Darron Lee seems intrigued by the idea of becoming a Bengal

Darron Lee (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Darron Lee (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Bengals are likely done signing free agents, but Darron Lee seems intrigued by the idea of joining the team.

After an active free agency and eventful draft, the Cincinnati Bengals have been relatively quiet. While fans and pundits alike have been clamoring for the team to continue to add outside talent, such as Larry Warford, the front office seems content with where they’re at. However, free-agent linebacker Darron Lee seems to be intrigued by the idea of a return to Ohio.

The former first-round pick is coming off a year where he saw little action. He began his career with the New York Jets, starting 36 games but was traded to the Kansas City Cheifs, where he was relegated to a backup role.

Now, he still finds himself looking for a new home. News on the former Buckeye has been relatively quiet, but today, a suggestion that the Bengals sign Lee drew his attention.


Head coach Zac Taylor hasn’t been shy about his desire to overhaul the linebacker unit he inherited. Last season, he called out the group for their lack of leadership and even cut veteran Preston Brown mid-season. Then, he spent three draft picks on the position and added another young linebacker via the waiver wire. So, could the Bengals be looking to infuse even more talent?

Well, the linebacker room seems pretty full right now. Veteran Josh Bynes leads the way and young players such as Germaine Pratt, Logan Wilson, Akeem Davis-Gaither, and Markus Bailey are present too.

But if this year’s free agency period is any evidence, the Bengals won’t be deterred from a bargain deal just because of a crowded position group. The team signed Vonn Bell to a very reasonable contract, despite having two good starting safeties in Jessie Bates III and Shawn Williams.

Lee fits the bill of the kind of players the Bengals are trying to build their foundation around as well. He played at Ohio State where he was leaned upon as a leader and played a vital role in reaching their championship aspirations. In addition, he has a high football IQ to pair with his elite athleticism.

He’s yet to realize his full potential in the NFL, but if the Bengals are able to utilize his skillset correctly, he could add yet another young, talented piece to their linebacker core.

Of course, the Bengals still have to allocate enough money to be able to sign their draft class and work on extensions for A.J. Green and Joe Mixon, among other things, but they should have some room to work with.

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It would have to be at the right price, but Lee would be a smart signing, even after all of the new blood added to the linebacker corps. If the 25-year-old is motivated to join a number of his former collegiate teammates in Cincinnati, a deal could be on the horizon.