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

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Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Defensive Back

The Bengals could very well look to improve the secondary, both at safety and at cornerback. With both Vonn Bell and Jessie Bates III potentially on their way out, they could look to make a major signing in the area. Going after a safety such as Chauncey Garder-Johnson could do just that. 

Over the course of his first four seasons in the NFL, Gardner-Johnson has become one of the more versatile seasons in the NFL. 

Prior to being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022, Garder-Johnson spent his first three seasons with the New Orleans Saints. Over this stretch, he appeared in 43 games, recording 161 total tackles, 15 tackles for loss, three sacks, 28 defended passes, and five interceptions. 

After arriving in Philadelphia for 2022, Gardner-Johnson put together the best season of his NFL career. In 12 games, he recorded 67 total tackles, five tackles for loss, one sack, eight defended passes, and a career-high six interceptions. He's not going to be a cheap acquisition, however, projected to earn a five-year deal worth $66.6 million, earning $13.3 million per year, according to Spotrac.

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At just 25 years old, Gardner-Johnson could develop into a key member of the Bengals secondary. With his addition, this unit could have the new face of the secondary.