The Bengals can't let Germaine Pratt get away in the offseason

Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals
Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

The biggest name for the Cincinnati Bengals hitting free agency this offseason isn't Jessie Bates or Vonn Bell, it's Germaine Pratt and he has to be the focus for the team (well, outside of extending Joe Burrow, of course).

What prompted me to write this article in the midst of the Bengals' AFC Championship Game appearance was a piece from Brad Spielberger of PFF. Spielberger discussed one player from each team that the team in question could not afford to lose.

While I think that Pratt is that guy, Spielberger went in a different direction and said that it'd be Hayden Hurst. He did note that Pratt is an important piece for this team but said that Hurst won't price himself out of Cincinnati's range and that's why he's the one they can't let get away.

I'm still rolling with Pratt if the Bengals could only keep one pending free agent.

Why is Germaine Pratt the most important pending free agent?

Think about what the Bengals linebacker corps looked like before the 2021 season. It wasn't good. Now the team has one of the best units in the league, led by Pratt and Logan Wilson. Removing Pratt from the equation hurts the defense significantly and does way more damage to the team than removing Hurst from the offense.

It's a lot harder to find linebackers as effective as Germaine Pratt. While good tight ends don't grow on trees either, the Bengals' offense doesn't need a solid tight end as much as the defense needs Pratt.

Perhaps keeping Lou Anarumo as defensive coordinator would make the Bengals confident enough to not break the bank for Pratt but he's important for this defense. How many times this season did Pratt come up with a huge tackle or play to swing things in favor of Cincinnati?

Pratt is good at pretty much everything and his PFF grades reflect just that. He's also been able to stay healthy and that's another reason he's worth spending money on this spring.

Next. 4 Players Bengals Need to Keep in Free Agency. dark

Hurst will be the cheaper option between the two and obviously if the Bengals can keep both, they should, but in no way is Hurst the answer to the free agent Cincinnati can't let get away. That would be Germaine Pratt and it's not even close.