Bengals free-agent do-over No. 1: Re-sign Vonn Bell
While Samaje Perine leaving was a big surprise, Vonn Bell not re-signing with the Bengals might have been the biggest stunner of the offseason for Cincinnati. Bell had joined the team in the 2020 offseason and grown into one of the top leaders for the defense. Losing him is going to be a bigger blow to this team than people realize.
Sure, Lou Anarumo is still around but now the Bengals have two new starting safeties that they have to depend on to lock things down for them. We all knew that Jessie Bates was leaving, so it was just assumed that Bell would be brought back but that's not what happened.
Bell signed a three-year deal with Carolina worth $22.5 million per Spotrac and now the Bengals won't have one of their most vocal leaders. In this redo, the Bengals would definitely re-sign Bell and retain their fearless leader in the secondary.
While the Bengals defense will eventually get its bearings, not having Bell out there will be noticeable in the first month or so of the season.