3. Auden Tate
This has been a disappointing season for Auden Tate. It’s not entirely his fault as he’s been injured and when he is available to play, he’s not targeted much. For that reason, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him sign elsewhere.
Tate, a former seventh-round pick, played well in the Bengals’ two-win 2019 campaign. He tallied 40 receptions for 575 yards and a touchdown that year but since then, has struggled to stay healthy. This year, he’s appeared in just seven games and has three receptions for 39 yards and a touchdown.
Tate has a chance to go somewhere this offseason where he’ll be a bigger part of the offense and it’s hard to see him turning down that opportunity if it comes about.
2. Larry Ogunjobi
This one hurts because Larry Ogunjobi has been awesome this season. The Bengals pried Ogunjobi away from division rival Cleveland and he’s been a tremendous addition to the defense. So far, Ogunjobi has 35 tackles and 3.5 sacks through 11 starts.
Unfortunately, the solid production from Ogunjobi means he’ll be popular in free agency. He’s only 27 years old (turning 28 in June), meaning he’s still young enough to earn a big contract from a team needing a solid contributor on their defensive line.
While the Bengals could afford to pay Ogunjobi what he wants, they probably won’t. They’re a team that tends to rebuild through the draft and not overpay free agents. I’d love to see Ogunjobi back in 2022, but he’s going to be a popular name in free agency and I’m not sure Cincinnati will fight hard enough to retain him.