Bengals Free Agency

Free Agents The Cincinnati Bengals Could Sign

  • 2020 NFL Free Agency
  • Cincinnati Bengals
  • Cory Littleton
  • Derek Wolfe
  • Graham Glasgow
  • Joe Burrow
  • Nick Kwiatkoski
  • Shaq Lawson
By Kyle Smith March 9, 2020 0 Comment
Please Share!

The Cincinnati Bengals have a history of playing it safe during free agency, could this be the year that changes their mindset?

“The Cincinnati Bengals don’t spend on free agents,” “the Bengals are cheap,” “the Bengals don’t prioritize winning championships.” These are all narratives being pushed extensively by the national media, but it seems as if the Bengals may be pushing back on those critiques during this upcoming free agency.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network has reported that the Bengals are expected to be active in free agency and will go after tier one and tier two targets. Does this mean that the Bengals are going to fork over $15 million per year on top of the line free agents like Jadaveon Clowney or sign a top tackle like Jack Conklin? Probably not. Since 2013, the Bengals are 12th in total spending, and in the last 5 years, the Bengals are 30th in guaranteed money. If the Bengals want to sign top tier players, they will have to up the ante on guaranteed money.

Most Bengals’ fans see this and roll their eyes, but change may be in the air. Following Rapoport’s report, Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com stated “I think the Bengals are readying to duel. Too many lights on too late in the night at PBS for me to think otherwise.” At this time, the Bengals are predicted to have almost $45 million in cap space. If Cincinnati trades Andy Dalton, cuts Cordy Glenn, and potentially releases Dre Kirkpatrick, they could boost that number to almost $80 million. That amount of money gives the Bengals a serious advantage when legal tampering begins March 16th.  Some players have already been linked to the Bengals as free agency nears. Take a look at who the Bengals could target in this year’s free-agent class.

Nick Kwiatkoski – Linebacker

Nick Kwiatkoski is a popular choice to send to the Bengals in many free agency predictions. Kwiatkoski played only 518 snaps in 2019 but produced 76 total tackles, 8 tackles-for-loss,  3 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 1 interception. The Bengals could use any help at the second level of defense. With his experience and an increase in playtime, Kwiatkoski could bolster the linebacker corp and provide a much needed veteran presence in the room.

Graham Glasgow – Guard

If the Bengals need to convince players to come to Cincinnati, it shouldn’t be too difficult to sell Glasgow on playing with his brother Ryan Glasgow, defensive tackle for the Bengals. Graham Glasgow played in 15 games for a total of 872 snaps, in 2019 for the Lions. Out of those 872 snaps, Glasgow committed only 3 penalties and did not allow a single sack. Glasgow has played both guard positions and center for the Lions. His versatility could bolster the Bengals offensive line which is in desperate need of an upgrade. Glasgow could be a cheaper option for the Bengals over Joe Thuney or Brandon Scherff.

Derek Wolfe – Defensive End

It has been reported that Derek Wolfe has set up meetings with the Bengals among other teams. Wolfe has local ties, as he played at the University of Cincinnati before being drafted by the Denver Broncos in the second round in 2012. Even after missing four games last season, Wolfe still managed to record 7 sacks, 23 tackles, and 1 forced fumble. Wolfe would be a perfect fit for the new look Anarumo defense. He would be able to play the defensive end in a 3-4 look or move next to Geno Atkins in the 4-3. The major cons of Wolfe are that he is 30 years old and has only played a full 16 game schedule once during his career. With the Bengals injury luck and aging defensive line, the Bengals will need to assess the risk-reward of signing a player like Wolfe.

Shaq Lawson – Edge

Much like Wolfe, Shaq Lawson would be a versatile fit on the defensive line. In Buffalo, Lawson has primarily played edge rusher but has the ability to kick inside if needed. Lawson was a first-round pick out of Clemson in 2016 but has never lived up to the hype. In his 50 game career, Lawson has only started 17. Last season, Lawson stacked up 6.5 sacks and 21 solo tackles. With the prestige of a “former first-round pick,” Lawson could sign for more than predicted. Even so, the Bengals have more than enough cap space and could use a versatile edge to boost a thin defensive line roster.

Cory Littleton – Linebacker

Cory Littleton is a top tier linebacker in this free-agent class. It is expected that he could get $12 million per year, which may seem out of the Bengals price range. However, the Bengals have an excess of cap space and an almost insurmountable hole at linebacker, as previously stated. Littleton could come in and immediately take command of the entire defense. Last season, Littleton solidified himself as a top coverage linebacker recording 2 interceptions and 9 pass break-ups. He also added 78 solo tackles, 2 forced fumbles, and 4 fumble recoveries. Not bad for an undrafted free agent just four years ago. Littleton would have a familiar face in Cincinnati as head coach Zac Taylor was the Los Angeles Rams’ quarterback’s coach from 2017 to 2019. If the Bengals are truly attempting to change the narrative, Littleton is the building block of the future.

The Bengals have an opportunity to build for the future and turn their team around. If they are able to address major needs on the defensive side of the ball and add a security blanket for Joe Burrow, the Cincinnati Bengals can forge a new path and create a “New Dey.”

 

Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’3iCXaywQSsJsRs3goSPUcA’,sig:’V3aBPi9YL3BY9FbJszqcqy5aG-AaDMSeNXFKuSO38gs=’,w:’594px’,h:’396px’,items:’1175602174′,caption: true ,tld:’com’,is360: false })});


Please Share!

0 Comments

Write A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *