Bengals Sign Free Agents CJ Goodwin and Eddy Wilson

(Photo by Justin Aller /Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Aller /Getty Images) /

The Bengals added some much-needed veteran experience at cornerback and potential along the defensive line with these two free agent signings.

Yesterday, the Bengals added some depth at corner and defensive line by signing CJ Goodwin and Eddy Wilson. These signings occurred concurrently with the placement of rookie guard Rod Taylor on IR. Taylor tore his ACL about a week ago in training camp. Goodwin and Wilson are both long shots to make the roster, but they at least provide competition on the team for training camp.

Goodwin’s career arc is fascinating, and it’s a mini miracle he’s even on the Bengals right now. A 5-year NFL veteran, Goodwin started his college career playing Division 2 basketball. After his coach told him to try out for football, he transferred to California University and played wide receiver for a year.

Though Goodwin didn’t have crazy stats in college, his measurables got him a look from the Steelers. Goodwin ran a 4.41 40-yard dash, a 6.97 3-cone drill, and jumped 40 inches. He stayed on the Steelers’ practice squad for a year before moving to the Falcons. The Falcons converted him to a cornerback, and he actually stuck with the team. Goodwin played 28 games for the Falcons and was on the Super Bowl roster. Most recently, he was on the 49ers before joining the Bengals.

Goodwin’s NFL experience gives him a leg up over the over young corners on this team. The Bengals have two rookies in the room right now in Davontae Harris and Darius Phillips, as well as two other young players in KeiVarae Russell and Tony McRae. Nobody is performing particularly well in camp right now, so Goodwin may stir the pot a little bit. If Goodwin shows out, the Bengals may have no choice but to keep him. Regardless, Goodwin should be an infusion of energy into this team.

Wilson is an undrafted free agent who was initially signed by the Seahawks. The Bengals claimed him off waivers to give him a shot to develop. Wilson played three seasons at Purdue, recording 27 tackles and 2.5 sacks last season. He has an NFL body at 6’3″, 301 pounds, but has to have major skill development and mental maturation before becoming an NFL player. Wilson has the upside to be a rotation caliber nose tackle, but needs some work first. The Bengals might be wise to place Wilson on the practice squad this year.