Linebacker Logan Wilson was the perfect linebacker who came along at the right time for the Bengals. The team’s need for a backer who could tackle, blitz, and cover tight ends and running backs in coverage had reached critical mass in 2020.
Wilson was taken in the third round of the 2020 draft and he has not disappointed. Over the past two seasons, he has led the team in tackles and added five interceptions and 3.5 sacks.
PFF ranks Wilson as the 24th highest-graded linebacker in the league. Fellow Bengals linebacker Germaine Pratt ranks 20th-best for PFF.
Pratt recently signed an extension with the club to stay in the Queen City for three additional years.
Pratt’s contract gives him the 15th highest per-year average salary in the NFL. Only one team, the 49ers, has two linebackers in that category. The Bears are the only team with two linebackers in the top 20.
Wilson deserves to be up there with those other players. The only question is will the team be willing to be one of two teams to have two linebackers in the top 15 of annual salary?
The answer is yes for Bengals fans. However, with the impending Burrow extension, trying to find a way to keep Higgins and Chase, and the need to re-sign Reader, justifying paying Wilson could be complicated. Hopefully, both sides can get together soon on an extension that works for everyone.
Draft, develop, retain, repeat. That is easier said than done.
The team has also added incredible talent via free agency without overspending. Cincinnati having top-of-the-league talent on their roster is a good problem to have. However, having all those contracts up simultaneously guarantees the organization will have some tough decisions ahead.