The Bengals apparently don’t fee confident with their safety depth after opting not to re-sign Nate Clements and Chris Crocker, both of whom started the majority of games last year alongside full-time starter Reggie Nelson. As of now, Taylor Mays would be the only option to start, and based on last year’s preseason and opening week blowout-loss to the Baltimore ravens, that’s a scary situation to think about.
With the draft less than 3 weeks away, they’re now kicking the tire on former Cleveland Browns safety Usama Young:
Usama Young has paid a visit to the #bengals
— Joe Reedy (@joereedy) April 5, 2013
Young, at age 27, started 11 games last season for Cleveland, with the bulk of those starts at free safety as he notched 53 tackles, 1.5 sacks and three interceptions while grading at as Pro Football Focus’ 12th-best safety (+8.5). Overall, he started 19 of the 29 games in which he appeared for the Browns during the past two seasons.
He clearly has the talent to be a starter, but even if the Bengals do sign him, I’d expect it to be a minimal deal, and he’d be a backup to Nelson, and hopefully a high draft-pick, as the Bengals are believed to be targeting a safety high in this year’s draft.
Young began his NFL career with the New Orleans Saints from 2007-2010 after being drafted in the third-round out of Kent State.