Josh Bynes Gives the Cincinnati Bengals Flexibility
The Bengals added a linebacker Tuesday afternoon, which is a much-needed position in Cincinnati. Bynes will fill the hole left by the departure of Nick Vigil.
Per Ian Rapoport, the Cincinnati Bengals are signing former Ravens linebacker Josh Bynes to a one year deal. This move comes shortly after the news of Nick Vigil heading to the Chargers.
Aside from linebacker being a position of need for the Bengals, Bynes is a solid defensive addition to the roster. Last season, the 30-year-old ranked 18th of all linebackers according to Pro Football Focus with a grade of 76.2. In contrast, Vigil was ranked 117th with a 54.4. With Bynes, they improve their coverage at the linebacker position as well as gain a sufficient run stopper.
Bynes entered the league in 2011 as an undrafted free agent with Baltimore, also spending some time with the Lions and Cardinals before returning to the Ravens.
The former Raven has played in 101 games, racking up 378 tackles, 26 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, and 4 interceptions. In 2019, Bynes played a big role in Baltimore’s top-ranked defense, totaling the third-most tackles on the team over the final 12 games of the season with 45 tackles during that period. Bynes missed the start of the NFL season, joining the Ravens in week 5, helping them to the playoffs and an AFC North division title.
The former Auburn linebacker adds to a much-needed position for the Bengals. Before the signing, Germaine Pratt, Jordan Evans, and Brady Shelton were the only linebackers on the roster. Up until Tuesday afternoon, the Bengals had failed to address the linebacker unit.
The Bynes signing makes an already aggressive Bengals free agency period even better and is a nice upgrade to the linebacker core.
With only four linebackers currently on the roster, there is still work to do for the Bengals, who could be looking to add to the position through the NFL Draft. However, the front office has bought itself some much-needed flexibility. Now, they can draft the best player available, especially in round two, rather than picking a player for need.