3 Cincinnati Bengals we can safely call busts after the 2023 season

You win some, you lose some.

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Buffalo Bills v Cincinnati Bengals / Jeff Dean/GettyImages
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Nick Scott

The Bengals struck out on a few free agents last year and while we already touched on Irv Smith, he wasn't nearly as bad as Nick Scott was. Scott was brought in to replace Vonn Bell after he shockingly left the team in free agency last spring and well, obviously it didn't go according to plan or Scott wouldn't be making an appearance on this list.

For those who watched every play of the Bengals' 2023 season, it wasn't hard to see how badly Scott struggled as a starter. It felt like he was responsible for giving up a few big plays a game and PFF said that he allowed 20 receptions on 28 targets.

Scott was so bad that eventually, Lou Anarumo made the right call by replacing him with third-round rookie Jordan Battle, who played significantly better. Did Battle make mistakes too? Yes. The difference was that Battle would make up for it with better play overall.

When comparing Battle's and Scott's PFF numbers, the difference is night and day. Battle finished with a coverage grade of 76.4 while Scott had an ugly 35.8 coverage grade.

Sometimes free agents work out and sometimes they don't. Nick Scott was a perfect reminder of when they don't pan out.

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