Bengals visit with safety Ricardo Allen who could add depth

Aug 26, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 26, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

Former Atlanta Falcons safety Ricardo Allen who has started 76 of the 77 games he has played over the last six seasons met with the Bengals on Tuesday according to Pro Football Talk. Safety is one of a few positions Cincinnati is set at entering the 2021 season. Jessie Bates and Vonn Bell started all 16 games at safety in 2020.

Bell led the Bengals with 114 total tackles from his strong safety position. Bates was second on Cincinnati with 109 total tackles and led the Bengals with 78 solo tackles, three interceptions and 15 pass breakups. Allen would provide Cincinnati with quality depth at safety and the potential to play cornerback.

Allen is undersized for a safety at 5’9 185 pounds. As a senior at Purdue in 2013, Allen played safety according to his Sports Reference profile. In 2020, starting all 12 games he played Allen had 25 tackles, one tackle for loss, three interceptions and five pass breakups. Allen suffered an elbow injury and concussion in 2020.

For his career, Allen has 340 tackles, 26 pass breakups and 11 interceptions. Cincinnati has a need at CB for 2021. Signing Allen would help the Bengals depth throughout the secondary. Cincinnati could lose backups Shawn Williams and Brandon Wilson are both entering free agency in 2021.

The report from PFT is that the visit with the Bengals is the first that Allen has taken as a free agent since being released by Atlanta last month. This is the beginning of free agency with players allowed to make visits but not sign until March 17 at 4 PM eastern time. Allen’s most recent contract was three years, $19.5 million.

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Bates is entering the last year of his four-year, $4,947,814 rookie contract. Bell signed a three-year $18 million contract with the Bengals last offseason. Bates is likely to earn a big contract during the 2022 offseason. Re-signing Bates will be a priority for the Bengals in the future. They could work an extension before then.