Bengals could form a Superteam in 2022 with these 9 free agents
First thing’s first, the Bengals need to do what they can to keep Jessie Bates in the Queen City. While Bates is coming off the worst regular season of his career, he showed up big time in the playoffs, looking like a freaking superstar safety in his four playoff games.
Bates’ interception in the Super Bowl could have been the turning point for the Bengals to pull away in that game and he’d have gone down in history had that been the case. It’s not his fault that Vernon Hargreaves ran onto the field though.
If Bates is retained, the Bengals’ defense will stay mostly intact and should be able to compete at a high level again in 2022. He’s step one toward building a Superteam in 2022.
One of the best young cornerbacks available in free agency is Carlton Davis, who is coming off a season where he suffered a quad injury in October. For the most part, though, Davis has been pretty healthy throughout the course of his career.
The 25-year-old corner won’t celebrate his 26th birthday until December and is still playing at a high level. He had 39 tackles, 11 defended passes, and one interception during the 2021 season and is going to get a nice contract in free agency.
If the Bengals were to land Davis, they’d have a 25-year-old cornerback joining Chidobe Awuzie in the secondary. That’d give them quite the pair there, but wait! We’re not done in the secondary yet.
Why not go big in the secondary? The league is pass-happy now and J.C. Jackson is, without a doubt, the best young cornerback available in free agency.
Jackson won’t turn 27 until November, so again, the Bengals would have a young, talented cornerback under contract in the prime of his career. Jackson had 58 tackles, 23 defended passes, and an astounding eight interceptions.
Yes, the chances of signing both Davis and Jackson are unlikely but if both guys were to join the Bengals secondary, this defense would be the best in the league.
While there are a lot of really strong EDGE rushers in this free-agent market, I decided to go with Emmanuel Ogbah. Chandler Jones and Von Miller are two of the bigger names on the market but they’re both in their 30s whereas Ogbah is 28 years old and won’t turn 29 until November.
Ogbah appeared in 17 games last year, starting 11 games, and notched 41 tackles, 24 QB hits, and nine sacks during that time. The dude is a freak of nature and would fit in wonderfully on the Bengals’ defense.
Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard were great in 2022 but with the Bengals potentially losing both B.J. Hill and Larry Ogunjobi, the need for more pass-rushers is certainly there. Ogbah would make this defense really scary.