The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Cincinnati Bengals Off Season list of unrestricted free agents, who stays and who goes

Cincinnati Bengals Off Season list of unrestricted free agents, who stays and who goes

The Bengals are one good free agency period away from dominating the NFL
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 13: C.J. Uzomah #87 of the Cincinnati Bengals reacts during the first half of Super Bowl LVI against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on February 13, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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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Unrestricted Free Agents

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.

 

Franchise Tag possibilities

Bates is a franchise possibility, but they probably won’t consider the tag on anyone else after him.

Salary cap

Estimated 2022 cap space: ($57,307,379, 3rd highest in the league)

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