Not having an average o-line last year led to Joe Burrow having to run for his life week after week until finally, it was too late. Burrow got hit hard and we all know what happened next — He was injured and missed the rest of what appeared to be a promising rookie campaign.
Burrow is the future of the Bengals organization and it shouldn’t be any question as to if this team should continue to add depth to the o-line. The answer is 100% yes.
Russell Okung is still available in free agency and he’d make the Bengals’ o-line better. Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report wrote that signing Okung is the one move Cincinnati needs to make prior to the 2021 season.
"While Okung was only healthy for seven games last season, he is a two-time Pro Bowler with 131 career starts under his belt. Cincinnati has $24.9 million in cap space remaining and should use some of it to further its line depth by adding Okung."
The Bengals need to sign Russell Okung.
The reason Okung is still available to sign is that he’s struggled to stay healthy. This is a valid reason as to why teams should be hesitant to sign him, but look at what happens when he is healthy — He’s one of the best in the league at what he does.
Knox mentions in the write-up how the Bengals should target Okung because Jonah Williams’ production has been spotty so far. He missed his entire rookie season due to injury and also missed six games last year. Essentially, Okung is a backup option for Williams should he continue to miss time with injuries.
If the Bengals are serious about competing this year, they need to keep making moves along their offensive line. They signed Riley Reiff to be their right tackle, which was a nice move, but passing on Penei Sewell in the draft is going to haunt them, especially if the o-line plays poorly in Burrow’s second season.
Okung might be an injury-prone player but at this point, what do the Bengals have to lose by bringing him in? Knox mentioned the team has the money to pay Okung and this would show Burrow the organization does care about keeping him upright.
Signing Russell Okung would make a lot of sense for the Bengals.