Bengals News

Cincinnati Bengals: Free Agents and trades to make the Bengals better

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 16: Danny Trevathan #59 of the Chicago Bears runs onto the field during player introductions before a game against the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field on December 16, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 16: Danny Trevathan #59 of the Chicago Bears runs onto the field during player introductions before a game against the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field on December 16, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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NEW ORLEANS, LA – NOVEMBER 19: Manti Te’o #51 of the New Orleans Saints reacts after stop on third down during the second half of a game against the Washington Redskins at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 19, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA – NOVEMBER 19: Manti Te’o #51 of the New Orleans Saints reacts after stop on third down during the second half of a game against the Washington Redskins at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 19, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Right now it appears as though unless one of the Bengals young linebackers develop in a hurry or they attempt an exotic scheme, the unit will again be a major weakness for the 2019-2020 season. That is unless they turn to the free-agent market. A free agent pickup seems much more likely than a player trade at this point. While the list of capable free agents is small, there are possibilities. Manti Te’o is towards the top of the list of players that remain available.

Most recently with the Saints, he was a healthy scratch for the majority of the year in New Orleans. However, in his limited action, Pro Football Focus gave him a grade of 80.4.  He is a guy who has struggled with injuries for the entirety of his career. Still, he is just 28 years old and likely eager to shed the injury-prone title.

It’s important to remember that coming out of both high school and college Manti Te’o was highly coveted. He was an absolute star for Notre Dame. Once in the league, he hasn’t performed the way many had hoped but the guy is still loaded with talent. Maybe he just hasn’t found the right scheme or coaching staff to unlock his potential.

If he put in the work to stay healthy this off-season, it wouldn’t hurt to bring him in to compete with the other linebackers. Considering the state of the Bengals linebacker unit, he might even crack the starting lineup.

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