3 former Cincinnati Bengals players we’re glad are gone, 3 we wish stayed

Looking back at some of the recent hits and misses from Bengals' free agency.

Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates III (30) takes the field during introductions before the
Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates III (30) takes the field during introductions before the / Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 3
Next

Glad they're gone: Samaje Perine, Running back

Samaje Perine hasn't done much since he left the Bengals and signed with the Denver Broncos last offseason. He had just 50 carries for 231 yards during his first season in Denver, though he did prove useful as a pass-catcher with 47 receptions for 432 yards.

Even though Joe Mixon is no longer a Bengal, the team added Zack Moss to fill the void, and second-year back Chase Brown is expected to have a larger role. The team is fine without Perine, and it's doubtful that there's too many fans in Cincinnati pining for his return.

Wish they stayed: Jesse Bates III, Safety

This one is easy. Bates III spent the first five seasons of his career in Cincinnati, and he was a standout in the secondary, as evidenced by his Pro Bowl selection in 2020.

After playing under the franchise tag in 2022, Bates signed a four-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons in free agency, and he was definitely missed last season. Cincinnati's secondary struggled mightily without Bates, who thrived in Atlanta. He started all 17 games for the Falcons, and he finished third in the entire NFL in interceptions with six.

Cincinnati's has improved in the secondary already this offseason by bringing back Vonn Bell and signing Geno Stone, but Bates is still missed.