The Cincinnati Bengals’ newfound aggressive front office could become the new normal for the orange and black faithful moving forward.
When the depth at the defensive tackle position took a hit with Josh Tupou opting out and Ryan Glasgow failing his physical, it became evident that the Cincinnati Bengals’ front office would need to dip into the free-agent market to replenish the lost talent.
In the past, the club would have looked for a bargain veteran that could adequately soak up some snaps. Even after a historic offseason of spending, many fans assumed the same approach would be taken this year. However, news broke indicating that Duke Tobin and Co. will instead host Pro Bowl defensive tackle, Mike Daniels, on a visit. According to Adam Schefter, if all goes to plan, the former Packer and Lion will suit up for a new mascot: A Bengal.
Nobody would have blamed Cincinnati for skimping on the signing to fill this hole on the roster. After all, the organization backed up the brinks truck to unload roughly $150M on the open market, and a lot of that money was allocated to securing the highest-paid nose tackle in the game, D.J. Reader.
Instead, the franchise is looking on the top-shelf to secure their defensive line rotation. Even if the signing doesn’t go through, the simple fact that they’re pursuing him is a good sign. In the Zac Taylor era, that’s the way things are done and all signs indicate that this newfound aggressive approach is here to stay.
Gone are the days the Bengals solely building through the draft
The Bengals have rarely been big-time players in free agency, and that was especially true with Marvin Lewis at the helm. The team opted to rely on their drafting capabilities to build their foundation. It wasn’t necessarily a bad strategy, but it left little room for error and at the end of the day, it became apparent the homegrown talent would need to be supplemented if the playoff rains were ever going to fall on the Queen City again.
It’s clear that under Zac Taylor’s innovative watch, that model has been dumped into the Ohio River. Heading into the offseason, there were plenty of weak spots on the roster but at every turn, the Bengals attempted to get better at each of those positions. The same certainly could not be said throughout the previous coaching regime’s tenure.
The public perception surrounding the Bengals is beginning to shift, and it should be. The franchise that calls Paul Brown Stadium home is no longer sitting back and hoping that things fall into place. Instead, they’re aggressively exhausting all avenues to ensure they are in a position to compete as soon as possible.
The salary cap situation for next season is murky and Cincinnati has quite a few extensions to work out, but they are set to wield the sixth-most cap space in the league as things stand. Fans have already seen the front office continue their newfound style over the course of several months. If they carry it over into the 2021 offseason, we could see an injection of talent that was similar to what we witnessed this year.