Three Veteran Free Agents for the Bengals to Sign Before Training Camp

Three Veteran Free Agents for the Bengals to Sign Before Training Camp

Ryan Knuppel
2 years ago
3 min read
Bengals defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi against the Las Vegas Raiders

Few teams have had as active of an offseason as the Cincinnati Bengals. The reigning AFC champions have rebuilt their offensive line and brought in several more pieces through the NFL Draft. But with training camp still close to two months away, the window for adding even more talent is far from closed.

Many quality free agents are still available on the open market. Here are three of them the Bengals should look to add between now and Week 1.

DT Larry Ogunjobi

Sure, the Bengals could go out and add any free agent. But what about a player who was wearing orange and black as recently as last season?

Ogunjobi had a career year in Cincinnati following four seasons with the Cleveland Browns. The soon-to-be 28-year-old had a personal-best seven sacks and a team-leading 12 tackles for loss in 2021. But his stint in the Queen City looked like a brief one, as the defensive tackle inked a deal with the Chicago Bears near the start of free agency.

However, Ogunjobi’s deal with Chicago fell through several days later due to a failed physical, making him a free agent once again. Today, the five-year veteran is still on the market for any team — including the Bengals — to sign.

The longer Ogunjobi sits on the open market, the more affordable he becomes. And assuming he’s fully recovered from the foot injury suffered in January’s Wild Card round game, he should take his rightful spot alongside B.J. Hill in the heart of Cincy’s D-line.

CB Kevin King

Cincinnati addressed its secondary in the draft, selecting cornerbacks Daxton Hill and Cam Taylor-Britt in the first two rounds. But with Hill slotted for more of a nickel role and Taylor-Britt too raw to start, the controversial Eli Apple is still in line to start opposite Chidobe Awuzie as one of the club’s top outside corners.

However, if the Bengals were smart, they’d inquire about King supplanting Apple before training camp gets underway.

King has had a complicated NFL career. Through five seasons with the Green Bay Packers, the 27-year-old has just two years with 11 or more games played, thanks to numerous injuries. But the 2017 second-round pick was solid in his most recent campaign, registering a 70.6 grade on Pro Football Focus.

Given his injury history, the 6-foot-3 King is still on the market. But after a solid season, it might make sense for the Bengals to add him to the cornerback room, giving them another decent option in their newly-fortified secondary.

C JC Tretter

After watching Joe Burrow scramble outside of the pocket for a second straight year, the Bengals knew improving the offensive line was essential. So they spent $74 million ($21 million guaranteed) on multi-year deals for Alex Cappa, La’el Collins, and Ted Karras.

Still, there’s one more offensive lineman the AFC champs can get to boost their improved group even further.

Across the state, the rival Browns have boasted one of football’s best O-lines. In the middle of that group was Tretter, who left Green Bay for Cleveland in 2017 and proceeded to have five consecutive 16-start seasons with over 1,000 snaps in each. Sadly, the 31-year-old was cut this offseason with one year left on his deal, saving Cleveland over $8 million against the cap.

Few players in the NFL, let alone current free agents, have shown to be as consistent and durable as Tretter. If the Bengals can add him on a short-term deal, they can move Karras to left guard and shift the disappointing Jackson Carman back to the bench. That would give Cincy five above-average offensive linemen who could protect Burrow and, in turn, its Super Bowl hopes.

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