4 noteworthy Bengals slated to hit free agency in 2024

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Chidobe Awuzie

There is an argument to be made that Chidobe Awuzie was a top-five cornerback in the NFL before he suffered his season-ending injury last season. He was in the midst of allowing a career-best 53.4 passer rating when targeted. That would have been league-best if he played enough snaps to be eligible for consideration. Philadelphia's James Bradberry finished first with a 54.7 passer rating allowed

The hope is that Awuzie will be fully healthy when the season starts. If that is the case, there is no reason to believe he can’t be one of the best corners in the NFL again in 2023. The only worry for the excellent defensive back is health.

Awuzie has only played 16 games once in his career.  He has only played in eight games twice in the past two seasons. He must remain healthy to get the contract commensurate with his talent.

If he can’t stay on the field, the Bengals drafted an insurance policy in D.J. Turner II in the second round. If Awuzie manages to play the entire season as one of the best corners, he could price himself out of the market, which the Bengals may not mind with Turner waiting in the wings. 

Pro Football Focus projects Awuzie as a Top-10 cornerback in the AFC entering the season. Let’s hope he can be healthy and Top-10 in the league. The rest will take care of itself.