The Cincinnati Bengals are not known to be active in free agency, but a new league year is right around the corner. Here, some of our staff names one pending free agent they would most like to see the Bengals sign.
Dylan Streibig- Danny Trevathan, LB
The Bengals linebackers have been among the worst in the NFL for a couple years now. The room needs a productive veteran leader. Trevathan fits that bill. The former Bronco and current Bear is a Super Bowl champion who plays with his head on a swivel and is always around the ball.
Since entering the league in 2012, he has three 100+ tackle seasons. The soon to be 30 year old does have a somewhat lengthy injury history. This may drag him more into the Bengals price range. This franchise never breaks the bank for anyone.
Logi Baker- Anthony Castonzo, LT
Castonzo is 31 years old, has played nine seasons in the NFL, and hasn’t missed a single game. This year, Pro Football Focus ranked him as the number two left tackle in the NFL and their 2nd team All Pro selection.
Lineman like Castonzo rarely see free agency, If there’s any chance that the Bengals could get him, it should be given serious consideration. The latest news on Castonzo is that he is considering retirement, even though he’s never missed a game and is playing at a high level, Could it be that the roller coaster of emotion that accompanied the Andrew Luck Saga has him questioning if Indianapolis is the right place for him? Perhaps, he feels that without a quarterback of Luck’s talent, his chances of success are minimal… Maybe he would be interested in the possibility of playing with Joe Burrow? It’s worth asking.
Larry Spicer- Joe Schobert, LB
Current Browns Linebacker Joe Schobert would be a great fit for what Cincinnati should be looking for in free agency. The 26 year old former Wisconsin Badger finished this year with 133 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles, and four interceptions. Schobert has shown the ability to make plays in coverage from the linebacker position, something the Bengals desperately need from their linebacker unit.
Schobert will command a somewhat pricey contract. However, Rams linebacker Cory Littleton will be the most sought after linebacker in free agency, assuming both players do indeed hit the open market. Compared to Littleton, Schobert could be a bargain with current inflated contracts. Either way, teams will have to overpay to find a quality linebacker. They are getting harder to find. Speaking of Littleton…
Blake Jewell- Cory Littleton, LB
The 2018 Pro Bowl linebacker and second team All-Pro would make a great addition to the Bengals defense. If the Bengals stick with the nickel style defense where they rush four and drop seven on about 70% of plays, Cory Littleton could be a perfect fit.
The Bengals like to use only two traditional linebackers in their “base” defensive formations. Littleton would pair nicely inside with Germaine Pratt. He had 134 tackles, 3.5 sacks, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles for the Rams in 2019. His ability to stop the run as well as drop in to coverage or rush the quarterback makes him a huge potential upgrade on defense. Littleton is a very balanced linebacker and would fit nicely with the Cincinnati defensive playbook.
Bram Jungnitz- Brandon Scherff, IOL
Cincinnati has multiple needs going into 2020 and offensive line remains a priority. With it looking ever more likely that Joe Burrow will be their pick at number one, keeping him upright is important to ensuring the LSU signal caller’s positive development.
This career long Redskin is a young, talented interior offensive lineman who will be on the higher end of the pay scale. With the Bengals wealthy in cap space, acquiring Scherff is possible if the Bengals choose to finally embrace free agency. A strong presence at the head of the line would give the Bengals three linemen, including Jonah Williams and Trey Hopkins, that they could rely on going forward.
Hunter Bittinger- Greg Van Roten, OG
Despite a strong showing to close out the season, the Bengals still need to make some changes along their offensive front. While it would be nice for the team to sign a player like Jack Conklin, he’s likely outside of the Bengals price range. A guard like Van Roten isn’t.
He is a well traveled veteran leader they could use to help anchor a line that is expected to be very young. He would also free the team up to go after linebackers and offensive tackles in the draft. Sometimes, free agency signings don’t have to be flashy to have a huge impact.