Bengals Free Agency: 3 free agent options if Vonn Bell isn't retained
With free agency quickly approaching, Cincinnati Bengals safety Vonn Bell may be on the move. Following his three seasons with the team, the seven-year NFL veteran is now set to hit the open market.
Along with Bell entering free agency, so is Jessie Bates III. These two have been the face of the Bengals secondary in recent seasons. If both are to depart, the team must address the position in a big way.
Second-year safety Dax Hill will likely step into one of the vacant starting roles. But alongside Hill, the Bengals must find an experienced playmaker at the position. In a free-agent class full of talent at the safety position, the Bengals could have their pick of defenders but there are three that should be at the top of their wishlist.
All stats courtesy of ESPN and contract projections courtesy of PFF
Over his four seasons with the New York Giants, Julian Love developed into a legitimate weapon in the secondary.
Through his first three seasons, Love took the field in a total of 48 games. While fighting for playing time, he recorded a total of 167 tackles, 113 solo tackles, seven tackles for loss, 13 defended passes, and three interceptions.
In 2022, with the departure of several players within the Giants depth chart, Love saw his playing time increase significantly. While playing a career-high 1,006 defensive snaps, he played the best football of his carer.
Over the 16 regular season games that he played in, Love recorded 124 total tackles, 79 solo tackles, six tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble, five defended passes and two interceptions. PFF projects that he'll earn a three-year deal worth $25 million and $8.33 million annually.
Love has a playstyle that would allow for him to be a natural fit on any defense. Based on his production last season, he could be headed toward another big showing in 2023. If he can continue to play at a high level, he could be the perfect fit for the Bengals' secondary.