The Cincinnati Bengals found a great bargain in defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi in 2021, and the team can re-sign him for cheap this offseason.
After a semi-productive four-year campaign with the Cleveland Browns, Ogunjobi landed a one-year deal with the Bengals for the 2021 season. Cincy didn’t invest too much in the lineman, just roughly $6 million dollars, but Ogunjobi turned out to be one of the best value tackles money could buy.
Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox recently listed the best free agent bargain at every position heading into the 2022 season, focusing on under-the-radar targets that won’t cost a pretty penny.
Knox gives the example of the Arizona Cardinals signing James Conner last offseason to a modest one-year deal — Connor subsequently paid the team back with his crucial contributions in the running game.
In the defensive line, Larry Ogunjobi could be considered one of the best bang for buck additions this offseason, and the Bengals would be wise to re-sign him.
"We can expect Ogunjobi to again be a budget option in 2022. Despite being a solid on-field producer, he doesn’t receive a ton of attention—he isn’t even listed on PFF’s top 200 free agents list.A return to Cincinnati would be beneficial for Ogunjobi. He thrived alongside D.J. Reader in coordinator Lou Anarumo’s defense, producing career highs in both sacks and tackles for loss."
Cincinnati Bengals should hold onto tackle Larry Ogunjobi in 2022
In 2021, Ogunjobi recorded 49 combined tackles, 16 quarterback hits, and seven sacks in 16 games played. He showed talent and experience in defending against the run, but his performances won’t blow anybody away. Ogunjobi remains a budget-friendly addition this free agency, and both the Bengals and Ogunjobi would benefit if he stays with the team.
Ogunjobi suffered a foot injury in the Wild Card Round that caused him to miss most of the playoffs, and while he’s not exactly a game-changer of a player, his reliable production makes him especially valuable in holding down the interior defense.
This offseason, the Bengals should have no issue signing Ogunjobi to another modest deal, as he has already played his way to a starting spot in 2022. Absorbing $6 or $7 million of Ogunjobi’s salary would allow Cincinnati to spend more money and time on crucial positions like the offensive line while maintaining a competitive defense.
Assuming Ogunjobi can continue playing at the same elite level as he did in his last campaign, signing him would be a win-win for both player and team.