The 2023 offseason for the Cincinnati Bengals has been odd, but, successful. It started with the unexpected loss of Vonn Bell and then the more expected loss of Jesse Bates. That was offset by a surprise re-signing of Germaine Pratt.
Fans were clamoring for a safety signing, but, it didn't seem like the Bengals were even kicking the tires on safeties at the time. Then came the out-of-the-blue cannon shot of the Orlando Brown Jr. signing. Finally, something to crow about. For sure, the Bengals were about to jump in with both feet into free agency.
Cue another long pause, and then the loss of Hayden Hurst and Samaje Perine. Fans expected Perine back with an imminent cut of Joe Mixon, but, he was gone to the Broncos. Similarly, Hayden Hurst who had excellent chemistry with Joe Burrow took a large payout with Carolina.
The Bengals went into patience mode again until Nick Scott became the man. He wasn't even on the fans' radar, but, the leadership and athleticism that he showed coming up through the system in the Rams organization convinced fans he was a worthy successor to Vonn Bell.
Now the urgency was on tight end. Fans were all in on Foster Moreau. We were waiting on other tight end visits, but, nothing came. Moreau announced his cancer diagnosis and fans went into a panic. Patience, however, won out again when they were rewarded with Irv Smith Jr. the next tight end to get a huge contract by receiving from Burrow for a year.
Somewhere in there they sprung a value signing of Cody Ford to compete at right tackle, received a trade request from Jonah Williams, re-signed some depth, and added a cornerback to the room in the low-risk, upside signing of Sydney Jones.
That is where the score stands. What can the Bengals do to build on the offseason, close some holes and make this truly a launching point to a 2023 Super Bowl run?