Bengals’ CB Bené Benwikere Ready To Prove Himself

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Sep 8, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Carolina Panthers cornerback Bene' Benwikere (25) reacts to a play in the third quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 8, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Carolina Panthers cornerback Bene' Benwikere (25) reacts to a play in the third quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Cincinnati Bengals have jumped into the Free Agency pool again. With the signing of Bené Benwikere, they have eight cornerbacks under contract.

It was only a matter of time before the Bengals made a move. But, it was quicker than most fans anticipated. On Tuesday, Cincinnati acquired the services of free agent cornerback Bene’ Benwikere. His most recent action? He was last on the Green Bay Packers practice squad, after being cut by the Miami Dolphins. Benwikere also spent time with the Carolina Panthers.

Benwikere was on the Bengals radar in 2014. In that draft, Marvin Lewis and Co. decided to pick up Darqueze Dennard. Benwikere was snagged by the Panthers in the fifth round and he seemed to work out. In 2014, he was involved in 43.7 percent of the defensive snaps. The 25-year-old had agreed to a one-year deal, at the time, and went on to play 788 snaps (71.6 percent) the next season.

His star began to fade in 2015 when he suffered a fractured leg against the Falcons in an NFC South rivalry game. The injury kept him out of the Panthers’ postseason. But, the most damning reason for his release may have been a subpar showing against Julio Jones. Per ESPN, the Carolina secondary surrendered 300 yards to Jones. Benwikere was responsible for the bulk of the yardage. 

More from Bengals Free Agency

Against Atlanta, Benwikere was used as an outside cornerback as opposed to his nickel duties.

As it stands, the Bengals now have eight corners on the team. Benwikere is no doubt a Plan B option for the madness that surrounds the Cincinnati defense. Adam Jones is still awaiting a court appearance for an incident involving disorderly conduct.

Ready To Roll

There’s little doubt the NFL will slam Jones with a suspension of some sort. Free agency is also knocking at the defense’s door. Corner Dre Kirkpatrick will probably be asking a king’s ransom to remain with the club. Benwikere will have to prove himself to the Bengals coaching staff and climb the ladder. But, his confidence is there.

"“This year was a tough year,” Benwikere explained, per Bengals.com. “I got the new role, tried to understand  it, correct it, and do the right thing and it didn’t work out. It’s a new opportunity where basically I’m trying to re-identify myself for this year.”"

Next: Jungle Redemption?

This signing is one that Bengals fans should understand well. The free agent signings of Karlos Dansby and  Brandon LaFell came under the same conditions. Vontaze Burfict was under a three-game suspension. Meanwhile, the Bengals’ defense needed a lift. The acquisition of LaFell was to lessen the blow of losing Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones. Hopefully, Benwikere’s injury is behind him. Now, it’s time to get the job done.  

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