3 bargains Bengals can target after first week of free agency
By Reese Nasser
Through the first week of free agency, the Cincinnati Bengals roster has already undergone several major changes.
On defense, the Bengals secondary suffered a tough loss with the departures of both Vonn Bell and Jessie Bates III. With both safeties moving on free agency, the team has already attempted to address the position. This came with the signing of former Los Angeles Rams safety Nick Scott.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Bengals saw the exit of two key playmakers in 2022. This came with tight end Hayden Hurst moving on to the Carolina Panthers, and running back Samje Perine moving to the Denver Broncos. While these two losses have not yet been addressed, the team has added to the offensive line.
With starting left tackle La'el Collins suffering both a torn ACL and MCL prior to the end of the regular season, the team has brought in an elite talent to take his place. This came with the blockbuster signing of star left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. In addition, the Bengals added another strong player to the offensive line with Cody Ford.
Heading into the second wave of free agency, the Bengals can still look to improve this roster. With needs on both sides of the ball, here are three bargain-free agents they could look to sign.
Blaine Gabbert, QB
While Joe Burrow is leading the charge at quarterback, Jake Browning is currently the Bengals only other QB on the roster. Heading into the 2023 campaign, the Bengals could feel confident with Browning being the QB2, but they could also look to solidify the room. Adding a proven veteran such as Blaine Gabbert could do just that.
Over his 11 seasons in the NFL, Gabbert has proven to be a strong addition to any team that he has been a part of. The former 10th overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft spent the last three seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While being the team's QB2, he took home a Super Bowl in 2021.
While Gabbert has been in the NFL since 2011, he has taken the field in just 67 total games, with 48 of them being starts. In total, he has recorded 9,302 passing yards, 51 touchdowns, and 47 interceptions.
If the Bengals don't want to look to the draft to add a quarterback in the later rounds, free agency is likely the only other route. With many options already off the market such as Marcus Mariota or Taylor Heinicke, Gabbert could be a potential option for this team.