5 Bengals who need to have a great training camp in 2022

Chris Evans, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Chris Evans, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Eli Apple, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images) /

4. Eli Apple

When I think of Eli Apple and his polarizing reputation, I think about people who put pineapple on pizza.

It isn’t as good as devoted fans say. It also isn’t as putrid as the haters claim. Despite its popularity as a conversation topic, there isn’t much to get worked up about.

This is Eli Apple as a cover corner. Bengals fans are too high, haters are too low, and the reality of his performance falls somewhere in between.

In an ideal world, Apple doesn’t start the season as the outside corner next to Chidobe Awuzie.

If second-round pick Cam Taylor-Britt can storm into camp and be impactful, his upside brings more to the table than Apple. Plus, being able to bump someone with Apple’s experience to the fourth spot makes for great depth at the position.

Cincinnati was able to bring Apple back for only $4 million, and if CTB is good enough to beat him out the Bengals won’t hesitate to give a rookie the starting job. But it is Apple’s job to lose, as Lou Anarumo said to the press on Monday.

This makes this training camp the most important of Apple’s career. If he earns another year as the No. 2 corner on a playoff defense he might be able to earn that long-term deal as a starter somewhere else.