Bengals News: Mitchell Wilcox, free agency, and more

Cincinnati Bengals tight end Mitchell Wilcox (84) is tackled after completing a catch in the fourth
Cincinnati Bengals tight end Mitchell Wilcox (84) is tackled after completing a catch in the fourth / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

In Bengals news, the team opted not to tender Mitchell Wilcox, meaning he can hit free agency and sign with whoever he wants. Speaking of free agency, it starts on Monday! We're so close!

As Tom Pelissero noted in his original tweet breaking the news, Wilcox had 17 receptions and scored a touchdown. He also said there will be interest in Wilcox and deservedly so. I'm surprised the team didn't tender him honestly, he impressed when Hayden Hurst missed time during the regular season.

Maybe this move means the Bengals are comfortable with their chances of re-signing Hayden Hurst or perhaps it further cements them drafting a tight end early on. It'll be interesting to see how early the Bengals strike into the legal tampering period on Monday.

Last year, they were the first team to make a move, agreeing on a contract with Alex Cappa minutes into the legal tampering period. Ted Karras' deal came a few hours later. Will the be as aggressive this time around?

Here's what's trending in Bengals news.

Report: Bengals Not Tendering Restricted Free Agent Tight End Mitchell Wilcox [Russ Heltman, SI]

"Wilcox was a solid replacement for Hayden Hurst late in the season, but Cincinnati is content with him testing the market. Hurst, Drew Sample, and Wilcox are now all 2023 free agents."

From Heltman's article

Bengals adding a RT in free agency won't be easy...or cheap [Chris Roling, Bengals Wire]

"The Bengals actually paying up big for a right tackle woud likely mean attempting to get out of Collins’ contract after one season while taking other cap-saving measures such as cutting Joe Mixon. "

From Roling's article

It feels like the Bengals could try to part ways with La'el Collins this offseason depending on how his rehabbing goes. They have time on their side and will save $7 million after June 1 if they cut him. The team could also look at the progress the offensive line made in the second half of the season and try to keep the band together but that feels less likely.

Next. 5 second-year Bengals poised for a big 2023 season. dark

Police: Bengals' Joe Mixon not a suspect in shooting at home [Ben Baby, ESPN]

"According to the incident report, children were playing "dart wars," a game that involves toy guns that shoot foam bullets. Witnesses told police the children were playing in the victim's backyard. Around 8:30 Monday evening, shots were fired from the backyard of the neighboring home, which police confirmed is tied to Mixon. An unidentified suspect fired 11 shots, with one of them hitting the injured child in the foot."

From Baby's article