3. Not re-signing Hayden Hurst or Samaje Perine
These are two very big pieces that may fly under the radar. Hayden Hurst and Samaje Perine have had major roles for the Bengals over this last season and Perine did as well during the Super Bowl run the previous season.
They both will be affordable and should be pieces that the Bengals bring back. Currently, Cincinnati doesn't have any depth at tight end, and will be a position that is looked at in the draft and in free agency. Bringing back Hurst and then pairing him with a rookie would be the ideal scenario.
There is some serious talent at the tight end position in the NFL draft led by Michael Mayer. If the Bengals have an opportunity to pair Mayer with Hurst that could add some serious talent to an offense that is already one of the best in the entire league.
2. Not extending or negotiating a long-term deal with Tee Higgins
This one is something the Bengals may be forced to push till next offseason but the negotiations need to begin now. Tee Higgins needs to know that the Bengals are prioritizing him and his contract. However, if the Bengals can manage to extend Higgins this offseason, they need to pull the trigger on that and lock him up long-term.
Higgins is very important to the success of this team, and at times, it truly goes unnoticed. The amount of pressure he takes off of guys like Ja'Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd, Joe Mixon, and the other weapons the Bengals have at their disposal is vital. Not to mention, the amount of pure and natural athleticism that he brings to the table week in and week out.
Cincinnati will have a lot clearer picture once free agency begins and they can figure out exactly how much money they will have to spend and what Burrow would be willing to take within his deal which is the most important priority of them all.