And free agency is a funny thing. Maybe your team gets lucky and signs the right players. The best players. The ones who will get your fans high-fiving about how these new guys are the missing pieces who are needed to bring a championship. And yet, you can lose players just as easily as get them. When the dust settles, you may have filled three holes on the team and are staring at three new ones that weren’t a problem before. Welcome to the NFL.
So in this pre-free agency period, what are the places where the Cincinnati Bengals could use some help?
Cincinnati Bengals 3 Biggest Team Needs – Pre-Free Agency
1) Wide Receiver – The Bengals certainly have a star wideout in AJ Green. Beyond him, though, they need playmakers and depth. Tight end Tyler Eifert is a passing-game weapon, but he’s injury prone. Receiver Tyler Boyd is great in the slot but lacks much experience as a second-year man. A speedy deep threat would come in handy against defenses who want to double-team Green. FA names to keep an eye on include Terrelle Pryor, DeSean Jackson, and Kenny Stills (who averaged an eye-popping 17.3 yards per catch and 9 TDs in 2016).
2) Pass Rusher – We’ve got Carlos Dunlap. We have Geno Atkins. We have ………. Dunlap and Atkins. They combined for 17 sacks last year. Outside of those two, there are no ends on Cincy’s D-line who consistently get to the QB. The market has lots of available players this year, but no can’t-miss guys. Green Bay’s Nick Perry and Datone Jones could help out (both provide versatility as DEs who also play OLB).
3) Offensive Line – This one was a toss-up to make this list, along with running back. We chose OL because Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher haven’t panned out yet, and there’s no guarantee that the Cincinnati Bengals will hold onto free agents Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler. Pass protection will be a major concern in 2017 because you can’t lose Andy Dalton, and you definitely can’t lose Andy Dalton when there’s talk going around about trading No. 2 quarterback AJ McCarron.