The team is set to have 21 free agents and re-signing a large portion of them should be priority number one.
A.J. Green, WR- $13M average annual salary
Getting Green back on a long term deal is the right play, despite his injury history. When healthy, he’s been the team’s best player. Respecting his wishes after the loyalty he’s shown to the franchise will pave the wave for him to retire in stripes. In addition, he’ll be a great safety net for Joe Burrow upon his entrance to the league. Green currently makes $15 million a year but given his injury history and age, we’ll predict the two sides come to an agreement of $13 million each season.
Darqueze Dennard, CB- $6M average annual salary
Dennard quietly had a fantastic campaign a year ago. The former first-round pick is tremendous in the slot and not afraid to help in run defense either. He still doesn’t seem to get the respect he deserves around the league, which shouldn’t bother the Bengals decision-makers, as they may be able to snag him for cheaper than they should. He signed a $4.5 million contract with the team last off-season but after his solid play, the pay bump is well deserved.
Andrew Billings, DT- $3M average annual salary
Billings is a good run defender that eats up space on the interior, making the retainment of his services a must for a Bengals defense that ranked last in stopping the run last year.
Tyler Eifert, TE- $2.5M average annual salary
Eifert saw a major reduction in playing time in his first year under Zac Taylor, but he did remain healthy for the full 16 game slate. If Taylor can design some packages to feature the athletic tight end, he could be a major weapon for Burrow. There’s no telling what the market will be for the Notre Dame alum, but if the Bengals can get him on an incentive laced deal for $2.5 million, they should do so.
Brandon Wilson, S- $2M average annual salary
Wilson, the lethal kick returner, is a restricted free agent. The Bengals may decide to place a tender on him, but they’d be wise to lock him up to a deal of three years or longer before he has a breakout campaign.
Josh Tupou, DT- Original Round Tender
Tupou was a good rotational piece for the Bengals and should be kept around. According to Over The Cap, placing a tender of Tupou would carry a cap hit of just over $2 million.
Clayton Fejedelem, S- $2M average annual salary
Fejedelem is a special teams ace that played a large role in the Bengals having the best unit in the third phase for the 2019 season. He showed he can play well in the case of an injury to the starter, sealing a victory over the Colts with a pick-6 two years ago.