With day one of NFL free agency in the books, Bengals fans once again feel the sting of familiar disappointment.
The Cincinnati Bengals ended day one of free agency with a reliably disappointing sting. The Bengals did not sign any new players, but they did bring back two of their unrestricted free agents.
Tight end C.J. Uzomah resigned with the club, getting a three-year deal worth 18 million dollars. Uzomah filled in last season for an injured Tyler Eifert, where he was able to establish himself as a nice swiss army knife for Cincinnati. In addition to bringing much-needed blocking, Uzomah was able to rack up 43 catches for 439 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2019, and given that Jeff Driskel was starting for five of those games
While most fans can understand the Uzomah resigning (especially after it was confirmed that Tyler Kroft was headed to Buffalo), many are perplexed by the team’s decision to bring back Bobby Hart. Hart was resigned for 3 years and at a grand total of 21 million dollars. According to Pro Football Focus, Hart was no more than average last season, being ranked as the 69th best offensive tackle in the National Football League. This decision pretty much shuts the door on Cincinnati using the 11th pick on an offensive tackle such as Jonah Williams, unless they are planning to move Hart inside. At a 7 million dollar price tag, however, it appears that Hart is there to stay at the right tackle position.
While the free agency period is still in its infancy, there is still reason to be concerned that even with a new coaching staff, owner/general manager Mike Brown is still unwilling to meet with new free agents, and is more than comfortable with paying players with whom he is familiar. The jury is still out on this free agent class, but fans have reason to worry that this Bengals organization treats free agency no different than years past.
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