Bengals: Sam Hubbard extension is key step in improving defense

Leigh Oleszczak
Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard (94) waves to fans as he runs off the field after the fourth quarter of the NFL Week 17 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. The Bengals finished the season 4-11-1 after a 38-3 beat down from the Ravens.Baltimore Ravens At Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard (94) waves to fans as he runs off the field after the fourth quarter of the NFL Week 17 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. The Bengals finished the season 4-11-1 after a 38-3 beat down from the Ravens.Baltimore Ravens At Cincinnati Bengals /
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The Cincinnati Bengals signed defensive end Sam Hubbard to a four-year deal worth $40 million on Sunday. This is a move that will thrill the fan base, as Hubbard has become a fan favorite during his three years with the organization and it was an excellent move to lock him up long-term.

Hubbard, a third-round pick out of Ohio State in the 2018 NFL Draft, has notched 106 solo tackles, 22 tackles for lost yardage, 16.5 sacks, and eight passes defended while recording three forced fumbles. He’s a huge piece of the Bengals’ defense so this was a move that needed to be made in order to keep the defense heading in the right direction.

Adam Schefter said it best when he said that this is “an important signing for the Bengals defense.” 

The Bengals have definitely put some work into their defense this offseason and this is yet another move that shows they’re hellbent on improving that side of the ball.

Sam Hubbard has been extended by the Cincinnati Bengals.

Over the offseason, the Bengals signed Trey Hendrickson and Larry Ogunjobi to help out their defensive line. The pass-rush was nearly non-existent last offseason and the team allowed Carl Lawson, their leader in sacks, to depart in free agency. They could have afforded to keep Lawson but instead let him walk and signed Hendrickson instead.

The Bengals also spent four draft picks on the defensive line, so they certainly made sure that aspect of their defense would be better in 2021. Hubbard is going to play a huge role in that and already has been a bright spot on the defensive side of the ball.

Through his three years with the organization, Hubbard has appeared in 44 games with 28 starts under his belt. The team is relying on him now more than ever to step in and make a strong impact defensively both in stopping the run and getting after the quarterback.

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His best season came in 2019 when he had eight and a half sacks and 76 total tackles so hopefully, we see more of that version of Hubbard in what’s going to be an important year for the Bengals.

The next move the Bengals need to make is extending safety Jessie Bates and also trying to find a veteran linebacker to add to the roster. This is a nice start though.

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