Free Agency Primer: Should the Bengals Target Jadeveon Clowney?
We’re a month away from the beginning of free agency. The Cincinnati Bengals should be smart spenders, but spenders nonetheless.
The Bengals finished the 2019 season with a 2-14 record and the number one overall pick in this year’s NFL draft. It’s all but a certainty the Bengals draft Joe Burrow first overall, despite the recent remarks by the Ohio native.
Responsible free-agent spending will be essential for a proper rebuild. The term rebuild has a negative connotation attached to it. The Bengals are in the middle of a rebuild but it doesn’t have to last for a decade.
This roster is equipped with talent especially on the offensive side of the ball. Defensively, there are numerous talented and productive players. Unfortunately, their overall performance in 2019 was less than stellar. They ranked in the bottom half in three of the four major defensive categories. The most alarming was the propensity to struggle against the run.
The Bengals ranked 32nd in the league vs the rush allowed 149 yards per game. Free-agent Jadeveon Clowney is a versatile defensive end and one of the better run defenders in the league. As we’ve seen throughout his career, he can absolutely wreck offensive game plans, just ask the San Francisco 49ers from their week 10 match-up.
A defensive line that would feature, Clowney, Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, Sam Hubbard, Carl Lawson, and Andrew Billings would provide a great rotation. Clowney could move inside on passing downs opening the door for either Hubbard or Lawson to rush off the edge.
Currently, the Bengals have over 44 million in cap space, this number should rise after Andy Dalton is traded erasing 17.7 million in salary cap. That would equate to, 61.7 million to spend during free agency. This team has the potential to make a complete 180-degree turn. The beginning of that potential franchise-altering turn is bringing in the right players during free agency and the NFL Draft.