Rebuilding the Bengals: Cornerback
As with the defensive tackle position, the Bengals have invested heavily in the cornerback spot. Trae Waynes is the highest-paid corner on the roster and is yet to play a snap for the team. Mackenzie Alexander has been a positive at the nickel spot but will return to free agency in 2021.
The biggest question mark is William Jackson. He could be a candidate for the franchise tag next offseason. However, there are rumblings that he could be angling for a change of scenery. Zac Taylor has already shown he has no desire to keep players who aren’t fully committed to the cause.
The same goes for Darius Phillips. Phillips has publicly highlighted his displeasure at splitting snaps with LeShaun Sims. That leaves plenty of question marks on how this group will look come the start of the 2021 season.
Once again, the investment in Waynes means that going after another high profile free agent cornerback is unlikely. Between Alexander and Phillips, the Bengals will hope to secure a full-time slot corner but Jackson’s future will dictate where the team attacks the position in the draft.
If Jackson gets a long term deal then they can put the need on the backburner. However, there is a chance Jackson walks or plays under the franchise tag. In addition, Alexander could be gone. If that’s the case, then expect the Bengals to make cornerback a top priority in the upcoming draft class.