With free agency a month away from starting, it’s time to take a look at some possible free agent offensive lineman the Cincinnati Bengals should target.
Anyone who has watched the Cincinnati Bengals play the last three years knows that one of the Bengals biggest problem areas has been the offensive line. One of the quickest ways to solve that problem could be in free agency this off-season.
New coach Zac Taylor got to see first hand how addressing the offensive line through free agency can pay big dividends in turning a franchise around. One of those free agents the Rams went out and got was former Bengal Andrew Whitworth. He quickly solidified the left side of the offensive line and became a leader for the Rams.
The Bengals are projected to have over 51 million dollars in salary cap space this off-season. The Bengals can use some of that money to fix issues on the right side of the line, and or possibly center if they would like to move Billy Price to his natural position of Right Guard.
Here are four possible free agents the Bengals should look at signing that could help improve the offensive line.
1. OT- Ja’Wuan James
Ja’Wuan James has been one of the better offensive tackles in the NFL the last few years with the Miami Dolphins. He is currently set to become a free agent, and with the Dolphins looking to be in more of a rebuilding mode, there is a good chance they will let him walk. He is an athletic tackle who is good in pass protection, and would be good in the zone running scheme coach Zac Taylor is bringing with him from the Rams. He could play tackle on either side of the line for the Bengals
2. OT- Trent Brown
Everyone who watched the playoffs this season was able to see how dominant the New England Patriots line was. Tom Brady going into the Super Bowl didn’t get sacked one time and was rarely hit. One of the biggest reasons for that was because of Trent Brown protecting his blind side at LT. Trent Brown. He is a free agent this off-season and would cost the Bengals a lot of money to sign him. However, the Patriots have shown that they rarely give those big contracts to players. So there is a chance he will be on a new team next year, it would be nice to see that new team be the Cincinnati Bengals.
3. C- Matt Paradis
Matt Paradis played for the Denver Broncos last season, and according to Pro Football Focus. He graded out as one of the top 5 centers in the NFL last season. The Bengals obviously used a first-round pick last year on Billy Price. He was supposed to be a plug and play starter, and be a much-needed improvement at center for the Bengals. For those who watched the Bengals last year, and based off his rating last year. It definitely was not the best rookie season for Billy Price. Injuries may have been a factor, but it has led people to question rather if Center is the best spot for him. While in college he was also one of the best guards in football, before moving to center. If the Bengals go out and sign Matt Paradis, this would allow them to move Price to Right guard which was another weak spot on the line. Plus with Matt Paradis playing center, it wouldn’t cost as much to get him as a top OT would.
4. OT- Daryl Williams
Daryl Williams missed basically off of last season due to a knee injury. In 2017 though he was an All-Pro right tackle for the Carolina Panthers. The knee injury is a concern, especially with the bad injury luck the Bengals have had recently. However, because of that injury, the Bengals may be able to get him for cheaper than what they would have been able to get him for if he never got hurt.
Adding any of these four players would instantly make the Bengals offensive line better, and would give the Bengals more flexibility in the upcoming draft. I feel like if the Bengals target Matt Paradis and Daryl Williams, they would financially be able to afford both and completely revamp their line. They would go from one of the worst lines in football, to possibly one of the best.
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