Members of the Cincinnati Bengals and the rest of the NFL will soon have to make their decision to play the season or opt-out.
The Cincinnati Bengals have already witnessed two players opt-out of the 2020 season, losing a run-stuffing defensive tackle in Josh Tupou and a reserve offensive tackle in Isaiah Prince. Within the coming days, they could witness more of their members follow the same path.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the deadline for players to choose to sit out of the upcoming campaign is Thursday, August 6 at 4 p.m. EST.
If an individual does decide to opt-out, they will receive a stipend and the salary they were slated to make will not count against the team’s salary cap for the upcoming year. This will free up the front office to fill any voids that may be left by a player deciding to sit out.
The free-agent landscape will be difficult for the Bengals to navigate
In a press conference on Monday, the Bengals’ director of player personnel, Duke Tobin, went into detail about how difficult it may be to sign free agents at this point.
"“Free agents at this point are challenging because there is a whole protocol you have to go through to bring them in. There’s no workouts… we’re working through how we’ll manage our roster.”"
While the surrounding circumstances provide significant obstacles, it’s almost certain the Bengals will bring in a defensive tackle (or two) to help bolster the depth chart at that position. Simply put, defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo cannot afford to go into the season without adding some talent to replace the aforementioned Tupou as well as Ryan Glasgow, who was waived due to a failed physical.
Thankfully, there are plenty of solid options still available on the open market. Chief among them are guys like Mike Daniels, Damon Harrison, and Domata Peko, the last of which has generated significant buzz in regards to a homecoming in recent days.
Once the interior defensive line is addressed, with any luck, it will be the only unit the front office has to worry about replenishing.