3 free agent targets Bengals must break the bank for in 2023

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Heading into free agency, the Cincinnati Bengals could look to be active. At the moment, they are slated to have the fifth-most cap space in the NFL, according to Over the Cap, with over $35 million. Even if the team looks to extend both Joe Burrow and Tee Higgins, they could still be toward the top when it comes to cap space.

The Bengals front office has already put together one of the most well-rounded rosters in the NFL. With elite talent on both sides of the ball, this team is built to win now. But there is still room for improvement. 

With the amount of money that the Bengals have to spend in free agency, they must be active on the market. This could include breaking the bank to add even more elite talent to the roster. 

Here are three free agents the Bengals must break the bank for in free agency.

Dalton Schultz, Tight End

With Hayden Hurst potentially set to depart in free agency, the Bengals will need to address the tight end position. Burrow has proven to lean on his tight ends heavily so they could very well look to add a proven pass catcher at the position. If this is the case, Dalton Schultz could be the ideal choice. 

During his time with the Dallas Cowboys, Schultz has become one of the game's most consistent pass-catching tight ends. Over the last three seasons, he has recorded 198 receptions for 2,000 receiving yards and 17 receiving touchdowns. He has also recorded at least 50 receptions, and 550 receiving yards in each of these campaigns. 

In 2022, Schultz was once again a go-to target. Over 15 games, he recorded 57 receptions for 577 receiving yards and five touchdowns. His production has made him a pricey name in free agency, as PFF projects the former Cowboys tight end to earn a four-year deal worth $58 million ($14.5 million annually).

Schultz has also made strides as a blocker and that makes him even more appealing to Cincinnati. With the Bengals at times dealing with issues on the offensive line, having a capable blocking tight end could help this unit remain competitive. 

If the Bengals look to find their future tight end through free agency, adding Schultz could be the route they choose to go down.