4 massive unknowns for the Bengals in the 2023 offseason

2021 NFL Draft
2021 NFL Draft / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
3 of 4

How aggressive (if at all) will they be with the CB position?

If you're someone who doesn't pay too much attention to the Bengals or football in general, it's easy to say Cincinnati is set at the cornerback position. They have good starters, a young rookie who will hopefully develop, and solid pieces coming off the bench. However, it's not that simple.

Chidobe Awuzie is a great player, but coming off an ACL tear, especially as a cornerback which is a position that prioritizes a lot of speed and mobility, is always tough. Some Bengals fans- again, including myself because he's one of my favorite players on the team- have to prepare for the possibility that Awuzie isn't 100% or close to his usual self when the regular season kicks off, and the even more depressing outcome that maybe he never returns to his usual self. Hopefully that doesn't happen, but you never know.

So, with that being said, how should the Bengals approach CB in the offseason? Assuming Awuzie isn't 100% by Week 1, do you sign a proven veteran to pair along a young Cam Taylor-Britt who still very much has a long way to go in terms of development, or do you take the odds of running a rusty Awuzie, CTB, and Mike Hilton who makes more of an impact with his blitzing abilities than he does with coverage?

Eli Apple is a solid piece, but I would rather have him as a backup option off the bench than I would have him be the set-in-stone CB1/CB2. There are a couple of decent, veteran cornerbacks in this free agency class that won't break the bank. Guys like Patrick Peterson, Cameron Sutton, and Emmanuel Moseley are all potential options for the Bengals to sign... The question is will they?