4 impending free agents the Bengals should re-sign in 2024

  • Reader might be inching toward 30 but the Bengals should keep him around
  • Williams is a different player at RT
  • Sample is a sneaky-good blocker
  • Irwin is the next man up when a WR goes down
Buffalo Bills v Cincinnati Bengals
Buffalo Bills v Cincinnati Bengals / Jeff Dean/GettyImages
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Drew Sample

Sample is another player who, like Williams, if you told me last year or even just a couple of months ago that we should re-sign him, I'd call you crazy. However, he's really carved out his own role on the team this season. I think we can all accept that he won't ever be the receiving threat that one would hope to get from a tight end in the second round. While that does hurt, and he should never be your top guy at the tight end position, Sample has proved his worth in another, perhaps underappreciated, aspect of his game.

His blocking. A good blocking tight end is very overlooked in a league dominated by a surplus of flashy players at every skill position, and can often be undervalued. Do not undervalue Drew Sample, he has come up big when they've called on him for these exact scenarios. Need proof? Just view the clips below.

If he can keep this up, I say he has earned a spot on the roster for the foreseeable future. These contributions could end up being huge, especially with how inconsistent the O-Line as a unit has been.

Best yet? Don't have to worry about cap space. As I mentioned before, good blocking tight ends are very undervalued in today's NFL, so it probably won't take a huge contract to keep him around, somewhere in the ballpark of $1-2 million a year. More money than most of us will ever see in our lifetimes, sure, but relatively cheap for the NFL.

If he ends up having a few good receiving plays/games a year too like he did with his touchdown against the Bills, that's just the cherry on top.