3 veteran defensive backs the Bengals should target in free agency

The expected departure of veteran cornerback Chidobe Awuzie leaves a need to be filled for the Bengals.

New York Jets v Cleveland Browns
New York Jets v Cleveland Browns / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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Sean Murphy-Bunting

Murphy-Bunting had a down year in his first and potentially only season in a Titans uniform after four years of quality football with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, Tennessee's pass defense as a whole was below average in 2023, ranking in the bottom half of the league in passing yards and 6th-worst in passer rating allowed, so his stats could very well be inflated (or, in this case, deflated) due to the team around him.

Looking at his stats, Murphy-Bunting allowed 645 yards, two touchdowns, and a 91.8 passer rating when targeted. While those numbers aren't great, they aren't terrible either. For reference, Awuzie-- who also had a down year-- allowed 484 yards, four touchdowns, and a staggering 113.5 passer rating when targeted, so theoretically he would be a step up from Colorado alum.

With the leap Cam Taylor-Britt took in his second year, the Bengals don't have to be on the lookout for a lockdown cornerback who can go toe-to-toe with the best receivers in the league, just a serviceable corner who can keep the opponent QB's second option contained, and Murphy-Bunting is capable of doing just that. And at a projected $6.7 million per year contract, he wouldn't be breaking the bank either.