Bengals’ potential Trae Waynes replacement: Dre Kirkpatrick
The final player on the list is a cornerback who should be familiar to all Bengals fans: Dre Kirkpatrick. The 8-year veteran has played every year of his career in Cincinnati. Due to an expensive contract and additions to the secondary in free agency, the former Alabama corner was released by the team this offseason. With a hole on the depth chart and Kirkpatrick not getting much interest from other teams, it could be beneficial for both sides to get back together.
During his time in Cincinnati, Kirkpatrick’s play was a mixed bag. Sure, he had his struggles, but he didn’t deserve as much criticism as he received from fans. For the most part, he had an average career with the Bengals. He was never the team’s weakness, but he was never their strength either.
In 8 seasons with the Bengals, Kirkpatrick had 5 seasons with overall grades of over 60.0 from Pro Football Focus. When you have a hole at the cornerback position so close to the start of the season, adding an average talent might just be the best-case scenario. With uncertainty beyond William Jackson III and Mackensie Alexander, the Bengals can’t be picky.
Bringing Kirkpatrick back wouldn’t be a longterm solution. He would likely only get a 1-year contract and he may not even start over Darius Phillips. However, due to his familiarity with the Bengals, he could be the most likely addition to the depth chart.