Patrick Peterson - Cornerback
With Chidobe Awuzie coming off a major knee injury and Cam Taylor-Britt still having a long way to go before he can be considered a true CB1, the front office should allocate some focus to the cornerback in this position this offseason. They should do this through both free agency and draft, especially since Awuzie and Mike Hilton's contracts expire after this next season.
In free agency, the best route to go for the Bengals is signing a veteran who can help with the development of Taylor-Britt while also being a serviceable CB1 as Awuzie continues to recover from the devastating knee injury he suffered on Halloween night. And, in my opinion, there's no better option for a low cost than Patrick Peterson from Minnesota. He's been in the league a long time and, according to Spotrac, his market value is $6.4 million annually, which isn't all that much relative to other players and the cap space.
Considering he, like Bobby Wagner, is 32 going on 33 this summer, a one-year deal will be in order for Peterson as he enters the twilight of his career. Is he worth the money though, even if it's just for a single season? In my opinion, that is a yes.
One thing this defense has struggled with is creating turnovers, especially when it comes to interceptions. The veteran defensive back will be a boost here, as he snatched five in his second season with the Vikings, more than any Bengal this year. Furthermore, Peterson finished with an 80.7 PFF grade as well, which is also higher than any cornerback on the Bengals in 2022.
He may not be an ideal CB1, as you'd rather have someone younger and more long-term, but Peterson, unless he suffers a very steep drop-off, will be a good option to come in while Awuzie continues to recover from his debilitating ACL tear. The Bengals should certainly have serious conversations about signing him to a one, or perhaps a two-year deal.