Some were skeptical of the Cincinnati Bengals signing Trey Hendrickson to a four-year $60 million deal last offseason. That deal suddenly looks like a bargain.
Last offseason was a busy one for the Cincinnati Bengals. One of the biggest moves they made in free agency was signing former Saints third-round pick Trey Hendrickson to a four-year deal worth $60 million.
This was looked at as a controversial move, as Carl Lawson had led the team in sacks and the team opted to let him walk in free agency and replace him with Hendrickson. Up until the 2020 season, Hendrickson had been quiet for the Saints so he was looked at as a one-year wonder when he had signed with Cincinnati.
Well, Hendrickson proved that his 2020 campaign with the Saints wasn’t a fluke. He tallied 14.0 sacks during his inaugural season in Cincinnati, which set the all-time single-season sack record for the organization. He was a difference-maker for this team and he was signed on what can be looked at now as a bargain deal.
Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus selected one player with the best contract from every AFC team and Hendrickson was his choice for the Bengals. Here’s what Spielberger had to say about the selection:
"Hendrickson’s 75 quarterback pressures in 2021 ranked tied for fourth among edge defenders, his 14 sacks ranked fifth and his 17.8% pressure percentage ranked third. He continued his dominance into the playoffs, earning an 81.7 pass-rush grade that ranked third among edge defenders. A talented and deep New Orleans Saints defensive front limited Hendrickson’s snaps early in his career, which contributed to this modest deal with the Bengals after a breakout 2020 season, but he’s already shown he can be the top edge rusher for a club and outplayed this deal just one year in."
Bengals Roster: Trey Hendrickson’s deal looks like a steal
No one expected the Cincinnati Bengals to make it to the Super Bowl this past year and their defense was a big reason why that happened. Diving further into that, Hendrickson was a big reason why the stripes overcame the odds and represented the AFC in the Super Bowl after winning just four games the previous year.
By the time Hendrickson hits free agency again, he’ll be 30 years old so as long as he’s still performing like a top EDGE rusher, another solid contract should be in his future. For now, though, the Bengals should be thrilled that they got him on a reasonable contract.