3 Bengals veterans who could get cut this summer

Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Xavier Su’a-Filo, Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

2. Xavier Su’a-Filo

The Bengals made some big O-line moves this offseason which means guard Xavier Su’a-Filo could be on the outside looking in.

Su’a-Filo started five of six games at left guard last season, but he’ll face tough competition from Quinton Spain, whose could be a heavily underrated player going into 2021.

Both Su’a-Filo and Spain are veterans, but whereas Su’a-Filo missed a big chunk of games due to an ankle injury last year, Spain plugged himself in the offensive line and was an instant impact starter.

The Bengals also signed Riley Reiff in free agency at right tackle and drafted three linemen in the 2021 NFL Draft. One of them, Jackson Carman, will likely secure the right guard job despite playing tackle at Clemson.

So it’ll come down to Su’a-Filo and Spain for the left guard position, and as sad as it is to hear, Su’a-Filo’s best days may be behind him. Way back in 2009, Su’a-Filo made history for UCLA by being the first true freshman to start on the offensive side of the ball. That year, Su’a-Filo logged 13 starts at left tackle, the most by a freshman non-kicker in school history.

Su’a-Filo’s pro career started at Houston, where he amassed nearly 3,000 snaps for the Texans from 2015-17, took a turn at Dallas, where he played fewer than 500 snaps in two seasons, and could end at Cincinnati.

He’s improved as a pass protector throughout his NFL career, but he simply may not be as dependable as other options (namely, Spain). The Bengals need versatile linemen to plug and play at multiple positions, and right now, Spain looks more fit for the job in 2021.

While this doesn’t mean Cincinnati will necessarily release Su’a-Filo, if they’re looking to overhaul their O-lineman unit for the franchise’s future, he could be the first guy out.