrell Casey in the middle of their defensive line. After missing much of the 2020 season due to injury, the 31-year-old Casey remains without a team for 2021.

Casey has averaged a little over five sacks a season over his nine-year career and could provide valuable snaps as a rotational defender. Plus, he’s probably a little closer to the Geno Atkins mold than Ogunjobi, which would make Bengals fans slightly more comfortable.

K.J. Wright, Linebacker

Without a doubt, K.J. Wright isn’t the same player he was a few seasons ago. Regardless, the Bengals could use a veteran linebacker of his ilk to supplement their incredibly young group. After all, the oldest linebacker in the room is special teams asset Jordan Evans; he’s only 26-years-old, whereas Wright turns 32 in just a few days.

In Wright, the team would get a combination of leadership and Super Bowl pedigree. Seemingly, it’s a fit similar to what Josh Bynes brought in 2021, but at a slightly higher level. Wright would immediately fit as a coverage linebacker for a team that doesn’t seem to have that type of asset currently on their 53-man roster.

Kwon Alexander, Linebacker

Potentially making for the best fit in the bunch, it’s kind of surprising to see Alexander still on the list of free agents. At just 26-years-old and with a Pro Bowl nod under his belt, it seems somewhat surprising that Alexander is still on the market.

However, injuries are the story with the young linebacker. Since signing a four-year, $54 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers in 2019, he’s struggled to stay on the field. After playing a healthy total of 317 snaps in five games with the New Orleans Saints in 2020, Alexander suffered a season-ending torn Achilles tendon.

While he might not be ready for Week 1 of 2021, he could quickly become an asset on a budding Bengals defense. Though health will be the storyline to follow, he would make a lot of sense for Cincinnati if they can get him on a low-guarantee, high-incentive deal. Seemingly, his high ceiling still exists, it’s just going to be a matter of keeping Alexander healthy.

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