Cincinnati Bengals plan protecting quarterback Joe Burrow

CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 17: (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 17: (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow showed signs of greatness in his rookie season. Burrow showed a lot of poise and fortitude that a rookie QB usually doesn’t possess in his first season. Even though Burrow showed a lot of leadership on the field, he also exposed the organization’s weaknesses.

The Bengals’ biggest weakness is the offensive line. The Cincinnati OL was horrible during the 2020 season. Not only was Burrow heading for a record rookie season, but he was also just getting hit too many times. The Bengals weak OL caused the early departure of Burrow during week 11 with a season-ending torn ACL.

Protect Burrow with an Offensive Tackle in Free Agency

The best way to protect a franchise QB is to get a proven pass-protecting tackle. The free-agent market is loaded with offensive tackles. Cincinnati should go after the cream of the free-agent OT crop, Trent Williams. He has been an elite tackle for more than a decade and is still playing at an elite level.

Williams will be hitting the market to the tune of $20 million a season and will be worth every penny. If the Bengals don’t want to go that expensive, they should go after Darryl Williams. He will be in the market of $10 million a season. Both of these tackles will be serious upgrades at the tackle position.

Jonah Williams, the Bengals’ first-round draft pick in 2019 was selected due to the ability to play many positions on the OL. Trent Williams is a left tackle that would allow the Bengals to move Jonah Williams to right tackle. Jonah Williams would stay at LT if they signed RT Darryl Williams.

In the draft, the Bengals have the fifth overall pick. As long as Oregon LT Penei Sewell is available the Bengals should select him. With Sewell, the Bengals could move Jonah Williams to right guard.

If the Bengals sign Trent Williams then they will most likely select a playmaker for Joe Burrow like wide receiver Ja’marr Chase or tight end Kyle Pitts.

Protect Burrow with an offensive guard in Free Agency

Ever since the offseason started for the Bengals, New England Patriots left guard Joe Thuney has been on their radar. Unquestionably Thuney is the best guard in free agency. He will have a market value of just over $15 million a year.

If that is too high of a figure, the Bengals can go with the Bills guard Jon Feliciano which would be at a $7.6 million market value. Thuney or Felicano will do the trick to upgrading the guard position. It all depends on which way the Bengals want to go.


The best way to protect Burrow is to sign a proven tackle and guard. This will solve three positions on the offensive line long term. With holes everywhere on the Bengals, it would be safe to say they won’t go the most expensive route.

If the Bengals do want to get the best tackle, Trent Williams, then they might go with someone like Feliciano at guard. If the Bengals go with Darryl Williams, who would be cheaper, then they can try to sign Thuney at guard. Cincinnati might even go cheaper both ways with Feliciano and Darryl Williams.

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Whatever the Bengals decide to do they need to nail down two positions on the offensive line in free agency. Just think about this. Cincinnati could have:

  • Left tackle Penei Sewell
  • Left guard Joe Thuney
  • Center Billy Price till Hopkins is back
  • Right guard Jonah Williams
  • Right tackle Darryl Williams

Better yet the offensive line could look like this:

  • Left tackle Jonah Williams
  • Left guard Joe Thuney
  • Center Billy Price till Hopkins is back
  • Right guard Penei Sewell
  • Right tackle Darryl Williams

Bengals top competition signing Joe Thuney in free agency. dark. Next

Those moves would solidify four positions as an upgrade and would cost $25 million to complete.