The Bengals came up short in Super Bowl LVI, and their needs are as apparent as can be. Let’s look at what is ahead for this Bengals team as they approach an offseason that could put them over the top.
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Quinton Spain LG
Spain had a solid season, and he is one of the few salvageable offensive linemen on this team; with that being said, I would resign him. Spain was the best offensive lineman on this team this year.
Eli Apple CB
Apple had his moments, but overall he is a below-average player, and the Bengals need to upgrade this position. Apple can also be a distraction through his social media. It’s time for Apple to move on.
Jessie Bates III Safety
Bates should have been resigned during the season, and he should be a priority. Bates regular season was not his best, but he was one of the most valuable Bengals defenders in the playoffs.
C.J. Uzomah TE
Uzomah has become a team leader, and the fans in Cincinnati love him. The tight end position needs to be upgraded, but that’s not Uzomah’s fault; it’s Drew Sample’s. I look for Uzomah to resign, and the Bengals need a second tight end, and the draft will be heavy with tight end talent.
Larry Ogunjobi DT
Ogunjobi was a great player for the Bengals this past season, and not having him during the playoff run hurt. I think this will come down to how much money he wants. The Bengals can’t afford to overpay for him, but I would lean towards signing him and bringing him back. The biggest issue with Ogunjobi will be that he is only 27 years old, and a team could offer him a contract that the Bengals would not be willing to match.
BJ Hill DT
Hill played well at times this past season, and he gives the Bengals depth along the defensive line, plus he should be inexpensive. I think this is a 50/50 on resigning him.
Vernon Hargreaves DB
After the penalty in flip flops in the Super Bowl, I will take a hard pass on resigning this guy.
Tre Flower DB
I would resign Flowers in a heartbeat, he made some big plays in the Super Bowl run this season, and I love his size and athleticism.
Kevin Huber P
Huber is one of the two greatest punters in Bengals history, but he is getting up there in age, and a change at punter would save some money. The Bengals signed a futures contract with former Ohio State punter Drue Chrisman, and I think we could see them take that road and go with Chrisman.
Clark Harris LS
Harris is underrated because the position of long snapper is highly undervalued. I think he is a definite resign.
Ricardo Allen Safety
Allen is 31 years old, and I look for the Bengals to not bring him back.
Mike Thomas WR
Thomas is an excellent wide receiver, and he won’t cost a lot, so I could see him resigning.
Auden Tate WR
Tate is a good receiver. He couldn’t stay healthy this season. I think he will leave because he will get an opportunity somewhere to be a more significant part of the offense than he could be in Cincinnati.
Zach Kerr DT
Kerr is just a guy, which means he will be cheap and add depth, but I don’t think he will return even though I say that.
Brandon Allen QB
I am not a big Allen fan, but I think he will probably return; I would love to see them try to upgrade this position.
Darius Phillips DB
As long as he is not the punt returner, he’s not a bad player, but I think it’s 50/50 if he is back.
Michael Thomas DB
I do not think Thomas will return.
Jordan Evans LB
Evans missed most of the season due to a torn ACL.
Riley Reiff OT
Reiff will be back as long as he doesn’t price himself out. He played well when he was healthy, but health has been a severe issue the last few years with Reiff.
Bates is a franchise possibility, but they probably won’t consider the tag on anyone else after him.
Estimated 2022 cap space: ($57,307,379, 3rd highest in the league)
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