Bengals should entertain NaVorro Bowman in Cincinnati

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 19: NaVorro Bowman
OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 19: NaVorro Bowman /

The Cincinnati Bengals were quiet on the first day of free agency but still have the ability to make a splash to help their linebacker position.

The first day of free agency is in the books and while there was a monstrous turnover in the first few hours there are still plenty of good players left on the market without a new home. Rumors on Twitter emerged about the Cincinnati Bengals being in negotiations with the Oakland Raiders about trading Vontaze Burfict. Considering there were zero big names reporting this rumor it is most likely just a rumor.

Speaking of the Raiders, they have yet to re-sign linebacker NaVorro Bowman. Back when the San Fransico 49ers were a dominant force not too long ago, it was primarily revolved around their combative defense. Leading that defense were interior linebackers, NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis.

Bowman has suffered some serious injuries since then including tearing both his ACL and MCL in the NFC Championship game in 2013. He missed the 2014 season due to the injury and returned in 2015. He hit another snag in 2016 missing a chunk of the season after suffering a torn Achilles.

Following some issues with the 49ers coaching staff, Bowman was traded to the Raiders in week 5 of the 2017 season. The former third-round pick refused to slow down even after switching teams as he became a force for the Oakland defense almost immediately. He missed week 6 after being traded but started his first game in week 7 against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday Night Football and hauled in a combined 11 tackles.

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In his first three games with the Raiders, Bowman was involved in 10 or more tackles. He finished the year with 127 combined tackles in 15 games between the two teams he played for. 89 of those came with the Raiders in his last 10 games. He proved that even moving to another team with a new scheme would not slow him down but help fuel him proving that the injuries are not keeping him from elite play.

Bowman would not only bring a stout elite force at the inside linebacker position that the Bengals desperately need, but he would also bring leadership to the locker room. Head coach Marvin Lewis has relied on poor character to be his defensive leaders like Vontaze Burfict in most recent years. Cincinnati needs an aggressive leader that can keep his team in line when things get heated on and off the field.

Burfict while an elite talent when on the field, his inconsistency of being on the field between injury and antics have hurt the Bengals since he entered the league. Having another aggressive linebacker with a lot of fire in his game would be perfect for the Bengals. The team gave up the third most rushing yards in 2017 and Bowman would be an immediate turn around for Cincinnati. It would allow the team to plug other holes with draft picks as well.

Next: Bengals should sign Tyrann Mathieu

Fans expect the Bengals to stay conservative and save their money for defensive linemen Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap. Both players are locked in through 2018 but the team would like to re-sign both before then. Could the Bengals still make a move for an elite help in the middle of the defense?