3. Let Jessie Bates walk in free agency
Sticking with the safety position, as much as Bengals fans love Jessie Bates and want him to stay in town, the easiest free-agency decision for the team to make this offseason is to let the guy walk. He's going to command too much money and Cincinnati prepped themselves for this moment by drafting Dax Hill in the first round of last year's draft.
Bates is ranked as the fourth-best free agent in this year's cycle by PFF and they project that he'll earn a massive five-year deal worth $75 million. Someone is going to pay Bates to be their starting safety in 2023 and beyond but it can't be the Bengals, especially with him not performing all that well during the 2022 season. It's time to move on.
2. Cut Joe Mixon
To say that the 2022 season was a disappointment for Joe Mixon would be an understatement. The former third-round pick averaged 3.9 yards per carry, down from 4.1 yards a season ago. He was still effective in the pass-catching department but the Bengals can't keep him on the roster at his current salary.
Cutting Mixon after June 1 will save them $10 million and that's money that can go toward our next entry and paying other players. Running backs are also a dime a dozen and it won't be hard to find an impact player at the position late in the draft for much cheaper.
This move needs to be made.