Bengals News

Cincinnati Bengals: Top 5 Free Agents to Target

matthewwillson
Jan 17, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (15) catches a three yard touchdown past Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman (not pictured) in the fourth quarter during the NFC Divisional round playoff game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 17, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (15) catches a three yard touchdown past Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman (not pictured) in the fourth quarter during the NFC Divisional round playoff game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
5 of 5
Next
Nov 22, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive end Derrick Shelby (79) tackles Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) during the second half at Sun Life Stadium. The Cowboys won 24-14. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 22, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive end Derrick Shelby (79) tackles Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) during the second half at Sun Life Stadium. The Cowboys won 24-14. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

Derrick Shelby

I think

Wallace Gilberry

is already two feet out the door with maybe an arm holding it ajar. That leave a spot open for someone to come in and help on the edge in a rotation with

Carlos Dunlap

and

Michael Johnson

.

Derrick Shelby

had his best season in his young career this season and has been taking on an increasing role every year showing improvements.

He is one of those players who might not make it to free agency–after getting the nod when Cameron Wake tore his ACL, Shelby an argument for the Dolphins to give him another shot. The risk: Shelby was suspended by the Dolphins in 2014 for poor conduct following trespassing and resisting arrest charges. He was reinstated a week later, but Shelby’s history still is a little concerning.

More from Stripe Hype

Shelby ended his 2015 campaign with 37 tackles, three and a half sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception. He returned his lone pick for a touchdown and recorded four pass deflections as well. That’s not too shabby for a guy who only made nine starts on the season. The difficulty in trying to lure Shelby to Cincinnati will be asking him to take a reduced role again, as he may look to sign with a team needing a starter on the edge.

Given Cameron Wake’s high salary, the Dolphins could end up having to let Shelby walk in free agency. Shelby’s 2015 contract was at just 2.36 million dollars, proving very reasonable. Even if Cincinnati were to give him one or two million more per year, he would still be an incredibly cost-efficient signing. And given that Shelby hasn’t started more than nine games in a season, it’s completely possible that teams won’t be looking to bring him in as a starter.

Any which way you look at it, the Bengals will have holes to fill–whether they are able to bring back their own players, through the draft, or making some moves in free agency. They will need a combination of all three if they want to reach the playoffs for a record sixth straight season. Hopefully, signing one or more of these guys could finally help Cincinnati get over the playoff hump.

facebooktwitterreddit