Top Three Realistic Targets For Cincinnati Bengals

Top Three Realistic Targets For Cincinnati Bengals

Ayden Fahlstrom
1 year ago
3 min read
Carlton Davis III (24) breaks up a pass intended for Panthers Wide Receiver DJ Moore (2).

The Bengals came within three points of pulling off one of the more miraculous runs in recent NFL history, ultimately losing to the Rams in Super Bowl LVI to put a bow on the 2021-22 season.

Not to discredit their run to put themselves in a position to hoist the Lombardi with upset wins over the Titans and Chiefs, but their weaknesses were on full display in front of more than 100 million people on Super Bowl Sunday.

The Bengals’ window to win a title will never be more open than over the next two years with Joe Burrow still locked in to his rookie deal. Once the inevitability of Cincy’s ace under center inking an extension becomes a reality, the team’s ability to lure talented, big-money free agents diminishes. 

With that in mind, the time to strike is now, so let’s take a look at the top three free-agent targets the Bengals can realistically attract to the Queen City.

Terron Armstead - OT, New Orleans Saints

You’ll quickly notice a theme with these players and honestly, all three names on this list could have been offensive linemen. It’s the biggest weakness on the team and their inability to block Aaron Donald and Von Miller down the stretch may have cost them the Super Bowl.

This is by no means a certainty because even though Armstead is the best available tackle in this free-agent class, the one sure thing the Bengals have on their offensive line is Jonah Williams. Armstead and Wiliams play the same position so it would take some maneuvering, nevermind more than $20 million per year, but this unit needs major upgrading.

The Bengals have the cap flexibility that New Orleans does not, but the Jaguars, Dolphins, and Bears (among others) could provide some serious competition for the veteran.

Connor Williams - G, Dallas Cowboys

Dallas has prided themselves on boasting one of the best offensive lines in football in recent years. And the front office has rewarded several players in the unit for their efforts. So the question in Dallas is whether to keep (and pay) Williams, potentially at the expense of one of their big-money veterans, or let him walk in free agency.

If the Cowboys pick the latter, the Bengals should swoop in immediately. Quinton Spain and Riley Reiff are free agents, but Cincinnati will be looking to upgrade anyway. Jackson Carman is a wild card in all this, but even if he rounds into a form AND the team uses their early-round draft picks on the offensive line, Williams still makes a lot of sense.

Carlton Davis - CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

As mentioned, The Bengals front office must be willing to open up their wallets during the offseason to surround Burrow and the team’s young core with veterans who can help push the team over the edge. Signing three free agents to top-dollar deals isn’t likely, but seeing how close they came to immortality, two certainly isn’t out of the question.

It was apparent that Eli Apple wasn’t the answer for the Bengals’ secondary, and he’s only made matters worse for himself since the Super Bowl loss. Davis represents, arguably, the best corner on the market (J.C. Jackson will get a significant deal too) and would help the Bengals’ back end tremendously, assuming he departs Tampa who may be facing a transition year after Tom Brady announced he’d be retiring.

Keep an eye on the tight end and OLB/DE markets too as veterans could see opportunity in Cincinnati, not only to win but to cash in.

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