The Cincinnati Bengals will have to say some difficult goodbyes this offseason, as they have 14 unrestricted free agents and need to extend Ja'Marr Chase. Six current starters on the team probably aren't returning to the Queen City for the 2024 season.
In the case of three players, it's a financial issue. They'll likely command more money than the Bengals will be willing to shell out. The other three players is more of an age factor, as they're all nearing the age of 30 and we know that Cincinnati usually avoids extending players when they're close to or past the age of 30.
So, let's get into the six starters who might be starting with another team in 2024.
The Bengals signed Awuzie during the 2021 offseason and it was a great move for them, as he balled out during the first year and a half of his Bengals tenure. While he's played better in recent weeks, he had a shaky start to the season and the Bengals have already drafted his replacement in Cam Taylor-Britt, who has played like a rockstar so far in his career.
Awuzie is also 28 years old so it's unlikely that Cincinnati would sign him to a multi-year deal. Maybe they'd consider bringing him back on an affordable one-year deal but another team offering him more money and more years on the contract wouldn't be crazy. It feels as though Awuzie is gone after this year and starting with another team in 2024 and the Bengals have prepared themselves for that situation by drafting Taylor-Britt and D.J. Turner.
It's sad to think about Tyler Boyd wearing a uniform that isn't the Bengals but that's the reality we're probably looking at next year. Boyd has been with the Bengals since they spent a second-round pick on him in 2016 and for a few years, he was one of the few highlights on the offensive side of the ball.
Fast forward to 2021 and Boyd was demoted to WR3 when Ja'Marr Chase joined the roster. He's still put up decent stats in 2021, 2022, and this year, especially for a third-string receiver, but the problem is that the Bengals are going to be paying Joe Burrow, Ja'Marr Chase, and some other key players and won't have money remaining to pay Boyd.
Spotrac has Boyd's market value at three years for $26.1 million with an annual salary of $8.7 million. That's not a bad deal but with the Bengals backing up the Brinks truck for Chase this offseason, it's doubtful they'll want to give that deal to Boyd when they could draft a cheaper option.
We'll get to the next players in a moment, but don't forget to claim Bet365's GUARANTEED $150 sign-up bonus today! Deposit at least $10 and bet $5 or more on any game right now and you'll automatically get $150 in bonus bets win or lose. Sign up for Bet365 now!